Member News & Events



COVID-19 Information for Hospitality & Tourism Businesses from BCP Council

We’re looking forward to helping you prepare to re-open your business and operate from 4th July

The new government guidance to help you plan to re-open hospitality and tourism businesses has now been released and comes in to effect from 4 July 2020.

Working safely during COVID-19 sector guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

List of businesses able and not able to open from 4th July:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/opening-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england- from-4-july-2020

Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e8e86650c278b077616/Kee ping-workers-and-customers-safe-during-covid-19-restaurants-pubs-bars- takeaways-230620.pdf

Guidance for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the- visitor-economy

Guidance for people who work in or run hotels and other guest accommodation:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/hotels- and-other-guest-accommodation

Guidance for people who provide close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close- contact-services

UK Hospitality is preparing guidance to help prepare COVID-19 Risk Assessments: https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/coronavirus

Free webinar to help businesses keep a safe record of customers visiting their premises as part of the NHS ‘Track and Trace’ system, in accordance with the new guidelines:

 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gdpr-guidance-for-hospitality-venues-when- recording-customer-contact-data-tickets-110988401296

Over the coming week BCP Council will be issuing further support and guidance from our local agencies including Licencing, Police and Fire services to help your business to re-open and recover. Please continue to check back for updates.

Good luck with your re-opening plans.

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BCTC Local Government Affairs Meeting (LGA) June 2020

The LGA was very well attended and we were delighted to welcome the Leader of the Council, Cllr Vikki Slade and CEO Graham Farrant attendance.  

Graham Farrant gave an update on the impact of COVID19 on the community, the economy and its resultant effect on BCP.  As we know the amalgamated Council was created 1st April 2019 and whilst it has been in place for just over a year in time,  they have still not completed a full year under ‘normal circumstance conditions’.  

With a budget of £283million/year made up of council tax, 50% business rates, and some grant money, the authority has seen a loss of £50-53 million. (Affected by big losses from car parking, trading and more money spent on moving patients out of hospitals and into care homes earlier than necessary.)  Graham highlighted that food distribution and shielding were left to Council and with children not attending school, many referrals and safety issues have arisen.  However, the Councils relationship with Police and Health have improved over the past few months which benefits the community. 

Graham went on to say that before he arrived in post, everything in the Council was paper based and that this has completely been reversed with everything ‘online’, significantly improving planning.   

Vikki Slade discussed the Community Response, Business Grants and new Discretionary Grants scheme.  The Council were able to very quickly pull together a community hub response called “Together We Can” with the intention that everyone who needed it, got support in terms of food, medicine, shelter etc. Council staff were redeployed to help with essential services and participated in creating a new environment together, as well as 2,000+ volunteers who were matched up with vulnerable people.   BCP is now a leading council in the way it has worked during COVID19 and found new ways of communicating with the public, including weekly ‘FaceBook lives’.   To date, 6000 businesses within BCP have received £75 million in grants. 

Graham and Vikki continue to lobby government to look to accommodate those businesses that aren’t covered by the grants. The Discretionary Grants Scheme has a small budget which will not go far, with the Council allocating £0.3million to business that didn’t meet criteria but were deemed important to the local economy e.g. hospitality & tourism, nurseries, finance, health & social care. Currently, the Fund has had 502 applications, with 650 businesses anticipated to apply. 

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Get Ready for Re-Opening! A message from BCP Council for businesses

At BCP Council we are working hard to ensure our high streets are ready and welcoming for customers to return safely and securely as shops re-open from 15th June and hospitality businesses from 4th July.  Whilst we have been out visiting our town and district centres we can see that many of you are taking this opportunity to refresh and refurbish your shop fronts and interiors.  Thank you.  

We want to work alongside you to reassure visitors that our high streets are more safe, attractive and welcoming than ever. 

We are rolling out social distancing signage across our centres and in some areas traffic management measures have already been put in place where pavement space proves difficult to maintain social distancing.  We will continue to monitor and respond to social distancing issues as lockdown lifts and businesses reopen. We have been in regular communication with businesses and listed below is a reminder of some of the key messages to help ensure a safe and successful re-opening. By working together we can deliver a positive message to visitors to our high streets and ensure that they feel comfortable and safe to return. 

