19/03/2021 Latest news and advice for businesses on COVID-19 from Wiltshire Council (read more)

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Business news - Coronavirus update from Wiltshire Council.
19 March 2021
This newsletter provides updates on help and advice available locally for businesses during the COVID-19 situation.

Read back issues of this business newsletter

Visit our COVID-19 page for our latest updates
Don’t miss your chance to apply for grants ahead of application deadlines

If you have not yet applied for Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG), please do so as soon as you can, as the closing dates for applications are fast approaching.

The deadline for new LRSG applications for the period of November 2020 to January 2021 is 31 March; while the closing date for new applications for the LRSG relating to the period 16 February 2021 to 5 April 2021 is 31 May. This is for new applications only – if you have previously been awarded a LRSG, you will automatically be paid again for these periods, and you do not need to contact us.

In the recent Budget, the Chancellor announced that the LRSG will be replaced by the Restart Grant scheme from 5 April 2021. This new scheme will support high street businesses as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new grants will be worth up to £6,000 for non-essential retail, and up to £18,000 for hospitality businesses such as pubs and hotels.

If you have already received a LRSG, please keep an eye on this newsletter and your email and we will share more details on the Restart Grants as soon as possible.

Find out more about business grants and how to apply
Business COVID-19 information pack

We have updated our pack for businesses, full of useful public health advice, guidance and information on keeping safe and managing COVID-19 in the workplace.

View the business pack
Rapid lateral flow testing programmes for businesses – less than two weeks to register

Just a reminder that you now have less than two weeks to register for the Government’s workplace testing scheme.

As part of the government’s roadmap to cautiously lift restrictions, businesses of all sizes, including now those with fewer than 50 employees, can register to order free lateral flow tests for their employees.

Around one in three people with coronavirus don’t have symptoms, which means they could be spreading the virus in workplaces without knowing. Rapid testing detects cases quickly – in under 30 minutes – meaning positive cases can isolate immediately, breaking chains of transmission.

Regular testing could be the difference between a workplace being able to stay open and operational, or needing to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak. It will form a crucial part of the government’s plan to gradually and safely ease restrictions as we get back to a more normal life.

You have until 31 March to register for the government’s workplace testing scheme, which will remain free until the end of June.

If your business has signed up to access the national lateral flow testing programme and you are willing to notify the local authority, please could you complete this form.
It will really help us to identify which businesses are taking part in the testing programme to ensure in the event that you identify positive cases, appropriate support and advice can be provided through the local public health teams, to prevent further onward transmission.

More information on the Government’s testing scheme
Easter holiday childcare for parents

We have worked with local childminders and activity providers to create a childcare directory for parents that need to work during the upcoming Easter holidays. There is a charge for all provision detailed in the directory.

The first option for any parent needing childcare during the Easter school holidays is to consider forming a childcare bubble locally.

The government has said that people who need childcare during the school holidays for a child under 14 can form a childcare bubble with one other household. Ideally this should be with somebody who live locally. Additional guidance on forming childcare bubbles can be found online.

Where a childcare bubble is not possible, parents can use our directory with details of local childcare providers, fees and locations and contact details.

More details on the childcare provision
HMRC £20m SME Brexit Support Fund opens for applications

SMEs can now apply for a £2,000 grant to help them with the new rules when trading with the EU.

This is part of the Government’s £20m SME support package announced on 11 February, that will help small businesses who trade with the EU or move goods between GB and NI.

The grant can be used for training about customs, rules of origin and VAT aspects of imports and exports and to seek professional advice in these areas.

More information on the SME Brexit Support Fund
The Census 2021

The census is coming. By taking part, you can help to inform decisions on services that shape your community, such as schools, doctors’ surgeries and bike lanes.

It’s important you fill in your census questionnaire because the information you share affects the life of every single person living in England and Wales.

Because these things matter to us all, everyone needs to complete the census. Do not worry, your information is protected by law. That means government officials dealing with payments or services you receive cannot see it.

Census Day is Sunday 21 March. You can fill yours in online as soon as you get your access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let The Office for National Statistics (ONS) know.

If you need help, you can visit www.census.gov.uk where there’s a wide range of support services available.

These include a contact centre that can give you help over the phone and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including paper questionnaires and large print.

Find out more about the Census 2021
Useful links
We are providing regular updates on the Coronavirus business support page on our website.
You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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