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September 20 Edition: Southend Business Partnership Newsletter

Published: Friday, 4th September 2020

The latest Southend Business Partnership news for September 2020

Southend Business Partnership Briefing 10 September 8:30 - 10am

Please click here to attend our first virtual briefing on Thursday 10th September, 8:30am - 10am, which aims to help businesses achieve "clean" growth. Featured will be a preview of the new IPECO building on the Airport Business Park which has incorporated a number of clean growth initiatives, which will save it money and provide a competitive advantage in the coming years.

Our speakers at the briefing will share with you what you can do within your businesses to reduce costs, reduce emissions and increase efficiency; all of which are needed during this challenging trading period. Monetary grants and expertise are available to achieve these benefits, through a range of initiatives. Click here for more information or to book a place.

COVID 19 - Contact tracing

It has been raised through a national audit that the safety of customers is being put at risk by some establishments, who are relying on their customers to record and leave contact details in logs. These records are being copied and individuals harassed in some instances. Businesses are asked to ensure these logs are comprehensively captured with time and date details, that they are maintained securely and that the details are disposed of after 21 days. Staff capturing information themselves also removes the risk of infection transmission on shared pen and paper. See guidance by clicking here.

Businesses are reminded of the importance of maintaining new COVID-19 procedures to prevent the transmission of the infection.

Southend on Sea Borough Council has increased its testing capacity and it is essential that we work together to prevent transmission. If as a business owner you have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within your workforce or on your premises, please ensure you immediately call 0300 303 8537 and select Option 1.

This will trigger an immediate response from both East of England Health Protection Team and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

COVID-19 - Prevent the spread of the virus

It is vital that anyone who has tested positive for the virus completely self isolates for at least 10 days to protect others and to stop the spread of the virus.

Anyone living with someone who has the symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus will need to self isolate for 14 days from the day the person in their home or support bubble first has symptoms, even if their symptoms do not start until after they have had a positive test result.

Employees are eligible to receive statutory sick pay for 10 days from the day they tell their employer. Those who have to self-isolate because they live with someone with symptoms or have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace can get at least 14 days statutory sick pay.

In both cases they may need to send their employer an isolation note to prove they need to stay off work.

COVID-19 - Posters and soical media posts to support businesses

Please see the link to access resources which can be used within your setting to support your COVID-19 messages about, symptoms, testing, isolation etc. Please click here  or use the SouthendBID website

COVID-19 Grants and Funding

Southend on Sea Borough Council were able to open the Discretionary Grants scheme up to businesses working from home premises on Tuesday 25th August and as a result saw a number of new applications. The Business Rates team will be reviewing all the applications received in order to make all payments by the end of September 2020.

 COVID-19 Scams

Unfortunately we have heard from the police that there has been an increase in COVID-19 related scams. Please click here for more information and please share as appropriate to keep your customers and staff safe.

COVID-19 Business Briefing

Southend on Sea Borough Council hosted a COVID-19 business event on Tuesday 2nd September. Over 40 businesses attended and were able to discuss their concerns and raise questions. The key message is that we need to work together to keep the infection rate down as the risk is not over. Southend now has its own walk in centre for testing to complement the mobile centre at Southend Airport which has increased its operation to three days a week. This increase in testing will result in a higher detection rate but will also help us to contain the virus. Please use the information provided to ensure compliance with the guidance which can be found on the council website  and also on the SouthendBID website where you will find links to pdf posters and action cards.

Redundancy support

Southend on Sea Borough Council has prepared redundancy support information for individuals who face redundancy. If you are aware of any individuals who are in this situation please refer them to this our website

Can you help us by being a Community Connector?

A Community Connector is someone who is well connected and a valued member of their community. They help pass on or signpost people to facts and support about the pandemic.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Southend Association of Voluntary Services and partner organisations are reaching out to those who already share information in their community and could help this way. There’s a simple sign-up form to fill out which will let us know how you would like us to share information with you, which you can then pass on to your community. 

We don’t want to give you extra work or take up lots of your time, so are just asking that you share information in your normal ways (like in newsletters or at meetings) and let us know anything you hear during conversations with your community.

 If this sounds like something you could get involved with, please click here to apply.

Childcare to enable employees back into work and to increase hours

For many employees and protential employees, childcare can be a worry. The information linked below may be useful to your staff, in letting them know what childcare support is available and how to choose the best childcare option for their circumstances. Please click here fore more information. 

Southend Procurement Online event- 23 September 9-10am

Are you aware that there have been changes in the way Southend on Sea Council secure suppliers for minor and medium sized contracts, placing a requirement on Council officers, wherever possible to secure quotes from locally based suppliers? If this has got your attention and you want to join the Local Supplier list then you need to come to this workshop. Register at https://sbcprocurement2020.eventbrite.co.uk 

Kickstart programme opens - enabling employers to offer paid 6 month work experience 

As part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.

The 6 month placements are open to those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. They will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales. The first placements are likely to be available from November.  Please click here for more information. If your would like to join with other employers as you are able to offer less than 30 places please contact Southend on Sea Borough Council.

BEST Growth Hub Show

BEST Growth Hub (Business Essex, Southend and Thurock) have now organised a date for the next briefing and from the feedback on Essex County Council/Local Authority and Business Intermediary calls they felt the briefing should be focused on supporting businesses through these uncertain times.

As a result there is a wide ranging agenda  including the new start up programme for entrepreneurs, the new government initiatives on getting people into work/careers/apprenticeships or training, support on redundancies and health and well being as well as grant funding and other support available.  The meeting will include 30 minutes of Q&A's. Please click here for more information or to register.