News

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for businesses

A useful guide to the latest advice and guidance for businesses 

Communication 27.05

LATEST GUIDANCE

The Government announced last night that non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.

Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/index.htm

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb9703de90e07082fa57ce0/working-safely-during-covid-19-shops-branches-v1.1-250520.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/5-steps-to-working-safely

I will be in touch directly with those of you who have indicated in the survey that you could do with some advice on this issue. If anyone else needs some direction, then please do get in touch.  

WDBC will be in receipt of a ‘Reopening High Streets Safely fund’ which Tavistock expects to benefit from. The guidance has four strands of activity:   

  • Support to develop an action plan for how the local authority may begin to safely reopen their local economies.

  • Communications and public information activity to ensure that reopening of local economies can be managed successfully and safely:

  • Business-facing awareness raising activities to ensure that reopening of local economies can be managed successfully and safely.

  • Temporary public realm changes to ensure that reopening of local economies can be managed successfully and safely

 

WHAT WE ARE DOING

Town Centre Management re: social distancing: working with DCC, WDBC and TTC we have discussed a number of options and hope that we will get an idea of how we can move forward with plans for the town centre in the next few days. The preferred options at present are the removal of certain parking bays at pinch points to enable pedestrians to step out into the road safely, the implementation of a 10mph speed limit throughout town and possibly an advisory one-way system on the pavements of the main streets. The signage required for the town reminding people to keep safe and remember social distancing is also high on the agenda.

 

Street graphics for social distancing outside shops: discussions underway with City Dressing and Tavi Signs with a view to designing appropriate street graphics featuring town branding and historical facts for the pavements. 

Recovery Plan: this has been circulated within WDBC and TTC. It is forming the basis for ongoing discussions with our primary stakeholders and has been received well. The results of the survey will further inform how we push forward – thanks to all of you who have taken the time to get involved and let us know your views. 

Business signage: discussing options for preferred rates with Tavi Signs. 

Business PPE: several you have expressed interest in the provision of PPE, including Perspex screens, for your businesses. We are looking into what is possible and will publish further details in due course. 

E-Commerce platform: the survey has so far indicated overwhelming support for an e-commerce platform on Visit Tavistock. As a result, we are looking into the costs involved and how we might make this happen. 

Click & Collect: this was not given as an option in the survey but has been suggested by Nicky @ Inside Out. We think this would be a good support mechanism for town businesses and would ask for your thoughts on the proposition. In the meantime, we are looking at how this could work.

 

Public survey: we are looking at creating a public survey based on some of the questions in the BID Recovery survey. The question is do you think this will add value and is it of relevance to understand public opinion on the same proposals for town recovery? 

 

BID SURVEY

If you have not already completed this then please do so. Your views are really fundamental in terms of how we move forward and which projects we focus on.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VZZ6RQV

 

TOWN APP & MARKETING

If you have recently re-opened or have changed the way you operate / what you offer, please make sure that take advantage of marketing opportunities provided by both the Town App and Visit-Tavistock website listings.

 

HANGING BASKETS

These are ready and waiting for us. We are working on a plan with TTC as to how we can safely abide by social distancing regs to hang them and water them. Once there is an update on this, we will advise. 

 

It is wonderful to see many of you taking steps to re-opening and we are here to support in any way that we can. Any questions or requests for assistance, let me know.  Janna

 

Janna Sanders

Manager, Tavistock BID

Email: jannatavistockbid@gmail.com

Communication 11.05

 

LOCKDOWN ROADMAP

The Government announced tonight that a slow re-opening of shops will begin in early June. The BID has already initiated discussions around the opening of the town centre and is in the process of creating a working group with WDBC and town council on how to steer the re-opening in terms of managing social distancing in the town, queuing outside businesses, one way systems, the use of public spaces and safe seating. We will also look at potential hot spots or pinch points and how best to manage those and also consider the need for stewarding within the town centre.  

We have begun discussions with City Dressing with a view to them providing us with some appropriate graphics for the pavements and streets. 

GUIDANCE FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR BUSINESSES

Guidance on ‘Social Distancing for Non-Food Retail Stores’ can be found here: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/BRCguide

Guidance on a’ Safe Return to Work’ can be found here: 
https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/tuc-proposals-ensuring-safe-return-work

 

RECOVERY PLANS

We have started our strategy for the recovery of our town centre. A consultation survey will be circulated this week to determine what you want to happen during the ‘Recovery’ period. 

BID RESILIENCE FUND

A fund of 6.1m has been allocated for the BIDs in England. The grant will be distributed to us via WDBC and we are in the process of applying for it. We expect to receive about £4,000 which will go towards our recovery plan. Thanks go to our MP, Geoffrey Cox, for lobbying central government on our behalf. 

