When we held our July partners meeting virtually, we never dreamt that we would still be meeting virtually for our October partners meeting next week (don’t forget to register here), let alone facing a new wave of extra measures across the county. We know it has been a real rollercoaster for all of our partners, from full closures, to reopening at reduced capacity and now added restrictions on those businesses open. And not to forget those partners whose businesses have still not been allowed to reopen. We continue to speak with you daily and work with the information you give us to paint a picture of the industry for government, asking for more support.
In April we took the decision to offer deferred payments or renewals to all of our partners until September 2020. The team has been working through telephone calls to you all individually to see how you have been affected and if there is any way we can support you further. From the many free email campaigns, digital activity and free prize draw offers across our social channels, we want to make sure you are reaching your audience to help boost business at these incredibly challenging times. Our #RedefiningLancashire campaign has now had a reach of over 3million and this has been assisted by a media buy which Marketing Lancashire was able to bid and secure government funding for.
If you need to speak to us before the team manage to reach you on the phone, then please just call our main number and we will do our best to help: 01772 426450.
Visit Lancashire News & Opportunities
Escape the Everyday campaign launches to boost UK breaks through autumn and winter
VisitEngland, in partnership with the tourism organisations of London, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, has launched a UK-wide campaign to encourage people to take a domestic break during autumn and winter.
The £5 million ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign highlights the quality destinations, visitor attractions and experiences on offer across the UK’s cities, countryside and coast to boost tourism across the shoulder season and beyond. Read the full story here.
Job Retention: Updated guidance
On 2 October HMRC published guidance on the Job Retention Bonus and what needs to be done to claim it. Further information is available here.
HMRC also published updated guidance on 2 October on wages claims through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The guidance can be found here.
Funding secured for historic high streets recovery
From Blackpool to Bacup, 14 historic high streets across the North West have been offered government funding to give them a new lease of life and help them recover from declining footfall and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The £95m government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme, which is delivered by Historic England, will unlock the potential of these high streets, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery.
The government’s Kickstart Scheme is designed to create of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. You can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. There is also £1500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.
You can find full details here and whilst the scheme is open to employers who can offer more than 30 placements, if you only have one or two placements available you can still apply through a group intermediary. In Lancashire, both East Lancashire Chamber and North and Western Lancashire Chambers are running group applications.
Careers project in Blackpool is being rolled out to wider Lancashire
Lancashire employers are now invited to register to offer virtual work experience insights to support young people in their career planning. The project has already been successfully run in Blackpool and is now opening out to the whole of Lancashire. Click here for more.
Lancs local partners sought for discount card
Lancashire businesses are invited to partner with Lancs Local; an exciting new discount membership card for local residents which shines a light on unique and bespoke products and services to encourage residents to shop locally.
Risk Dashboard is an innovative software tool available to Lancashire businesses to help keep them secure and alive.
The Risk Dashboard software makes it easy for SMEs to identify vulnerabilities, gaps, and opportunities from different viewpoints within their organisation, specifically in the post Covid-19 era. Lancashire businesses can use the tool for free using the code BOOST20
Latest Covid-19 guidance for hospitality businesses in Lancashire
Guidance has once again been updated for businesses in Lancashire as of October 2nd. Business closures between 10pm and 5am continue and some areas of Blackburn continue to have additional measures in place. You can read the full guidance affecting Lancashire here. Below is a summary of some of the key points updated for businesses.
Hospitality venues must take reasonable steps to ensure:
customers only consume food and drink while seated in the premises
that if the business serves alcohol for consumption on the premises, orders are only taken from customers who are seated
bookings are not accepted, or customers admitted onto the premises if groups include more than 6 people or only include one household if the group is larger than 6
customers do not join in groups of more than 6 people or multiple households where a single household group is greater than 6 inside the premises (including outdoor areas such as beer gardens)
tables are appropriately spaced to enable social distancing
Businesses can be fined by local authorities or the police if they fail to fulfil the obligations placed on them in law. This includes ensuring that people do not meet in their premises with people outside of their household or support bubble, ensuring that tables are appropriately spaced, that loud music isn’t played, and that customers do not sing in non-household groups of more than 6, or dance.
Please also remember that from 18th September, it became mandatory for hospitality businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days.
Partner Information Hub
For general information and business advice regarding COVID-19 please click here
Get involved with our FREE #RedefiningLancashire campaign here
VisitBritain/VisitEngland have launched their 'We're Good to Go' scheme, a COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark.
Boost have launched an #AskForHelp campaign will include a dedicated helpline to advise companies in Lancashire about key business-related issues and connect them with experts from the public and private sector.