ON THE AGENDA

COVID-19 Coronavirus Information & Advice

The ‘Coronavirus’ pandemic is firstly a health emergency, but an economic and social emergency.

Below is the latest advice and information for businesses.


West Berkshire Council

A NUMBER of organisations from across West Berkshire have come together to offer help and support to residents during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

West Berkshire Council has teamed up with the voluntary and charity sectors to launch a Community Support Hub where people can go for advice and information.

The aim of the hub is to try to keep people updated on the situation and let them know what they can do and where they can get help if they need it.

The hub has also been set up to ensure that the district’s elderly and most vulnerable residents have access to food, medication and anything else they need.

Organisations including Newbury Soup Kitchen, West Berkshire Foodbank, Citizens Advice West Berkshire, the Community Furniture Project, Volunteer Centre West Berkshire, Healthwatch West Berkshire, Greenham Trust and Newbury Weekly News are all involved.

The initial meeting of the community hub was held on Monday and the group intend to convene every Monday going forward to discuss how best to communicate with residents.

A dedicated website has been set up at https://info.westberks.gov.uk/coronavirus and there is also a telephone number people can call if they need to – (01635) 503579.

Those wishing to volunteer their time or services can also call this number and they will be directed to whichever organisation or area is relevant.

GOVERNMENT ADVICE AND USEFUL LINKS


SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

The government has announced a new package of support for businesses. The Prime Minister said “the government will do whatever it takes to support the UK economy.”

  • £330bn of government-backed and guaranteed loans.
  • Loans of up to £5m for businesses with the first 6 months interest free.
  • Business rates holiday” extended to ALL retail, hospitality, leisure businesses and nurseries for 12 months (as originally announced in The Budget).
  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
  • Business rate allowance for pubs with a rateable value of up to £100,000 of a £5,000 discount.
  • Statutory Sick Pay for businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full.
  • HMRC COVID-19 telephone helpline (HMRC will waive late payment penalties where a business experiences administrative difficulties contacting HMRC or paying taxes due to COVID-19).
  • Cash grants for up to £25,000 for smaller retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
  • £10,000 cash grants for the smallest businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief.
  • Mortgage lenders will offer a 3 month “mortgage payment holiday”.
  • Pubs and restaurants have been allowed to provide takeaways without planning application.
  • A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.

Read the full details of the latest support package from government here.

Details of how businesses can access this support will become available in the coming days.

For further guidance for employers and businesses, please visit the government website.

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