TOURISM INDUSTRY STANDARD QUALITY MARK – COVID19

Visit Britain is developing a common industry standard quality mark that will provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism businesses, attractions and destinations, as well as reassurance to visitors that businesses have clear processes in place as restrictions are lifted. We are monitoring this and will advise when the process is up and running: 
https://www.visitbritain.org/new-industry-standard-development-response-covid-19?fbclid=IwAR11xIV5wjsFArfO8PtsMVHUKBcCB7EZgs03sQbzU8OdQx4J9KCP590fgrA#utm_source=vebiz_linkedin&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=industry_standard

LATEST FROM WEST DEVON

We have taken part in the first two forums for Tavistock – focusing on business and tourism. The main aim of the groups is to form ideas for creating a resilient, green and balanced new economy once the town re-opens. Discussions were held about how WDBC could help with a platform for promoting ecommerce among town businesses under the Visit-Tavistock umbrella and how it could also go about supporting landlords. The tourism forum raised some good thoughts around focusing on local tourism and the Visit England assessment scheme to promote confidence among consumers. 
https://westdevon.gov.uk/covid19business

TOWN APP & MARKETING

If you have recently re-opened or have changed the way you operate / what you offer, please make sure that take advantage of marketing opportunities provided by both the Town App and Visit-Tavistock website listings.

 

 

BID Update 27.04

 

RENT COLLECTION

You will have seen the announcement of the government’s intention to legislate to prevent statutory demands, winding-up orders and commercial rent arrears recovery being pursued by commercial landlords during the current period of disruption caused by Covid-19: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-protect-uk-high-street-from-aggressive-rent-collection-and-closure

At our recent Board meeting, held via Zoom on Wednesday, it was agreed that the position of the BID was to support and encourage landlords to work closely with their tenants to find an approach the works for both parties and, where possible, the desired approach is to provide free rent during this period if you are unable to trade from your premises.

Now that grant payments are largely completed, this is a priority for us moving forward. If any business requires our intervention on this issue, then please do get in touch.

LATEST FROM WEST DEVON

https://westdevon.gov.uk/covid19business

Throughout the borough £10,510,000 has been distributed to 886 businesses. 187 businesses have not responded to the letter inviting them to claim and we are working with WDBC to identify those who fall in the BID area and to assist with further communication.

 

TOWN APP

Please send over your details to be included on the town app – Tavistock Local. You can download it for free from Google Play or the Apple Store however, issues still continue with Google that are being dealt with. Either download the app, go to Menu / Register my business or email me directly, sending over a JPEG of the business.

 

NATIONAL TIME OUT CAMPAIGN

Hospitality business leaders have given their voices to a call for a nine-month rent-free period to help the sector survive the Coronavirus pandemic.

HTTPS://WWW.BIGHOSPITALITY.CO.UK/ARTICLE/2020/04/21/RESTAURANT-BOSSES-JOIN-THE-CALL-FOR-A-NINE-MONTH-NATIONAL-TIME-OUT-HOSPITALITY-CORONAVIRUS 


SW BIDs

A meeting of the 17 BIDs in the SW was held via Zoom last week. It was agreed that we would lobby central government collectively on the Raise the Bar and National Time Out Campaigns. See attachments for further details. Our next meeting – 6th May - will include the CEO of Heart of the SW LEP, David Ralph. If anyone has anything, they would like me to specifically raise on behalf of Tavistock then please let me know.

 

Any questions or requests for assistance, let me know.

 

Communication 17.04

 

LATEST FROM WEST DEVON

https://westdevon.gov.uk/covid19business

Various queries have been raised with the grant team at WDBC and are in process. Many of you will be on a payment run on Monday, which should be received by Wednesday. Priority is given at present to processing claims but individual queries should be resolved over the weekend. I will be in touch directly with those concerned with updates as and when I have them.

The team at WDBC is working hard with limited resources. If any others have concerns and would like my input, then please get in touch as I am in regular contact with the team and Cllr. Jory.


TOWN APP

The town app has launched. You can download it for free from Google Play or the Apple Store. If you have not registered to be part of it then please do so – download the app, go to Menu / Register my business. We would then ask you to showcase the app on your own marketing material and email sign-offs etc.

*There appears to be an issue with Android which we had been told was fixed - updates to follow. 

 

WEBSITE

We have updated the website with different sections to show the town’s response to COVID-19.

https://www.visit-tavistock.co.uk/covid-19

 

There is a list of those still able to provide delivery services.

#LoveTavi lists those businesses who have adapted and are now offering an alternative or more expanded service to their usual day-to-day operation.

