Government restrictions have been impacting our local businesses and hitting hospitality businesses especially badly. We understand that for many this has been a very challenging time and we are here to give advice and support to all Thanet businesses, large and small as we navigate the roadmap out of lockdown.
On 25 March it was announced that Thanet would benefit from Government Support for its high streets. We are now awaiting guidance to be issued relating to the scope of activities that we can provide through the Welcome Back Fund which we expect in the next few weeks.
We also have a Welcome Back campaign for the district to support key messaging as we welcome people back to our high streets and seafronts. This will promote messages around; Respect – Protect – Enjoy, Shop & Eat Local, and Hands – Face – Space. Part of this also includes a range of branded posters for businesses to download which link to new signage that is being installed across the district.
The drop downs below provide more links and information to help support your business in relation to COVID-19.
Kent County Council, in collaboration with all the local authorities in Kent, has a dedicated business support line for coronavirus-related issues, delivered by the Kent & Medway Growth Hub. This dedicated support line is open and taking calls.
Please telephone: 03333 602300. The line is open from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
The council also has a business support officer, Sharon Davies, who is available to answer any of your questions. She can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit our general Business Support Grants or Restart Grants pages for information and to apply got support grants.
Furlough Scheme extended (in the Chancellor’s Budget announcement on 3 March 2021)
The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough Scheme – will remain open until end September 2021, with staff receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
The flexibility of the current CJRS will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can. Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November – making this more generous than support currently on offer.
The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.
You may be able to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance with, or instead of Universal Credit, depending on your National Insurance record. Here is a link to the new style Employment and Support Allowance.
Additional business funding
The Covid-19 pandemic has left many businesses in need of financial support to ensure that they can continue trading.
We have curated a number of links which may be useful and help you to receive grants or support to which you’re entitled.
- Coronavirus support finder. This simple, step by step, Gov.uk tool helps you to navigate all of the options available: https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder
- Gov.UK – financial support for businesses during coronavirus. This sets out the different types of support available, including links to information about sick pay, paying tax, information for self-employed people and so on.
- Bounce Back Loans. (Application deadlines extended to January 31 2021). Information from the Government about these loans which range from £2,000 up to 25% of your turnover
Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality
For the latest guidance and advice around Coronavirus for Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality businesses please visit the Thanet Tourism Business website
- On Tuesday 3 November, the government announced extra welfare support for the self-employed will be extended for a further six months until end of April 2021.
- The Self-employment Income Support Scheme is available to the self-employed or members of a partnership which have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) until the end of January.
- The Government announced on Monday 2 November that support for self-employed people will rise to 80 per cent of trading profits during November.
- If you are a ‘gig-economy’ or zero hours contract worker you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay. Check your eligibility.
- Mortgage holidays will no longer end. The Financial Conduct Authority to announce further information shortly.
- If you are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be eligible for benefits such as the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.
- Please contact Jobcentre Plus for claims for either Universal Credit or ESA.
Roadmap out of lockdown
The Prime Minister has announced a Roadmap to guide businesses and the public out of the national lockdown, with key dates for reopening and easing of restrictions. The government have published the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. This is a step-by-step plan to ease restrictions in England cautiously.
All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must currently remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues are not currently able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.
Essential shops and garden centres can remain open. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos are still closed, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can open, to be used for exercise. Playgrounds have also been able to remain open.
In July 2020, we put in place several temporary road closures and suspended bays in the district in order to help facilitate social distancing and prevent overcrowding. These changes were part of a raft of Reopening High Streets Safely (RHSS) temporary measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
For background, the measures introduced in consultation with the Highways Authority (Kent County Council) were:
- Temporarily suspending 14 parking bays along Harbour Parade in Ramsgate, from Little Ships through to The Queens Head, in order to widen the pavement.
- Temporarily shutting off The Parade in Margate which is very narrow.
- Limiting traffic by making King Street, Market Street and Lombard Street in Margate Old Town access only.
