COVID-19 - BUSINESS UPDATE 19/3/21

Latest business update for Southend businesses.

Approximately 95% of children in Southend have successfully returned to school, which is great news and means we remain on track for a summer with fewer restrictions. However, we need to continue to do all we can to keep COVID-19 rates falling. If you must leave your home to work:

  • Regular weekly testing is absolutely essential,
  • If you or colleagues have a close contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19 then please self-isolate,
  • Consider and manage the risks of your business re-opening or trading more widely and if nothing else please remember:

Roadmap to recovery - getting ready to reopen

Many businesses are preparing to reopen from 12 April 2021 and some useful information has been published about Working safely during COVID-19, particularly for Heritage locationsHotels and other guest accommodationPerforming arts and the Visitor economy.

We strongly encourage all businesses; voluntary and community settings preparing to reopen or open more fully to complete a Health & Safety Executive COVID-19 risk assessment. The assessment will help you:

  • Identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
  • Think about who could be at risk
  • Decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • Act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk

You might also seek additional guidance from a trade body, membership, or sector leading organisation such as the CITB or UK Hospitality.

Roadmap to Recovery – a dedicated briefing event for Southend

To help businesses, voluntary/community organisations and event organisers prepare for reopening in COVID safe way, the council are hosting a Roadmap to Recovery briefing. This will feature an expert panel of public health, community and public safety specialists. The event will address:

  • Southend’s economic recovery, with by Emma Cooney, Director of Regeneration & Growth
  • The key public health messages, with Krishna Ramkhelawon, Director of Public Health
  • The latest regulatory information and expectations on community safety, with Carl Robinson, Director of Public Protection

Following this, there will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

The briefing takes place on Tuesday 30 March between 3:00pm and 4:00pm. Please register to attend here

Testing

Regular weekly testing for everyone leaving home for work is a way of controlling COVID-19. Testing is available at one of the Southend drop-in Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing sites - please check here for the latest information. LDF test centre locations will change over the coming weeks and months as various community spaces resume their usual functions, so make sure you check the website before setting off for your test.

Grants

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

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is available now. ARG has been created to not only support several of the Government suggested priority sectors but also to support a wider number of local businesses that have received no Government financial support in Southend-on-Sea – the closing date for most applications is 23 March 2021.

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 

More information & staying up to date

Information and guidance on COVID-19 changes regularly and it can be difficult to keep up – there are four excellent ways of staying on top of the latest announcements and getting new information about doing business in Southend.

  1. The council’s COVID-19 advice pages for businesses are regularly updated with new advice and guidance from central government.
  2. You can also check out the latest announcements from central government including the latest advice about reopening.
  3.  To receive a monthly newsletter with useful information including support available for businesses throughout COVID-19 recovery and beyond email economicd@southend.gov.uk and ask to be included on the Southend Business Partnership newsletter.
  4. A number of "Community Connectors" are currently helping pass on or signpost people to facts and support about the pandemic. Could this be you? Southend on Sea Borough Council, SAVS and partner organisations are reaching out to those who already share information in their community and could help this way. If you could help, please see this page for more info

Published: 22nd March 2021