w/c 8th February 2021
We are all eagerly awaiting the roadmap to reopening announcement on the 22nd February; what sectors will open first, will pubs still have to offer ‘substantial meals’, will the ‘rule of six’ and tier systems still apply?
Whilst we wait for more clarity there are steps that can be done now to help you prep for when your business can reopen. Continue to check in with your employees; are they able to work when the date comes around? Check your safety supplies; do you have enough of the essentials such as hand sanitiser and masks? Has any water been sitting stagnant or food been left in the premises that is now out of date? Pop in to clear through the pipes and dispose of any waste. Perhaps your Christmas decorations are still up or your windows need a clean. These types of activities can all be sorted now so that when dates are announced and guidelines are released we can focus on the possible new procedures rather than other matters.
In the meantime applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) were announced on Wednesday and the focus is on providing funding to those that have not received any Government financial support throughout this pandemic.
The grant will also look to cover businesses, freelancers and the supply chain of the Arts and Creative sector, business rates relief for new businesses locating in the town plus an extension of tier two and three grants that ended when Southend moved into tier four and then national lockdown.
As the council must ensure they do not exceed the Government funding allocation, applications for the ARG will only be open until 2nd March 2021 plus another upcoming deadline is the 28th February for the Christmas wet led pub grant applications.
I urge all businesses to urgently apply for grants that they are eligible for to avoid missing out on some much needed funds. Head to the ‘Government Support’ section of our Southend BID website to find links to the support that is available.