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News and information for West Oxfordshire’s businesses - 02 Nov 20

New lockdown

You will be aware that the government has announced a new lockdown from this Thursday 05 November until 02 December. Once again the key message is to 'Stay at Home'  except for very specific purposes including education, going to work if you cannot work from home, medical care and essential shopping.

We understand that businesses will be concerned about the impact of the lockdown and need to know what support will be available.  As before, the council is being asked to administer a new grant scheme. We are liaising with the government department to understand the detail and we will update our web pages as soon as we know how the scheme will work. 

Please can we respectfully ask that you do not ring the Council to ask about the grant scheme and allow our team the time and space to set the systems up. We will keep you informed through this newsletter - please encourage other business owners to sign up so they are up to date with developments.

Business closures

Under the new lockdown rules, certain businesses and venues must close from Thursday. These include:
  • All non-essential retail (although they can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect).
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities
  • Entertainment venues
  • Personal care facilities
  • Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs (but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed).
  • Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for a limited number of exemptions which will be set out in law.
Please follow the link below for the full list.

Essential retail stores that remain open should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
New restrictions for businesses and venues

Funding for businesses

A new grant fund for businesses that are required to close because of the latest restrictions is on its way. We are waiting for the detailed guidance from the Government before we can implement the scheme but our understanding at this stage is that businesses forced to close could be eligible for:
  • Properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks
  • Those with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks
We will publish all relevant details including the eligibility criteria and any application process as soon as possible. Please keep an eye out for future editions of this newsletter for more details.

Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is being extended until December. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work. Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.

Further details, including how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, will be provided shortly. The introduction of the Job Support Scheme which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 01 November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.
Summary of business support measures

Other helpful organisations

Several business groups are coming up trumps with help and advice for businesses. The ones below are good but do also check the trade association for your own sector.

Keeping up to date

Please forward this email to others to whom this might be useful and encourage them to sign up to further updates.  Please note that you can access previous editions of this newsletter too.
Sign up for this newsletter and see previous editions
COVID-19 Latest information and advice
The council Coronavirus web pages have updates about business support, communities and leisure, bins and recycling, elections and council meetings, planning, building and council news.
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We hope you found this newsletter useful. We would like them to be as relevant as possible so please let us know what you think and don’t forget to send us your news to
Copyright © 2020 West Oxfordshire District Council, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
West Oxfordshire District Council, Elmfield, New Yatt Road, Witney OX28 1PB.

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West Oxfordshire District Council · Elmfield · New Yatt Road · Witney, Oxfordshire OX28 1PB · United Kingdom

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