COVID-19 - Business Update 26/3/21

Latest business update for Southend businesses.

Are you looking forward to meeting up with friends and family outside from 29 March 2021? Perhaps you are also preparing to reopen or more fully open your business from 12 April. To remain on track for a summer with fewer restrictions, we need to continue to do all we can to keep COVID-19 rates falling so:

  • 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


  • If nothing else - please remember:

Hands face space logo

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.  There have been a few announcements over the past weeks that will support business to trade safely.

Restart Grants

Restart Grants help eligible business to reopen safely and responsibly and will be available from 1 April 2021.

Eligible businesses in the non-essential retail sector may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 from the council.

Eligible businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 from the council.

Your business may be eligible if it is:

  • based in England
  • rate-paying
  • in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care or gym sectors
  • trading on 1 April 2021

The council is preparing guidance for the local scheme and will publish information about it here.

Grants (up to £5k) are also available for independent businesses and vacant units located within central Southend (providing the business does not have more than five stores nationally), to enhance their shopfronts. The grant is available to cover up to 75% of the project’s costs, with the remaining 25% being funded by the business owner. Further information, including a map of the areas eligible for the scheme which includes the High Street and surrounding streets, can be seen here:

Roadmap to Recovery Briefing

To help businesses, voluntary/community organisations and event organisers prepare for reopening in COVID safe way, the briefing will host 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:

Risk Assessments

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.


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.

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.

  • The council’s COVID-19 advice pages for businesses are regularly updated with new advice and guidance from central government.
  • You can also check out the latest announcements from central government including the latest advice about reopening.
  • To receive a monthly newsletter with useful information including support available for businesses throughout COVID-19 recovery and beyond email and ask to be included on the Southend Business Partnership newsletter.
  • 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: 29th March 2021