 

If you would like to feature on either list and currently don’t, then email admin@tavistockbid.co.uk

 

TOWN GUIDE

The Guide has been printed and delivered to SW Publicity for further distribution. Due to the current lockdown, this will not happen until the relevant businesses re-open and are able to receive it. However, we are in a good position and ready for when this happens.

 

LATEST FROM NO. 10

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-businesses-bulletin-16-april-2020/

Job Retention Scheme - An important change has been made to the scheme extending employee eligibility:

  • Employers can now claim for employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.

  • Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

Please do review the links below if you would like more information about the scheme.
www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

PAY IT FORWARD CAMPAIGN

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/

The Govt Business Support campaign is working with Crowdfunder to build awareness about the support provided to small businesses through the Pay it Forward Campaign. Small businesses can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign to pre-sell their services and diversify trading now to ensure continuous cash flow. Crowdfunder is covering all platform and transaction fees making it free to small businesses. Enterprise Nation is providing access to free training and support for business, to help with online sales, marketing, cashflow, and diversifying, if necessary. This campaign is nationwide and you can someone who is self-employed, a micro or small businesses can take part.

 

 

Communication 06.04

 

Latest from West Devon:

https://westdevon.gov.uk/covid19business

 

Are any of you struggling to upload information to the WDBC website in order to make your grant claim? If so, Cllr. Jory would like you to contact him directly as he is keen to resolve any issues that may be occurring.
Cllr.Neil.Jory@westdevon.gov.uk

 

Just by way of update –

  • A team of 20 people on Saturday and around 10 on Sunday have been working on getting the grants out

  • 1,482 letters have been sent out and there have been 624 responses – a 42% return

  • The responses are being checked, anomalies corrected, and fraud checks carried out

  • 163 applications are being included in a BACS run today with grants totalling £2M to be paid Wednesday with the rest following in as short a time as possible

 
Please be aware that you will need to respond online and provide additional information. If you have any problems with any of this process then please let me or Cllr. Jory know.

 

All qualifying businesses should now have received a letter from WDBC. If you haven't received one and believe you are eligible, then please contact:

steve.henstock@swdevon.gov.uk

 

Alternatively, you can always contact me so that I can follow-up on your behalf or your local WDBC councillor.


Latest from No. 10
https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

Facebook: @businesssupportgovuk

Job Retention Scheme - The latest guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has just been published at the links below. We would draw your attention to:

• the more detailed information on scheme eligibility
• further information on the employees you can claim for
• further information on how to calculate a claim
• clarification of what constitutes wages.

Please do review the links below if you would like more information about the scheme.

www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

 

Levy Holiday – Along with lobbying our MP, Geoffrey Cox, we have joined up with other BIDs to request assistance in the form of a BID resilience fund which would allow us to grant a levy holiday for the forthcoming 2020-2021 year. I will obviously circulate information about this if we are successful.

 

Pay It Forward Campaign
https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/

The Govt Business Support campaign is working with Crowdfunder to build awareness about the support provided to small businesses through the Pay it Forward Campaign. Small businesses can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign to pre-sell their services and diversify trading now to ensure continuous cash flow. Crowdfunder is covering all platform and transaction fees making it free to small businesses. Enterprise Nation is providing access to free training and support for business, to help with online sales, marketing, cashflow, and diversifying, if necessary. This campaign is nationwide and you can someone who is self-employed, a micro or small businesses can take part.
 

Social Media
We are doing daily Facebook updates and are updating the website with delivery options and a focus on the amazing efforts you are all going to during this crisis. If you have a story to share or an update to existing business operations, then please let us know and we will be sure to include you.
admin@tavistockbid.co.uk

 

Recovery Ideas
Thoughts are already turning to a recovery plan for the town centre – initial ideas include a street party. If you have any ideas to share, we would be delighted to hear them.

 

 

Communication 26.03

 

Latest from No. 10:

Updated website: the UK Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. The Business Support website helps businesses find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the support measures that are available.

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

Facebook: @businesssupportgovuk

Job Retention Scheme: further details about the scheme have been released and can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme


Levy Holiday: I have lobbied our MP, Geoffrey Cox, to allow us to grant a levy holiday to mirror the one-year business rates holiday that government has enabled. I will obviously circulate information about this if we are successful.

Loan scheme: are any of you considering the loan scheme the government is proposing and do any of you have any feedback? I have concerns that the process it is not straight forward and that businesses may be forced to accept higher interest rates from their own banks potentially leaving them in insurmountable debt. I would be grateful to hear from any of you considering this option please as I would like to escalate through our MP. janna@tavistockbid.co.uk


Latest update from West Devon:

We are in regular touch with WDBC re: access to grant money. There are some important updates and timetables on the West Devon Borough Council website. https://westdevon.gov.uk/covid19business

 

Town APP

We are just waiting for the ok from Google and then it will be live. I will advise once that has happened.

