Category: Business

Over 300 Bedford Borough businesses have benefited from COVID-19 grants

By the end of March, Bedford Borough Council had approved 321 grants as part of the government’s £22 billion package to support eligible business affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Across the country thousands of high street firms are beginning to receive £25,000 cash grants and will be exempt from business rates from today (Wednesday 1st April 2020).

As part of a raft measures announced by the Chancellor eligible properties, including those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, will not pay business rates for the next 12 months.

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COVID-19: Temporary changes to right to rent and right to work checks

Effective immediately, the temporary changes will mean the Home Office will not require landlords and employers to see original documents and will allow checks to be undertaken over video calls.

These temporary changes will mean that during the coronavirus outbreak prospective renters and workers are now able to submit scanned documents, rather than originals, to show they have a right to rent or right to work.

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Bedford Borough Council: Support for local businesses

Local businesses can apply for a business support grant via the Bedford Borough Council’s (BBC) website if they meet the Government’s qualifying criteria.

The Government has announced a range of grant funding for certain businesses affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

BBC has set up an online form, enabling local businesses to apply for this money.

To qualify the business must occupy a business property that has a rateable value of less than £51,000 and either:

· Receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief; or

· Be a retail, hospitality or leisure business

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COVID-19: Estate agents and lettings agencies to pay no business rates this coming financial year

Estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls that have closed as a result of Covid-19 measures to restrict the spread of the virus will be now be exempted from business rates in 2020-21.

This measure comes after the Chancellor announced in the Budget that, in response to Covid-19, the business rates retail discount would be increased to 100% next year and would be expanded to the hospitality and leisure sectors.

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Online isolation notes launched – providing proof of coronavirus absence from work

People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service.

For the first seven days off work, employees can self-certify so they don’t need any evidence for their employer. After that, employers may ask for evidence of sickness absence.

Isolation notes provide employees with evidence that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus. Either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.

As isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor, this will reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.

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Cranfield University: The danger of consumers substituting product

A consumer “substitution” could create serious consequences for other supply chains that are critical to society and life, warns supply chain academic Professor Richard Wilding OBE.

During the panic buying of toilet paper and other tissue products. consumers may not be considering the consequences of using alternative products for the tasks they were not designed for.

Thames Water is already warning its customers not to use kitchen towel as a substitute for toilet paper.

If Kitchen towels, baby wipes or industrial papers are used as a replacement for toilet paper, sewage systems could become blocked. Which could result in chaos and increased health risks associated. Water companies may not have the infrastructure and equipment to unblock the sewer system.

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