Re-Opening. On Thursday and Friday, Division’s 1 and 3 gave their thoughts on bacta’s reopening strategy paper. Thank you again for your input. That has now been sent to all our Government contacts and other stakeholders. For your information I have attached a copy of a letter sent to DCMS Minister, Nigel Huddleston, on Friday following our meeting with him on Wednesday. It includes our paper as well as highlighting our continuing requests of Government. We are now hearing that the Government is planning to launch its own reopening plans on Sunday, later than originally suggested.
Covid-19 H&S. A number of members have asked about potential liabilities that might arise if members of staff catch Covid-19. Below is a note from our HR Advisor, Katie Thorpe (HR active), Please note Katie is a HR Manager, not a lawyer, and if you are concerned about this issue you should take formal legal advice. All employers are responsible for the health and safety of their staff. Nothing changes due to the virus in this regard. An employee, or the HSE could take an employer to court and would have to prove the virus was contracted at work, and that the employer had not acted properly to defend them. Assuming the employer is following any government guidelines, I think the bar to get a conviction would be impossibly high.
- Finance. Today sees the launch of the Bounce Back Loans Scheme. This is designed to supplement the CBILS schemes and loans are 100% backed by Government. The loans can be for £2k up to £50k and are designed for small businesses. You cannot claim if you have applied for a CBILS loan but you can apply through your lender to transfer any CBILS loan you have received to this scheme. The loans are interest and fee free for 12 months, can be for up to six years and have a repayment holiday for the first year. Please click here to apply https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan.
- Business Interruption Insurance. I mentioned last week that the FCA is seeking legal clarification on BI insurance. Additionally BALPPA have let us know that there is a crowdfunded campaign, which is looking at a potential legal challenge on this and will look at your own policies. It is supported by UK Hospitality. I know this has been an issue for a large number of members. If you are interested, take a look at the page. https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/hospitality-business-interruption-action/.
- New Local Authority Business Funding. The government has given an extra £617 million to local councils to provide grants to small businesses that are slipping through the current eligibility criteria for grants under the retail relief and small business relief schemes. It is meant to cover those that have property related costs. It is at the local authorities’ discretion as to who will get the grant. More details are expected this week but you can read the announcement here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-up-to-local-business-grant-funds-scheme.
I started a list on Friday of companies of which can provide PPE, signage and other products that may be of use to you as you plan your re-opening. This is not an endorsement of any of the products but hopefully will aid your search for appropriate products. A few more have been in touch since Friday and I have added them at the bottom.
PMS International – PPE
Delta Leisure – Signage
Instance Automatics – Signage and PPE
Concept Games – Screens
Cornelius Electronics – Screens
LE Graphics – Signage
Shipley Creative – Signage
ActiveOffice – Screens and PPE
Print Centre Group – Signage
If anyone is aware of other companies that might be able to supply the industry please let me know and I will add them to the list.
As always, feedback on any of the above is very much appreciated. I would be particularly pleased to hear any information about your experience of the bounce back loans.
Letter-to-Nigel-Huddleston-Further-support-measures-for-the-amusement-and-leisure-industry-1st-May.pdf (12 downloads)