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!! Important update to Stockport Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) from Stockport Council !!
“Applications for the ARG discretionary grant funding for businesses that continue to be negatively affected by the pandemic, which is being administered on behalf of the government by the Council, continue to be received and are being processed as quickly as possible. The applications are processed in the order in which they have been received.
“Due to the high level of applications received, the ARG funding provided is going to be fully used and the scheme will not be able to support all of the applications made. Please be reminded that applying for an ARG grant will not guarantee that a grant will be paid if the ARG funds have been fully used before an application is processed.”
See below for more information
UK NEWS UPDATES:
Gray report: publication delayed pending police investigation
The Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation into parties held in No 10 during the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Cressida Dick said they were looking into “potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations” in Downing Street and Whitehall since 2020. She said the investigation was launched as a “result of the information provided by the Cabinet Office inquiry team”, led by civil servant Sue Gray. The BBC understands the report won’t be published while police investigate.
Jump in half-term holiday bookings as travel rules relaxed
Holiday bookings have jumped with “notable increases” in trips planned for February half-term and Easter ahead of Covid travel tests being scrapped.
Jet2 said bookings had increased by 30% on last week after the announcements on Monday that rules would be relaxed for people arriving in England or Scotland.
The rule changes mean fully vaccinated people arriving in those countries from abroad do not need to take Covid tests. The change will come into effect from 04:00 GMT on 11 February.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2, told the BBC the removal of testing was “game-changer” for the travel industry.
Prime Minister declares UK one of the most open countries in Europe and ready for an international tourism boom
The UK is safe and open for visitors with no testing for fully vaccinated tourists.
As testing and quarantine restrictions end for fully vaccinated visitors, the UK is ready to welcome visitors from around the globe for a blockbuster year of events showcasing the breadth of culture, creativity and innovation on offer, including Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Unboxed: Creativity in the UK. It comes ahead of a new VisitBritain £10 million international marketing campaign targeting the UK’s most valuable visitor markets of Europe and the USA which will launch in February.
Public urged to sign-up to world-first COVID-19 antiviral study
The public are being urged to sign-up to a world-leading study for antivirals if they test positive for COVID-19. The government and leading charities, including Kidney Care UK, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Diabetes UK and the British Liver Trust, are calling on at least 6,000 more participants to come forward for these cutting-edge treatments through the PANORAMIC study. This is so that expert scientists can understand more about how to deploy these treatments in the NHS more widely later in the year – including who would benefit most from receiving antiviral treatments for COVID-19.
Delivery firm to create 6,000 jobs as sector growth continues post-pandemic
Grocery delivery firm Getir is to create 6,000 more UK jobs in 2022 as t continues to expand across the country. The Turkey-based start-up has grown to cover 20 towns and cities across the UK with 4,000 staff after launching in London last January. Getir said on Monday that it expects to create thousands more jobs to employ around 10,000 people – who it said will be employees and paid the real living wage – by the end of 2022, the PA news agency reports. The move is part of a £100m investment into the UK market which has already seen it launch in locations including Manchester, Liverpool and Portsmouth. On Monday, Getir opened its latest UK site in Wolverhampton.
Children to be offered Covid passports in time for half-term
The move is expected to come as the government reportedly prepares to relax international travel curbs. Ministers are expected to agree to scrap a range of measures at a meeting of the Covid-O committee on Monday (24 January), including tests for travellers arriving in the UK. According to The Telegraph, the changes are likely to be implemented in February. Currently, under-16s require an NHS letter confirming their vaccination status to avoid restrictions in countries such as France, Italy and Spain, which require all over-12s to be double jabbed.
From Thursday 27 January:
- Venues and events will no longer be required by law to use the NHS Covid Pass. The NHS Covid Pass can still be used on a voluntary basis as was previously the case in Plan A.
- Face coverings are no longer required by law in any setting. Public health guidance will remain in place, suggesting individuals should continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- The Department for Education will remove national guidance on the use of face coverings in communal areas, with local Directors of Public Health able to recommend the use of face coverings in education settings across their area only where the department and public health experts judge the measure to be proportionate due to specific health concerns. This is a temporary measure and Directors of Public Health continue to advise individual settings experiencing outbreaks.
- Any local introduction of face coverings must be subject to routine review and removed at the earliest opportunity.
REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS:
North-West profits warnings fell 46% in 2021
The number of profit warnings recorded by North-west listed firms fell 46% in 2021, compared with 2020 figures, according to the latest EY-Parthenon report.
