BID community prepares for second lockdown


As you know, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that non-essential retail and hospitality services will be forced to close from 5 November – 2 December, during a four-week lockdown in England.

Here are some considerations for you and your BID.

If you can, you must work from home

1. If your BID operates with members of staff who have an operational role which means it is not possible for them to work from home, they will be able to continue their role as normal subject to the correct COVID-secure measures in place. This includes BID rangers and ambassadors.

2. Mental health and well-being are important to us all, and therefore BIDs may wish to leave their office open to respond to this with measures such as a rota system and desk booking.

Furlough is extended through November

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) has been extended for a month and will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the rules, all employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

More information can be found about this on the British BIDs website here.

If your BID chooses to furlough staff, they can still attend training courses and events such as the National Virtual BIDs Conference this Thursday.

Finance support

The Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions. The government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries to protect jobs over the coming months and there are cash grants of £3,000 per month for businesses required to close in local lockdowns.

More information can be found about this on the British BIDs website here.

Lobbying

British BIDs will be lobbying for improvements to the Track and Trace system. At this week’s National Virtual BIDs Conference, we will also be discussing the current circumstances and inviting BIDs to raise policy discussions for us to raise with MPs.

Communications

British BIDs worked hard to support BIDs with lockdown communications plans and messaging. We encourage you to revive your lockdown comms plans with clear messages on them. If you need any guidance, please contact us.

Christmas

Click-and-collect shopping can remain open. We recommend that BIDs work with their businesses to promote the availability of click and collect and provide support and advice on this. We already have seen many of our independent businesses positively adapt and become more digital-focused since March; with new e-commerce, delivery and click and collect services; we know we cannot underestimate the power of digital channels in these times.

Levy payments

Many BIDs are naturally worried about their levy bills over the coming months. The advice of British BIDs is to still encourage local authorities to send out your bills and issue demand notices where required.


Information will evolve over the next few days and we will continue to guide and communicate to the industry.

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