COVID-19 Update – 8th April

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Coronavirus Update – 3rd April
April 3, 2020
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COVID-19: Thursday 9th April – Portal Open
April 9, 2020
Small Business Grants PortalThe most important update is that the small business grants portal is expected to go live tomorrow (Thursday 9th of April) at 9am. This is a week ahead of schedule. 

The portal will be accessible from Eastbourne Borough Council’s website.

The Council is writing to all eligible businesses, as well as sending an email to those whose details they have. 

We will also be releasing full details as soon as they are available via email and social media. 

For the majority of cases, payment will be made three working days after the application is made.

In total, £22.5m of relief is expected to be paid for Eastbourne.
Other Eastbourne COBRA Notes:
Full notes to follow tomorrow. Please see below some the notes made: 

Burlington and Claremont Hotels

There is a full crew on site, who are currently clearing debris and continuing with the propping up. Works are continuing at a pace, with a firm timescale next week. 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan
Reports from businesses that lending via CBILs has been easier since last weeks announcement by the ChancellorPlease let us know if you are having difficulties accessing this support. 

Furlough Staff
Please encourage any staff that you have had to furlough to volunteer for their local community. Please visit the 3VA website – https://3va.org.uk/ – to sign up

Victoria Mansions
Work is continuing at Victoria Mansions at the Seafront end of Terminus Road. A full update will follow

Policing
The police have reported that other towns are reporting an increase in drug related crime. This is being closely monitored by Eastbourne Police who are addressing the issues. Please let us know if you witness any incidents

Council Update:
Substantial increase in enquiries, with housing and council tax benefit enquiries dramatically up. From 15 claims a day to 100. 3,000 food packages have been produced by the community hub at Devonshire Quarter for vulnerable residents

Coronavirus helpline established by Council has received 1,000 calls since launched last Monday

MP Update
Lobbying Cabinet hard on issues including charities, dentists, DEFRA and tourism. Seeking clarity on work that furloughed staff can undertake, particularly for charities or to allow the business to operate HMRC portal for claiming for furlough staff is expected to be operation by end of April

Business Concerns: 
Asked that dentists be allowed to reopen to carry out emergency works and free up capacity

Concerns raised with regards to individuals affected by dividend payments. Continue to lobby Westminster

Insurance subgroup due to meet tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss cases raised of firms not paying out insurance

Raised concerns about those businesses not classified as retail, hospitality and leisure still having to pay business rates and what additional support may be offered. Concerns expressed for micro-businesses who need support. 

Eastbourne Recovery Group
Your Eastbourne BID will be working with the Council to lead on how we can help the town recover once businesses are re-opening. Please let us know if you would like to join this group.  
Don’t Forget: If you have an issue you would like us to raise, please do not hesitate to get in touch
Can You Help?
Are you currently offering home delivery of food, essential supplies or takeaways?
Please click here to give us details, which will be passed onto Eastbourne Borough Council for customers looking for home delivery. 

Is your business providing any support to other businesses – such as advice on HR, rent and mental health?
Please click here to provide more details, which will be added to our website and social media.

Is your business offering a home delivery of products?
Please click here to provide more details, which will be added to our website and social media.

Or are you doing something different to keep trading – such as online exercise classes, arts and crafts packs, delivery of items?
Please click here to provide more details, which will be added to our website and social media.
Security Update
Katy Bourne OBE has responded to our letter asking for additional police forces to protect businesses in the evening. 

You can read this here
HMRC Training
HMRC are holding free, online webinars on the support avaliable. Topics covered include:the Coronavirus Job Retention Schemerefunding eligible Statutory Sick Pay costsfurloughed employees and more

Click here for more information and how to register. 
Trade Waste
We understand that some waste companies are no longer collecting trade waste. 

Email us here so we can arrange for the council to remove any trade waste from outside your building. Please give us a good description of the location so we can get it removed for you.
Insurance Claims
Thank you to the businesses who have already given us details of their insurance policies. We are forming a subgroup representing the Eastbourne Hospitality Association, Chamber of Commerce, BID and MPs office to take forward issues relating to insurance claims. Please contact us if you are having any issues claiming as a result of coronavirus.  
Support for the Self Employed
There is now a support package for the self-employed to match the package for furloughed employees.  Effectively they will allow 80% of the profit earned on the last 3 years tax returns up to £2,500 per month.  If you do not have 3 years tax returns they will accept what you have from 1 year’s tax return as a minimum.  If you have not filed your tax return for 2018/19 due in January, you have 4 weeks to get it in; so act now.

The good news is that self-employed individuals who are owner-managers and pay themselves a salary through PAYE will be eligible for support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Payment will be adminstered by HMRC and can be expected in June.  For full details click here.For frequently asked questions about the scheme, click here.
Additional guidance on social distancing in the workplace
To support businesses that remain open during this period in England, the government has published additional guidance to assist employers, businesses and their staff in staying open safely during coronavirus (COVID-19). For specific settings please refer to sector specific guidance. Guidance has been published for:
Shops running a pick-up or delivery service
Tradespeople and working in people’s homes
Construction
Manufacturing and processing businesses
Retail
Logistics businesses
Outdoor businesses
Farming: visiting farms for animal health and welfare
Fishing or other short-term offshore work
Cargo-shipping or other long-term offshore work
Transport businesses
Waste management businesses

For advice for business in other nations of the UK please see guidance set by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.
These guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive or to represent every business’s situation, but are illustrative examples. Businesses should also look at the advice being published by trade associations and similar groups on how to apply government guidance in their sector. Read the general guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus
Job Retention Scheme
A furlough letter template is shown here for you to send to your staff: Furlough-Proposal-Job-Retention-Scheme-Template (1)The HMRC Portal should be available this month.

Self-employed individuals who are owner-managers and pay themselves a salary through PAYE will be eligible for support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The latest guidance for this important government scheme is here.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBILs)Please supply us with any evidence of otherwise viable companies that have approached banks and have been either rejected or are having difficulties  – please share the specific banks so they can be flagged. Email us your experienceso that we may pass it on to Caroline Ansell MP to take up with the Treasury and British Business Bank.