 

Communication 21.03

 

Latest from No. 10: 

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Here you will find information on all the schemes available, including Job Retention for Employers. The Business Rate holiday will be applied automatically.  

Along with other BIDs and, for us, looking longer term to September, we are lobbying the Secretary of State to allow us to grant a levy holiday to mirror the one-year business rates holiday that government has enabled. 

Latest update from West Devon: 

We have been in touch with West Devon Borough Council for more information on when businesses can expect to receive communication from the Council about their eligibility for either the small business grant funding or grant funding for retail, hospitality and leisure. There is still no guidance from No. 10 on how this will work. As soon as I hear, this will be communicated. 

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKSWDEVON/bulletins/2824b14?fbclid=IwAR3KQe8ZBlnycTN32R1r4JF0wJo2dfN6WiTiPRmdTFF2RaLh5X9UiQ7HTSc

 

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKSWDEVON/bulletins/281dc29

There will be no reduction or removal of car parking charges at present. 

 

In Tavistock: 
There are a number of things that we are doing to encourage continued support of those still trading. 

#Tavistock BID – ‘Tavistock Local’ APP

 

We are busy developing an APP for the town that we hope will be launched by Tues/Weds of the coming week. The aim of the APP now is to guide people to what is on offer locally during the COVID-19 outbreak so if you want to be registered on it before launch, now is your chance:

https://www.clubwifi.co.uk/tavistocklocalshelp

  • Register your business and tell us what you are offering during the COVID-19 outbreak

  • If you are offering any kind of virtual events / offer, let me know and this will also be featured. 

The APP will go on to be the permanent town APP, with lots of other functions. 

 

#Tavistock Locals Help

  • Register your business if you provide delivery so it features on the list

  • Use TLH delivery service – if you don’t currently offer delivery, communicate to your clients the possibility of delivery to those self-isolating through Tavistock Locals Help. Receive order directly from customer, email to delivery@tavistocklocalshelp.co.uk, delivery will be arranged for next day. 

  • Register as a volunteer

  • COVID-19 guidance and help

 

#Tavistock BID – Visit Tavistock

  • Dedicated pages for the COVID-19 outbreak featuring

- Advice for Businesses and Public

-

#LoveTavi: special offers / changes to operating procedures / additional services being offered etc

  • Facebook – regular updates featuring details of what is on offer in town

Communication 13.03
 

​The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing concern for businesses across the country, and although there have been no confirmed cases in Tavistock as of yet, the government advice is to be prepared and to prevent the spread of any potential airborne viruses as much as possible. 

If your business is feeling the impact, you're in need of advice of how to prepare and communicate with your staff, or are looking for the latest guidance for dealing with customers in your business please find below a useful guide to information available. 

 

Guidance and advice: 

Simple steps you may wish to take: 

  • Refresh your business continuity plan and ensure clear communication of processes should self isolation be required

  • If staff are able to work from home ensure that they have the necessary equipment and tools to be able to do so should they need to self-isolate

  • Ensure staff contact details are up to date should people need to work from home

  • Increase messaging around hand washing, make sure toilets have soap available and that antibacterial wipes are available to clean down desks and working areas regularly

  • Communicate clearly with your customers the steps that you are taking to reduce risks

 

Budget 2020 COVID-19 Response 

Yesterday the government announced a number of measures in response to COVID-19 to support businesses, including: 

  • Business rates will be abolished this year for firms with a rateable value below £51,000. The rates relief will be expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors. 

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available to anyone advised to self-isolate. They will be able to get a sick note through 111 

  • The minimum income level will temporarily be removed from universal credit.

  • There will also be a £500m hardship fund for local authorities

  • The cost of a business having to have someone off work for up to 14 days will be refunded with £2bn allocated to cover firms that lose out because staff are off sick. This will apply to firms that employ fewer than 250 staff.

  • A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be introduced to support up to £1 billion

  • A £2.2 billion grant scheme for small businesses 

  • A dedicated helpline has been set up by HMRC for those who need a deferral period on their tax liabilities


As more information becomes available about these measures we will share and continue to communicate with you. 

A COVID-19 business support page will be set-up on ww.visit-tavistock.co.uk in order to house all this information in one place. It will also be kept up to date with the latest information.

Tavistock BID is here to help support businesses during this challenging time and in particular, we are keen to monitor the economic impact so that we can feed that back to local and national government and lobby for the support you need whilst the nation progresses through this situation over the coming weeks. Please do share with us information so that we can develop support mechanisms appropriately.


Need any further support?

 janna@tavistockbid.co.uk

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ADDRESS

Tavistock Visitor Information Centre, Courtgate,

Bedford Square,

Tavistock, Devon PL19 0AE

admin@tavistockbid.co.uk

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