Extended closing date of Additional Restrictions Grant to Monday 15 February
We have extended the cut-off date for new applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), to support businesses, to 23:59 on Monday 15 February.
The grant has been reopened since 26 January for new applications only. If you have previously applied and been successful for an ARG grant, you do not need to reapply and you will be paid automatically when you are eligible. If you have previously applied for a Discretionary Grant (running May to September, prior to November) you will need to apply to the ARG scheme separately.
The grant supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes, such as the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) for business premises closed by national restrictions.
Awards will be made as follows:
For a sole individual trader, self-employed person or company director paid by dividends, a grant of £1,500
For a business with 2 to 9 employees, a grant of £3,000
For a business with 10 to 19 employees, a grant of £6,000
New: A business with 20 or more employees, a grant of £10,000
If you have struggled to access other forms of support, you are encouraged to apply for the ARG, as the eligibility is different to the Self-Employment or Furlough schemes. Directors paid by dividends and larger firms are all able to apply, and applications will be considered. Please do make sure you submit an application – or you could be missing out on vital funds to support your business.
We’re awaiting more information from Government on the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) post 15 February, so please do not contact us for more information about this.
If you have already applied for business grants funding, please do not apply again, as this will just slow down the process. Any businesses that has already applied for funding will be automatically paid any additional grants that they are eligible for, and once we have more information about this grant we will share it in this newsletter and on our website.
Community rapid lateral flow testing
There is a new drive to increase workplace testing in sectors open during lockdown, in order to detect COVID-19 in people who are not showing symptoms.
Businesses can register to order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests for employees if:
The business is registered in England.
The business employs 50 people or more.
Employees cannot work from home.
This service is not intended for use by employees who have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should order an individual test and stay at home.
Businesses should register interest to participate in the scheme here.
For businesses with less than 50 employees, please see article below.
Wiltshire Council-run targeted COVID-19 rapid community testing to launch soon in Wiltshire
We will soon begin to roll out the government’s rapid COVID-19 community testing initiative locally to help drive down transmission rates.
The council’s programme, in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, is specifically aimed at asymptomatic people at small businesses who cannot work from home, and private early years settings and childminders. Eligible people will take a Lateral Flow Test.
With its targeted approach, community testing aims to reduce the prevalence of the virus.
It is expected the first test centre will open on 17 February.
The centres cannot accept people dropping in, and everyone must book an appointment and not have any symptoms of COVID-19. An online booking system will be available soon.
The self-administered test should take no more than 15 minutes and results should be known within half an hour.
Free testing continues to be available to everyone in Wiltshire who has COVID-19 symptoms – high temperature, continuous cough or loss of/change in taste or smell. People should visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 to book a test in that instance.
Those in smaller businesses (employees of 50 or less) who cannot work from home, and private (non-maintained) early years settings have been chosen because they are not currently involved in any other mass-testing scheme.
Anyone who receives a positive Lateral Flow Test result automatically activate legal obligations to self-isolate, and may also claim for a Test and Trace payment if they are eligible.
More information, including FAQs can be found online.
Importing Products of Animal Origin (POAO) from the EU into GB webinars
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced a new webinar series on Importing Products of Animal Origin (POAO) for Human Consumption from the EU to Great Britain.
In April, there will be a further set of changes coming into effect on imports of products of animal origin (POAO) for human consumption, as outlined in the Border Operating Model. These changes affect imports of food and drink containing animal products.
Defra will host the webinar series throughout February and March. The key objective is to ensure businesses are ready to continue importing from the EU.
Families urged to keep following the rules and stay safe this half term
We are urging parents, children and young people to continue to follow social distancing guidance during the half term holidays.
During half term, parents can form a childcare bubble for a child under 14, with one other household, ideally who live locally. The childcare bubble is for childcare only and should not be used to mix with another household for social reasons.
A childcare bubble is different to a support bubble which is a support network linking two households. You can only form a support bubble if you meet one of the following criteria:
You live by yourself
You have a child under one
You’re a single adult living with one or more children under 18
You’re the only adult in your household not in need of continuous care
You have a child under 5 with a disability who requires continuous care
You’re aged 16 or 17 living with others of the same age and without any adults