The Acton BID is actively working with a range of organisations including West London Business, British BIDs and Ealing Council on ways we can support your business during this unprecedented and difficult time. We are gathering information on the best business practices and advice to share with you as well as information to help understand your current situation which will in turn help us to provide direct support for you and your employees.
We understand there is huge uncertainty amongst all businesses, and, in this constantly evolving situation, it is key for us to understand your specific business needs/priorities and which areas of your business are affected.
There is a range of a support available through the government grant and loan schemes however, there’s still much that needs to be done.
We need to hear from you about the impact on your businesses, your employees, your plans – present and future to see where we need to focus and lobby our efforts to help you.
Street trading and pavement licence
Under the Business and Planning Act 2020, a new pavement licensing scheme has been created to assist businesses to reopen whilst still enabling social distancing.
Cafes, pubs, restaurants and other eat-in businesses can now apply for new pavement licence to have temporary seating on the pavement outside their premises. The pavement licence aims to help businesses increase their capacity whilst ensuring that they continue to maintain COVID-19 safety requirements for their staff and patrons.
The new licence is specifically available to businesses who currently sell food or drinks for consumption on-site. It costs £100 and is valid until the end of September 2021.
Click here to apply for the pavement licence and to read more on the licence policy and conditions.
NHS COVID-19 App
On Thursday, 24 September the government will launch the NHS COVID-19 app, which will use QR codes to enable people to check-in with their phone on arrival when visiting certain venues, instead of filling out a check-in book or business-specific tool.
To ensure that the NHS COVID-19 app is effective, businesses who are expected to keep a log of customers and visitors at certain venues will be legally required to display NHS QR code posters by Thursday, 24 September on entry points to their establishments and will face fines for failure to comply.
Here are more information:
- NHS QR Code guidance
- The launch of the NHS COVID-19 app
- How to correctly display the posters
- The legal requirement to record the contact details
- The government press release on Venues required to enforce rule of 6, NHS QR code posters and contact logs
Watch Ealing Council webcasts for businesses
Ealing Council delivered in partnership with West London Business two special webcast for Ealing businesses. Click on the links below to view them:
- View the webcast on Digital transformations of businesses in Ealing. The expert panel shares their insights on essential social media principles, as well as how to use customer relationship management systems and enterprise resource planning systems to transform your business.
- View the webcast on Eat out to help out in Ealing: Supporting our town centres’ recovery. The webcast looks at how the Government’s new ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme can help our town centres recover from the impact of COVID-19.
Preparing your Business for after the Lockdown
It is important to start considering measures you may need to put into place to enable safe working after the lockdown period. Click here to access the UK Government guidelines to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. You will also find important information provided by Ealing Council for reopening your business.
Funding and Support For Businesses
- Click here for more information and to register your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
- Has you will know, guidelines and policies are changing daily. The best and quickest way to keep up to date with these changes is by visiting the Government website here.
- Information to help businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply here.
- Information on Business Rates and grants is available on the Ealing Council website.
- Coronavirus WhatsApp Information Service – add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ to subscribe.
- The London Growth Hub with support from the Mayor of London has launched a portal to support London based businesses and employers to manage and mitigate their exposure to COVID-19. As well as a host of information, practical guides and fact sheets, the portal also provides access to free one to one advice from business advisors. Click here.
- West London Business (WLB) has set up a dedicated website and a Business Helpline – 020 8607 2500 – that provides up-to-date information and support for businesses affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus). WLB have recruited a team of volunteer business support advisors – operating from 9-5pm, Monday to Friday. Click here.
- West London Business is also providing a number of webinars, entitled Talk at Ten. The series aimed at helping employers and employees manage the business impacts of Coronavirus. You can view them here.
- Information on deferral of VAT payments here.
- HMRC Business Support Helpline – 0800 024 1222
- The coronavirus Future Fund: This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. Click here.
- Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan: This loan scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with no fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Click here.
- Pay It Forward London: The Mayor is offering 100% free fundraising to help businesses to secure trade and generate cash flow by pre-selling vouchers, goods and services. Click here.
Finance Webinars Presentation: In June, businesses were invited to participate to two free finance webinars presented by Branduin Business Support Ltd, in partnership with Ealing Council and the BIDs. The aim was to help businesses identify which funding, grants and loan options were available and provide advice on how to successfully apply for funding. Click on the links below to access the presentation slides:
- The latest Government guidance can be found here
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Working from home advice can be found here
Fraud and Cyber Crime
- We want to warn businesses to be on guard against scams related to COVID-19. The Government have released a document with helpful advice and guidance on how to protect yourself and your business against fraud and cyber crime and where to get help. Click here to view the Government guidance.
- You can also view the Met Police guidance here.
Other Useful Information
- Letter to the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP Chancellor of the Exchequer. A letter was sent with an analysis of the data collected so far from the COVID-19 survey to the Government for more support for SME’s. Read more here.
- Find out how to register your restaurant or establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
- Covid-19 Action Plan
- Information and advice from the NHS on symptoms, how to avoiding spread of the virus and what to do if you need medical help.
- Public Health: More information and advice on self-isolation and social distancing.
- Mental health and wellbeing advice here.
- The latest information from Transport for London here.
- Click here to access the Transport for London toolkit, which sets out the latest travel advice for businesses engaged in leisure and hospitality, as well as sharing some tips for planning to return to work in the longer term.
- Transport for London active travel toolkit. This toolkit provides practical tools and advice to confidently encourage and enable your workforce to pick active travel options to and from their place of work.
- Click here for the Police advice on empty premises and anti-social behaviour.