We're supporting you during the latest national restrictions
The application process for Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses) is now open
A lockdown, starting 5 November 2020, is going to hit our local businesses hard as well as those who are self employed across the district. We understand that for many businesses this will be a challenging winter and we are here to give advice and support to all Thanet businesses, large and small.
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.
Guidance and support
- Business Grants for closed business
The government has announced support for businesses following the latest national lockdown.
Applications are now open for local businesses to apply here. Businesses that have been impacted by the national lockdown, are encouraged to apply to receive funding from either the national or discretionary business support grants:
- National: Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum scheme for businesses that pay business rates and have been legally required to close as a result of the national lockdown restrictions.
- Discretionary: Additional Restrictions Grants scheme which is the discretionary part of the above and will provide support for other businesses significantly affected by national restrictions.
- Furlough Scheme extended (November 2, 2020 at 10.05am)
The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough Scheme – will remain open until end 31 March 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
Self-employed, freelance and contract workers
- 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.
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:
- All non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
- Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.
- Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens.
- Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.
Playgrounds can remain open.
Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.
Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.
Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.
A helpful summary of what the restrictions mean can be found here.
A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:
- The NHS and medical services like GPs. We are supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.
- Jobcentre Plus sites
- Civil Registrations Offices
Temporary changes to high streets in Thanet
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.
These measures have now been trialled for an initial period of three months. Decisions have now been made to:
- Extend the suspension of the parking bays along Harbour Parade in Ramsgate
- Install planters along Harbour Parade, Ramsgate in place of the red and white barriers. These will be installed and maintained by Ramsgate Town Council
- Reinstate six parking spaces along Lombard Street, in Margate Old Town, opposite Market Place from 7 October 2020. The other spaces will remain suspended for the time being, however this will be kept 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
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
General retail business information
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
The government has issued guidance on travelling safely during the coronavirus outbreak.
Only use public transport if you have no other travel options. This keeps services safe and available for those who need them most. Where possible, walking and cycling should be the first choice of travel whilst maintaining social distancing.
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.