Just 26 profit warnings were issued by publicly listed companies in the region throughout 2021, compared with 48 in 2020; however, warnings were concentrated in the final quarter of the year with 15 were issued in Q4. The spike in profit warnings at the end of the year has been put down to supply chain disruption and rising prices.
£16m warehouse / industrial scheme proposed for Stockport
Developer Chancerygate has submitted plans to speculatively build a £16m, 72,100 sq ft industrial and warehousing development in Stockport. Called Cromwell Park, the proposed scheme will be located on a four-acre site in Bredbury Park Industrial Estate. It will comprise ten Grade A leasehold units ranging from 1,927 sq ft to 22,001 sq ft. The development site benefits from excellent access to the town centre and is less than one mile from junction 25 of the M60.
North-West contractor goes into administration
Documents filed at Companies House yesterday confirm Begbies Traynor is now in charge of the £47m turnover contractor. Beaumont Morgan Developments is the construction delivery partner of Fortis Developments. BMD has been building the Fortis Quay residential scheme in Salford where the latest two towers are nearing completion.
MAG CEO welcomes relaxation of travel restrictions
The CEO of the UK’s largest airport operator, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), has welcomed the announcement of further relaxation of Covid-19 testing requirements and travel rules for arrivals in the UK:
“This important announcement is excellent news for our sector’s recovery.
“This change will be welcomed by the millions of vaccinated people who are desperate to travel and will now be able to do so – restriction-free – for the first time in more than a year.
“The latest research shows travel restrictions do very little to stop the spread of variants like Omicron. Removing them will ensure the many cultural, social and economic benefits of international travel can be realised without any major impact on public health.
“With Britain reopened for business, we’re looking forward to helping people across the country get back to visiting exciting new places, finding fresh trading opportunities overseas, and travelling to see friends and loved ones again.”
Stockport Business Rates Related Schemes:
Omicron Hospitality and Leisure grant:
NOTE: The closing date for applications is at midnight on 18 February 2022. We will not accept any applications after this date.
- The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant is a one-off grant to support businesses that offer in-person services in a fixed rate-paying premises.
- Businesses that were trading on 30 December 2021 may be eligible to apply for the grant.
- Businesses that offer more than one service may only be eligible if 50% or more of their overall income comes from hospitality, leisure or accommodation.
How much will businesses receive?
Businesses that have a rateable value:
- of £15,000 or less on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667
- between £15,001 and £50,999 on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000
- of £51,000 or more on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000
What are the Tax implications?
- Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.
- Only businesses that make an overall profit once the grant income is included will be subject to tax.
- Payments made to businesses before 5 April 2022 will fall into the 2021/22 tax year. Unincorporated businesses will be taxed when they receive the grant income.
Business Grant Subsidy Allowance:
- Businesses will be subject to the financial limits set out in the Business Grant Subsidy Allowance.
- Businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible premises.
Applications are now open. Visit Stockport Council website for full information and application – Omicron Hospitality and Leisure grant – Stockport Council
COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF):
The fund will be available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.
The Stockport scheme is currently being developed.
Further details will be on the Council website when available – check this link regularly for updates – Financial support for businesses and employers – Stockport Council
Additional Restrictions Grant:
ARG is a Discretionary Grant Scheme that has been operating over a series of funding allocations from Government.
Round 2 Top Up:
The latest scheme with round 2 top up funding opened in November 2021. Information and application is on Stockport Council web page at this link – https://www.stockport.gov.uk/additional-restrictions-grant
Round 3 Top Up:
Round 3 top up funding allocation has now been received and must be used by 31/03/22. Most businesses are eligible to apply if still experiencing negative impact from Covid pandemic.
Applying for an ARG:
- Businesses can apply for a grant from both top up 2 and 3 allocations but separate need to be submitted from businesses for each round of funding (Government requirement).
- If businesses have applied for ARG before 21/12/21, then they can submit a further application now.
- If businesses applied after 21/12/21 then no need to do anything further – if not applied at all yet then apply ASAP.
- Applications will be processed on first come first served basis until funds are exhausted so applying does not guarantee success in getting a grant if funds have been exhausted at that time
Current status on payments:
Total discretionary grant funding of £2.35m total to be used by 31/03/2022 (includes latest £550k top up)
- 767 applications received by 18th January 2022
- 49% of applications fully processed
- £1.1m grant funding released by 18th January 2022
- Average grant payment of £3,271
- 399 further applications to process
SECTOR SPECIFIC CORONAVIRUS-RELATED NEWS:
COVID-19: workplace testing terms and conditions
The latest terms and conditions plus standard operating procedure for coronavirus (COVID-19) workplace testing.
Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
Watch a webinar and sign up for email alerts to learn more about the support available if your business is affected by COVID-19 – registration for the next live webinar about coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme 2 has been added.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions
Jobs that qualify for exemptions from quarantine, passenger locator form or COVID testing requirements – the COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules for travel to England will change at 4am, 11 February.
COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care in England
A resource for those working in domiciliary care providing information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make one
This page explains when to wear a face covering, exemptions from wearing one, and how to make your own face covering – added call-out stating that from 27 January, there is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering.
DVLA Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Find out the date of applications we are processing and how to access our online services.
Enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19)
This guidance aims to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic – updated to remove information on working or volunteering from home. People are no longer being asked to work or volunteer from home if they can.
Finding and choosing a private coronavirus (COVID-19) test provider
Lists of and information about private test providers, to help you get the private COVID-19 tests you need.
COVID-19: arranging or attending a funeral or commemorative event
Guidance for arranging or attending a funeral or commemorative event during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
January’s Glenigan Construction Review
The Glenigan Construction Review is your monthly compendium of construction industry performance and activity. This month’s EXTENDED EDITION provides 27 pages of detailed analysis of the performance of individual sectors as well as our usual industry insight covering:
- Executive summary of market performance
- Top contractor and client league tables
- The Glenigan Index
- Economic outlook
Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Attendance in education settings since Monday 23 March 2020 and early years settings since Thursday 16 April 2020 – added ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: 23 March 2020 to 20 January 2022’.
Local authority COVID-19 financial impact monitoring information
Summary of data collected from local authorities on the financial impact of COVID-19 – added Local authority COVID-19 financial impact monitoring information round 17.
Post-pandemic expansion plans for 70% of agents
Research based on questioning almost 1,000 estate agents suggests that around 70 per cent are set to expand their business this year through additional staffing or premises. The industry survey sought the views of 961 agents earlier this month and found that over a third have hired additional staff in recent months to keep up with the current market. Some 15 per cent have hired between one and two more people while 11 per cent have hired between three and five new faces; three per cent have taken on between six and 10 new staff and six per cent say they have hired over 11.
Since the last significant Covid lockdown, the booming housing market has encouraged 11 per cent of the agents questioned to say they had expanded their existing branch or office, while three per cent have relocated to larger premises
First time buyer average age creeps up across UK
The average age at which someone buys their first home has risen to 32, up from 29 in 2011 and is now over 30 in every UK region. This is one of the stats from a comprehensive report on first time buyer trends compiled by the Halifax.
It says that last year saw first-time buyer numbers rise at a record rate, up 35 per cent, to 409,370. The average FTB in 2021 put down a £53,935 deposit on a first property costing £264,140.
Haulier advice site locations
Find sites where HGV and coach drivers can get free COVID-19 tests and check their documents to transport goods to the EU – the Holyhead haulier advice site has reopened.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing before you travel to England
The testing and quarantine rules for international travel to England will change 11 February 2022.
Upcoming changes to COVID-19 international travel restrictions
Reducing the number of travel restrictions to provide stability for travellers and the travel industry throughout 2022
How to quarantine at home after international travel
What to do when you need to quarantine at home or in the place you’re staying after you arrive in England from abroad – added information on the new rules for international arrivals that will take effect on 11 February 2022.
GOV & BBC UK daily coronavirus data:
There have been nearly 16 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and more than 150,000 people have died, government figures show. Over 52 million people have now received a first dose of the vaccine, 91% of people in the UK aged 12 and over. 84% have had their second and 64% have had a booster.
Total UK Cases: 15,953,685 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 88,447 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 17,523 (463 fewer than on previous day)
New deaths across UK: 56
Total UK deaths: 153,916
England Cases per 100,000: 979
R number in UK: 0.8-1.1
Total 1st doses given: 52,236,574 – 91% of UK aged 12+
Total 2nd doses: 84%
Daily 1st doses: 12,266
Daily 2nd doses: 30,710
Daily Booster doses: 42,724
The R value and growth rate
The latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The R range for England is 0.8 to 1.1 the growth rate range for England is -6% to +1% per day as of 21 January 2022.
COVID-19: estimated administrative vaccine uptake for people aged 18 and over
Daily percentage of the UK population aged 18 and over who have received a first dose, second dose, or third or booster dose to date.
