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        Business Advice

        We're supporting you through the latest government restrictions

        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 have now submitted our action plan outlining proposed activities to be delivered through the Council’s Welcome Back Fund allocation.  

        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.

        Please visit our general Business Support Grants , or Restart Grants pages for information on financial support available.

        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 highstreets@thanet.gov.uk.

        If you are a local Thanet Business, we have created a new Facebook Group to provide you with help and support during this time www.facebook.com/groups/ThanetBusinessSupport
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        Welcoming People Back 

        In April 2021 Government announced that Thanet District Council would receive an allocation of £191,456 from the Welcome Back Fund

        The fund will allow local authorities in England to put in place additional measures to create and promote a safe environment for local trade and tourism – particularly in high streets – as their businesses reopen following the pandemic. 

        Part of the allocation  is funding for coastal resorts across England, helping to support specific areas to prepare to welcome holiday makers back safely this summer. The funding will build on the activities delivered through the Council’s Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) allocation from 2020, and will be able to be used to support a more general ‘welcoming people back’ message, rather than focussing on Covid-safety measures and reopening high streets. 

        Each local authority that has been allocated funding is required to submit an Action Plan for approval, which outlines proposed activities and how the funding will be spent. As with the previous programme of funding for opening the high streets there are very strict criteria on what the funding will cover, and how it can be spent.

        Thanet District Council has developed an Action Plan following engagement with Council members and the  Town and Parish councils.  It was agreed by Council Members that £65,000 of the funding, which was specifically allocated to Thanet for being a coastal resort, will be used to bolster the Council’s existing Beach Management Plan.

        The council submitted the Action Plan on Tuesday 8 June and is now awaiting approval of funds from Central Government.  Once the plan is approved, a grant agreement will be updated.* 

        A time limit of the end of March 2022 has been set for this money to be spent. However, it is anticipated that most of the spend will need to happen in the first few months this summer when large numbers of visitors are likely to come to Thanet. 

        More information about the Welcome Back Fund and what activities are in and out of scope, as well as information about what is eligible for the funding, can be found in the full guidance. An up to date summary of information can be found in Frequently Asked Questions.

        Activities included in the Thanet’s Action Plan: 

        The council has identified key activities to be delivered across its high streets, seafronts and promenades. These activities are based on the priorities identified, the parameters of the funding, and how they compliment/build on existing work of the Council. These are provisional allocations which will need to be approved by Government and there will be an opportunity to adapt activities as needs and priorities emerge during the summer. 

        The Council will engage with businesses and Town and Parish Councils as the detailed delivery is defined.   The overview of allocations is currently as follows:

        • Signage and communication activity  – £30,956
        • Temporary traffic measures (including road closures and parking bay suspensions to aid social distancing)  – £10,000 
        • Direct local business support – £30,000 (including continuation of our external Business Support Consultant)
        • Management, claiming, monitoring and evaluation of the fund – £23,000 
        • Footfall and spend data – £10,500 (this is a requirement of our monitoring and evaluation)
        • Planting and maintenance – £22,000
        • Allocation to Beach Management Plan – £65, 000 (activities identified include; additional cleansing, beach safety signage, litter stations, cameras and public messaging)

        The Council is not able to claim any funding until the grant agreements are signed off and will not spend any funding at risk during this time. 

        To contact Sharon, the Council’s dedicated Business Support Consultant please email highstreets@thanet.gov.uk

         

         

         

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        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.

         

        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

         

         

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        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.

         

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        Margate Old Town traffic measures survey

        Thanet District Council would value the input of businesses, residents and other people who are impacted by the traffic measures in the Old Town through this short survey.

        The traffic measures currently in place include parking bay suspensions in Market Street/Lombard Street, New Cross Street and Love Lane; road closures on King Street and Market Street/Lombard Street and other changes of traffic flow.

        We know that there have been some challenges with these traffic measures and also a lot of support. The results of this survey will be used to help us understand the views of local people and businesses, as well as the impact of the traffic measures. We want to understand how well the scheme has worked and what improvements could be considered, particularly as there is an opportunity to extend through the Welcome Back Fund which is about making spaces more welcoming and encouraging footfall for local businesses.

        This survey, alongside other evidence, will ensure that informed decisions can be made about future traffic measures in the Old Town and/or potential alterations to the scheme. The information gathered will be shared with different service areas within the Council, Cabinet and lower tier authorities such as town and parish councils as well as town partners.

        This deadline for responses to this survey is 9am on Tuesday 10 August, 2021.

        If you have any queries or face any issues with completing this from, please contact highstreets@thanet.gov.uk

        Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback and views.

        Background

        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.

        Members subsequently decided to:

        • Extend the suspension of the parking bays along Harbour Parade in Ramsgate
        • Reinstate six diagonal parking spaces along Lombard Street, in Margate Old Town, opposite Market Place, adjacent to the Wig & Pen public house.
        • 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.

        The council is committed to getting a balanced view from businesses and residents regarding the benefits of the measures and any issues in order to make informed decisions.

        These measures will remain under constant review.

        You can have your say on these changes and make suggestions at anytime via email: highstreets@thanet.gov.uk

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        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.

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        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
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        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. 
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