- Converting the decommissioned bus stop on the main seafront section of The Parade (Margate) into a loading bay to help support businesses. Civil Enforcement Officers are carrying out targeted enforcement in this area while the change embeds.
Following a recent Cabinet meeting, Members have decided to:
- Extend the suspension of the parking bays along Harbour Parade in Ramsgate
- Reinstate six parking spaces along Lombard Street, in Margate Old Town, opposite Market Place.
- Reopen The Parade (piazza area) in the Margate Old Town including parking spaces.
- Extend the closures of King Street and Lombard Street in the Margate Old Town.
These measures will remain under constant review.
You can have your say on these changes and make suggestions via email: email@example.com
Covid-19 Street Wardens
New COVID-19 Street Wardens were introduced in Thanet’s high streets and town centres on Monday 26 October. Their role will focus on providing information, guidance and advice to the public. It will not be their responsibility to enforce any of the current COVID-19 regulations and the Street Wardens do not have enforcement powers.
In the event that enforcement is required, this activity will be conducted separately by suitably trained Environmental Health Officers.
There will be two teams of two COVID-19 Street Wardens who will be out and about daily, between 9am and 6pm. They will cover Margate High Street, the Old Town and Northdown Road, Broadstairs and Ramsgate High Streets as well as Birchington and Westgate.
The street wardens will be easily identified by their distinctive high visibility vests and will be trained to manage conflict. They will focus on proactively helping to manage pedestrian flow and queues, encourage people to adhere to social distancing, and remind them of the need to wear face coverings in essential retail stores unless exempt.
Additional enforcement capacity
Three new COVID-19 Ambassadors were introduced from 24 November to ensure Thanet’s businesses follow regulations.
They will support the council’s Environmental Health team and visit the 1,400 food and licensed premises in the district to provide advice and guidance on how to comply with the current COVID-19 legislation.
Ambassadors, who have considerable professional experience from uniformed services, have been given a full training programme and will be:
- Educating and explaining COVID-19 Secure guidelines for business premises
- Identifying and supporting businesses and premises not following guidelines, escalating as appropriate
- Leaving a help-sheet, signposting businesses to government guidance as well as the council’s business advice, environmental health and licensing webpages
- Checking and promoting the visibility of COVID-19 Secure messaging.
Reports of breaches will be passed to the Council’s Environmental Health Officers who will then carry out any subsequent enforcement action.
Our Environmental Health team will once again take tough action against those businesses who defy the rules. Anyone with information about premises in breach of the regulations can report it confidentially on 101 or 01843 577000 or email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org.Permalink
Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Please note that face coverings remain mandatory in these premises.
On 9 November, the Government updated the guidance for working safely during coronavirus to include information for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways.
Read more information about staying alert and safe (social distancing).
Guide for safe shopping
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has produced a short guide for the public on how to keep themselves safe while they shop for essential goods.
The guide can be downloaded by following this link. It may be useful to read and understand what the public are being encouraged to do as they carry out essential shopping.Permalink
To help support high street retail and footfall, the Council provides free parking every Saturday at:
- Mill Lane Car Park – Margate
- Harold Road Car Park – Cliftonville
- St Peter’s Park Road Car Park – Broadstairs
- Cannon Road Car Park – Ramsgate
If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.
Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing.
If you need to use public transport, the government has issued guidance on travelling safely during the coronavirus outbreak.
Do not use public transport if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
It is compulsory for anyone travelling on public transport to wear face coverings. Before travelling, people should check with their operator for details on service provision and travel advice, which includes:
- Allowing people to exit before alighting
- Avoiding touching anything on buses / trains/ metros where possible
- Carrying and using hand sanitiser when you travel
- Washing hands before and after journeys
- Avoiding crowding at doors when boarding
- Maintaining a safe distance from other passengers, drivers and conductors
- Using contactless payments where possible
- Under the Public Health Act those not following the rules could be fined and transport operators will be able to refuse entry to people who do not wear face coverings.