Latest Stockport coronavirus data:
Total Stockport cases: 79,593 to 21 January
Cases in the latest week: 2,293 (541 less compared with previous week)
Total deaths: 814 to January 7th (+1 on previous week)
Cases per 100,000: 779 per 100,000 (14 to 21 Jan)
Stockport vaccine data:
1st dose: 86% of over 12s to 20 January
2nd dose: 80%
3rd / booster dose: 64%
Exporting: Actions you need to take now: An overview of the actions you need to take now before you export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Key processes include – staged border controls, zero-rated VAT, customs declaration, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates, and authorisations. Please register to take part if you’re planning to export.
Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary: You now need to complete import or export declarations to trade goods with the EU. These are complex and a lot of businesses choose to use an intermediary to do these for them. This webinar explains your responsibilities as a trader if you choose to use an intermediary. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import or export.
What are customs import declarations?: If you import goods, you now need to make customs import declarations on controlled goods and all goods by the end of June. This webinar will help you understand what they are in more detail. This includes what is needed for simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, how to make them, and delayed import declarations. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.
Importing: Staged controls and how to prepare to use them: This webinar will walk you through the three stages of the new border controls introduced on 1?? ?January?? ?2021, and what actions you need to take for each stage. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.
Home workers can claim £26 tax relief for job expenses
If you’ve asked your employees to work from home, and you’ve not reimbursed them already, your employees may be entitled to claim tax relief on additional household expenses they’ve incurred, such as heating and lighting.
New hotline launched to report COVID fraudsters
A new hotline has been launched to stop fraudsters illegally targeting COVID stimulus schemes.
If you would like to register your interest in creating one or more Kickstart Job, please complete the Kickstart Employer Enquiry Form and a member of the Council’s Kickstart Team will contact you to explain more.
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.
Kickstart Scheme terms and conditions
Kickstart Scheme terms and conditions for employers and gateways receiving the Kickstart Scheme grant from the Department for Work and Pensions.
Kickstart Scheme employer resources
If you’ve been offered Kickstart Scheme funding, you can use these resources to show your support for the scheme.
Kickstart Scheme employer contacts
List of regional contacts for employers applying for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme.
Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 30 or more job placements
If you are an employer looking to create 30 or more jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.
Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 29 or less job placements
If you are an employer looking to create 29 or less jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.
Visit the Stockport Council website to report details of any outbreaks online.
Opening times for Stockport Council Coronavirus Helpline
The helpline for vulnerable people across Stockport can now be accessed through new opening times by calling 0161 217 6046:
• Monday – Thursday from 9am to 5pm
• Friday from 9am to 4.30pm
• Saturdays from 10am to 1pm
At busy times, residents are automatically offered a call-back from one of our call handlers.
Acas have also contributed to the development of a new return to work toolkit in partnership with SOM, CIPD, BITC and Mind.
Business Support in Stockport – a centre pool of information to support business owners in Stockport:
Government – Guidance on Returning to Work safely
Stockport Council’s FREE job matching website helps support employers with vacancies and individuals across the Stockport borough who are looking for work. The service, Stockport Jobs Match, will help to connect employers who have urgent temporary or permanent vacancies with applicants who are immediately available and in need of employment. The website also helps signpost individuals to available support services and information. www.stockport-jobsmatch.co.uk
Stockport Council – Health & Mental Well-being https://www.stockport.gov.uk/showcase/coronavirus
Government – Financial Support
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – online claims portal open
Government – Business Support:
Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool
Government – Business Support Hub:
Government – IT safety support:
Government Warnings Over Coronavirus Scams – Here’s How to Protect Yourself
Government – Financial Support:
HMRC has published guidance on how it will work out income and profits for the self-employed or those in a partnership who have lost profits due to coronavirus.
Government – Business Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
Government – Financial Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding
Government – Business Support:
Gov.uk: Maintaining Educational Provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
Business Growth Hub:
Employment – Useful information for the Self-Employed:
News and Guidance for the self-employed:
Concerned how Coronavirus might impact you and your business?
Please get in touch with Enterprising You and you will be connected to someone who can help.
You can also access information and guidance including the latest Government updates via www.businessgrowthhub.com/coronavirus
Can you claim back Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay in the Rebate Scheme
From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.
Health – updates from NHS
Health – Dedicated helpline to support vulnerable residents in Stockport:
Support can be accessed by calling 0161 217 6046 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
Health – Dedicated health & wellbeing services:
24/7 mental health helpline & safe haven for anyone over the age of 18 in Stockport (0800 138 7276).
Health – An Emotional Wellbeing Hub which provides information, advice, and guidance for anyone up to the age of 25 for emotional wellbeing and mental health concerns. 0161 217 6028 – 8.30am-5pm Mon – Thurs 8.30am-4.30pm on Friday.
Community – Guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
How businesses can offer services, funds and volunteers to civil society during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Find out more information here.