Preparing the Town Centre for when lockdown eases from 15th June
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UPDATE ON EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON ROCHDALE TOWN CENTRE 04/05/2020

Rochdale BID want to keep you updated with the latest news, information and advice during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please check our website daily for more updates for businesses and website individuals.

New Government discretionary fund for businesses

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business cash grant funds scheme.

This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, so up to £617 million.

The exact amount for each local authority will be confirmed this week.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.

The government are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000.

Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

Further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly by government.

Welcoming our community back to a safer Rochdale Town Centre

More than 1 million people visit Rochdale TC each year, packing the major streets and narrow lanes which lead to them.  Yet while the busy shopping streets were recently a welcome sight, when the lockdown restrictions ease, physical distancing and safety measures will form part of the ‘new normal’.

Many towns and cities have started to consider what temporary and permanent measures can be put in place to encourage physical distancing and to reassure the public that it is safe to work, visit and shop.  The BID is currently considering what measures can be introduced.  Agreed measures will form part of a ‘Confidence Charter’.

New Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Businesses can now apply for the new Bounce Back Loans scheme,

Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months. The loans will be easy to apply for through a short, standardised online application. Loans should reach businesses within days – providing immediate support to those that need it as easily as possible. 

You can apply for the loan here:

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/for-businesses-and-advisors/

Thank you

As we support one another through this second phase of lockdown, it is important that we continue to share the right information and official government guidance to help keep everyone in Rochdale safe.

The BID wishes to thank everyone in Rochdale for adhering to this temporary way of life. It is incredibly inspiring to see so many local people and volunteer groups pulling their resources together to look after the most vulnerable in our community.

Useful Links

UK Government – Coronavirus: latest information and advice

UK Government - COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses

UK Government – Coronavirus business support

National Health Service - Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Acas – Coronavirus advice for employers and employees

World Health Organization – Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

If you have any queries regarding the support which his currently being offered, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 07811 278517.

Paul Ambrose

BID Manager

04 May 2020