A message from Heather Allen, BR BID Co-Ordinator
Last night’s announcement from Government outlining a second lockdown starting on Thursday 5th November is undoubtedly unwelcome news for you all. I can only speak to my own personal response, which was concern, anxiety and an overwhelming desire to go back to bed and put the covers over my head until it all goes away. But the cold logic of morning says that we have to get up, and we have to keep pushing through.
Tomorrow you’re going to receive a perky and upbeat video newsletter about how to get involved in the BID’s Christmas campaign for Bognor Regis, which, I imagine, you will very much want to ignore. Please can I encourage you to muster up every bit of grit and resilience you can find to open it, and commit to anything you can feasibly commit to?
The harsh reality is that, at this point in time, none of us know what the situation is going to be in December, but the plans the BID has been working on for Christmas were all designed to survive a lockdown, if needs be. It’s inevitable that there may be changes to time scales, that we’ll need to adapt some elements, and installation dates might move – that’s for me to worry about and resolve, but we will be pushing ahead, and we will make Bognor Regis town centre a place that people can enjoy being this Christmas – whatever restrictions are in place at the time.
We have to keep working together to make Bognor Regis Town Centre appealing to people as a place to be and enjoy, keeping local businesses at the forefront of their thinking and driving them to shop local wherever, whenever and however they can. On that note, I’ll be re-designing the look of the online High Street we established for Bognor Regis earlier this year, to tie it in with the Christmas campaign. If you’ve already created a listing, please log in to your account and make any changes needed to show how people will be able to access your services or stay in touch with you during lockdown. If you haven’t registered yet, now is a great time to do so – you’ll find full details of how to list on shoplocalbognorregis.co.uk here: https://www.brbid.org/shoplocalbognorregis
I’ve already starting receiving questions regarding financial support for businesses, which I’m afraid I can’t answer right now. However, I’ll be liaising with ADC first thing in the morning to see if they – as Local Authorities – have been given any specific updates in terms of the second lockdown. The indication from news reporting last night was that the Government hadn’t planned on making their announcement until Monday, which could explain why specific information relating to this national lockdown in England haven’t been confirmed yet.
However, as a guide, in addition to the continuation of the Furlough Scheme for a further month, BBC News are currently showing the following information about business support:
“The government will also give firms:
• Up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant if their premises is forced to close
• £1,000 for every furloughed employee kept on until at least the end of January
• £1,500 for every out-of-work 16-24 year-old given a ''high quality'' six-month work placement
• £2,000 for every under-25 apprentice taken on until the end of January, or £1,500 for over-25s
A grant available to self-employed people affected by coronavirus has also been doubled to 40% of profits, with a maximum grant of £3,750 over a three-month period.”
I’ll confirm this information as soon as I possibly can, signposting you to official government information and details of how to claim / apply as soon as the details are made known.
My very best wishes to you all, Heather
Heather Allen, Co-ordinator
Bognor Regis Business Improvement District
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