COVID-19 - Business Update 08/02/2021

Latest business news for Southend businesses.

You will have heard in the press that the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 is falling across most of the country and this is obviously good news.  However, it is important that we are not complacent or let our guard down – the number of cases where a person tests positive but with no or few symptoms is still high - this means you could be spreading a potentially deadly disease your loved ones and colleagues without realising it.  To avoid passing it on get tested regularly and remember:

Get tested

If your staff must leave home for work, please encourage them to go for a regular weekly test for COVID-19 at one of the Southend drop-in Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing sites in Southend.  People testing positive following a LDF are now legally required to self-isolate – a positive LDF test will trigger contact-tracing mechanisms as well as relevant isolation payments. 

The sites are based at St Aiden’s Church Hall in Leigh/Eastwood; Shoebury Youth Centre in Shoebury and Southend University Square in central Southend. You can book a slot for a test via or you can just drop-in to one of the centres without an appointment. 

www.southend.gov.uk/university-square-lfd-booking

www.southend.gov.uk/st-aidans-lfd-booking

www.southend.gov.uk/shoebury-lfd-booking

FAQ’s available at ion the Southend Borough Council's Website 

Workplace Reporting & Testing

It is easier than ever to report cases, get support and run workplace testing. 

Reporting - If a member of your staff informs you they have tested positive for COVID-19 you should report this to Southend Borough Council.  You can do this by calling 01702 212497 or by email,  By reporting cases you may also be eligible to access COVID-19 tests to screen your staff on site to help limit infections in your workplace and support with business continuity.  The council can also provide you with help and support that could keep your business trading safely throughout the pandemic.

Testing PCR  - If it is easier or more effective for your business the council can provide PCR tests that can be administered in your workplace.  Your staff members will self-administer the test and send it back without need for you to see their personal details – they should get results in 2 days.

Testing LFD - Alternatively, NHS Test and Trace is working with government departments, institutions and employers across both public and private sectors to support delivery of asymptomatic testing (LFD testing) to large organisations, including those providing critical services. Delivery will be through on-site testing in the workplace. If you have public or private institutions in your area interested in establishing workplace testing then please direct them to p-and-psector@dhsc.gov.uk. More information will be shared in due course.

Grants

Information about Grants available to businesses affected by COVID-19 can be found here– the council is now using a single application form for most grants and you only need to apply once.

The deadline for the Christmas Support Payment (CSP), which supports wet-led pubs – those not selling food, has been extended to 28 February 2012.  Find more information and an application form here.

The Additional Restrictions Grant policy will be finalised shortly and more information will be shared as to eligibility, deadlines and forms.

If you have questions about grants available please direct them to the business rates team at the council.  If you need to discuss your ongoing grant application and it has been 10 days or more since your submission please call 01702 215001 or email .

Get cash-back for taking on a young person

We know that COVID-19 has hit young people agenda 16 – 24 particularly hard – there are fewer entry level jobs and older people with skills and work experience are also looking for work. Your business can help young people to start work experience and you will be entitled to a cash reward to do so.  Businesses can now apply for a £1000 cash boost to help cover the cost of taking on new trainees. The cash boost is available until 31 July 2021 and will help businesses with the cost of providing a high-quality placement for a trainee. Businesses offering new traineeship opportunities will receive the £1,000 bonus for every trainee they take on, with up to a maximum of 10 trainees. Employers can claim the cash incentive for all work placements that have been completed since 1 September. If you would like help with finding a trainee please contact the council’s economic development team via economicd@southend.gov.uk.

Published: 8th February 2021