COVID-19 Business Update 17.12.2020

Covid-19 Update for Southend Businesses

Just a short note to let you know that new grant payment forms are available to apply for:

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) – 2 December 2020 – current – this is for businesses in specific sectors that have been mandated to close since 23 March 2020 due to restrictions being put in place to manage coronavirus – they include: Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) – 2 December 2020 to current. This grant is for businesses mandated to close as a result of the move to tier 2 from 2nd December and/or tier 3 from the 16th December

    The full list of grants available can be found on the council website

The application form for:

  • Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)  - this is a discretionary grant and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council are currently working to determine the criteria for eligibility. The council wants to focus the support on those businesses who have not previously received support, who are Southend businesses and who have been severely affected by the pandemic. 
  • Local Restrictions Support grant (open) – this grant is for businesses whose business has been severely affected by the pandemic even though they have not been mandated to close.
  • Wet pubs grant – this is for pubs which do not serve food, so have not been able to open due to tier 2 and tier 3 restrictions.

 The application forms for all these grants will be available via the website in the New Year. Click here for more information 

Other COVID-19 news

If you have a confirmed COVID-19 case within your workforce
We would ask any business with a confirmed case within Southend to inform the council COVID-19 Helpline on 01702 212497 or email. This will allow us to work with the business to reduce the spread of the virus and support the track and trace processes. 
Normal opening hours up to and including 24th December are 9am-5pm and reopen 29 Dec until and including 31st December (9am-5pm) and then re-open 4th January.

Furlough and loan schemes extended
The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages – giving businesses and employees across the UK certainty into the New Year. Click here for more information.

Reduced VAT rate on admissions to some attractions
A new temporary reduced rate of VAT of 5% was announced on 8 July 2020 for admission to certain attractions. This temporary rate will apply from 15 July 2020 to 31 March 2021. For more information click here 
Updated guidance has been issued relating to restrictions on certain businesses
This guidance sets out restrictions on certain businesses and venues in England under the different local COVID alert levels. Click here to access the new guidance

Business Q&A session re COVID response
If you would be interested in attending an interactive Question and Answer session with representatives from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council including the organisation’s Director of Public Health Krishna Ramkhelawon and officers from the Regulatory Service team and Essex Police, to discuss the new Tier 3 and current trading concerns, then please click here and we will ensure you are invited to the next meeting.

Southend on Sea Borough Council Briefing on the Draft 2021 – 2022 Budget
This is an opportunity for the Business and Voluntary Sector to hear the key details of the draft budget and how it meets the Southend 2050 outcomes. Attendees of the briefing will have the opportunity to discuss the Budget with key members of the Council prior to it going through the cabinet process for discussion and approval. To find out more or to book a place on this virtual briefing please click here.


Published: 18th December 2020