  1. KEEP LEFT!  You will see that our key message for using all of our public spaces, pavements and high streets safely is to ‘Keep Safe, Keep Left’.
  1. SPEAK TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS!  Please ensure that you are talking to your next door businesses where external queues may clash and overhang their frontages.  Coordinating your queuing space and marking it clearly will reassure your customers and ensure there are not issues with social distancing.  We appreciate that it may take some time before all businesses are open and able to have these conversations, but a co-operative and understanding mindset will really help to iron out potential issues.
  1. LIMIT YOUR QUEUES!  Having a clearly marked ‘End of Queue’ floor marking will highlight the need to customers to come back later if the queue is too long.  Signage templates for downloading along with all of our business support and guidance can be found on our website https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Employers-Employees-and-Businesses/Reopening-businesses-support-and-guidance.aspx
  1. SIGNPOST!  Ensure your customers feel secure and well informed about your social distancing and hygiene and sanitation measures.  Businesses should display a downloadable notice to inform customers and staff they have followed COVID secure guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb959f5e90e0708370f97f9/staying-covid-19-secure-accessible.pdf
  1. UNDERSTAND YOUR LIMITS!  Help to avoid potential issues by being aware of government guidance and legislation.  Please note: the provision of seating, including external, for customers to consume food and drink on is NOT currently permitted: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance
  1. HOTSPOTS!  We understand that some social distancing issues are out of your control.  BCP Council has set up an email for reporting incidents of areas where public health is at risk due to lack of good social distancing practice.  Please use hotspot@bcpcouncil.gov.uk to report your concerns.  We will be monitoring this 7 days a week, triaging to prioritise and responding accordingly to address these issues on the ground.  Please note that our resources are stretched – cooperation within and between businesses to follow these key messages may prevent unnecessary interventions.

Please follow the links below for more information on topics that may be of interest to you and your business: 

COVID-19 Safe guidance for businesses: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

HSE COVID-19 Guidance and Advice: HSE has posted advice and is also offering an enquiry service for businesses via an on-line form or phone.  Details here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/index.htm?utm_source=hse.gov.uk&utm_medium=refferal&utm_campaign=contact&utm_content=home-page-info

ASB & Street begging: Please see the attached flyer for information. 

Legionella Legionella advice is posted on the COVID pages of our website https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Employers-Employees-and-Businesses/Reopening-businesses-support-and-guidance.aspx

Food Business Re-opening Checklist (Food Standards Agency) https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Employers-Employees-and-Businesses/Food-Delivery-And-Takeaway-Guidance.aspx

Checklist https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/reopening-checklist-for-food-businesses-during-covid-19-form.pdf

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BCP Council’s Guidance for Retail Businesses – from 15th June 2020

As the country emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions BCP Council aims to make sure that its shopping centres and streets, its town centres, and its parks, gardens and beaches are ready and confident to welcome shoppers, residents, visitors, employees and students in a safe and secure environment.

From 15 June 2020 all non-essential retail businesses in our town and district centres will be able to re-open. This includes shops that sell clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors and photography studios.

Read the report by clicking the link below.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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Local Discretionary Grant Scheme for small businesses opens to applications

BCP Council has launched its local discretionary grant scheme after being allocated £4.3 million of additional funding by the Government to support small businesses.

The new fund is aimed at small businesses that can demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income because of Covid-19, have ongoing fixed property-related costs and occupy property or shared office space with a rateable value below £51,000. 

Government have advised that the Council can use their discretion to award grants, to those that are eligible. The scheme will allow for varying amounts of Grant up to £10,000 and will allow discretion, taking into account local priorities and impact on the residents, to consider awards of £25,000. 

To be eligible, businesses must have been trading on 11 March 2020 and so far been considered ineligible for grant support. The Council will prioritise businesses identified by government and those it has identified based on local needs. These include:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces
  • Regular Market traders 
  • Bed and breakfast premises which pay council tax instead of business rates
  • Charities in receipt of Charitable rate relief who otherwise would have received Small Business Rate Relief
  • Tourism & Hospitality Sector – specifically Small Event Management / Catering firms and businesses with licences to trade on pontoon or similar
  • Nurseries e.g. day nurseries, nursery schools
  • Financial Sector – small mortgage broker businesses
  • Local Care and Health Practitioners

 Applications for the Local Discretionary Grants Fund must be made before 9.00am on Monday 15 June via the on-line application process. Once the applications have been received BCP Council will carry out a review to determine the allocation of available funding and final grant values based on the number of applications received. Payments will be made as soon as possible after this period of analysis and assessment.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said:

“We would encourage small businesses who think they are eligible to apply for the new scheme as soon as possible using the online application process. While we welcome the additional funding, this represents only a small percentage of the total value of grant support we have already distributed to businesses in our area. More is needed and we will continue to lobby government for more assistance.”

To check your eligibility and apply, please visit: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/DGSbusiness

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Financial Support Reminders & Couples Inheritance Tax Thresholds

The Government has today launched two much-anticipated schemes directed at small businesses and the self-employed in response to the Coronavirus crisis.

Bounce Back Loans
As of 9 am today, small businesses can gain access to a new fast-track finance option, known as the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan. Since the launch of the scheme, this morning we have had lots of interaction with the banks on behalf of our clients and the process appears to be working well.We have covered the scheme in detail elsewhere in previous communications, but the key points you should be aware of at this time are;

  • Loans of £2,000 – £50,000 available up to a maximum of a ¼ of a firm’s annual turnover;
  • Applications made online via a seven-question form;
  • 12 months no interest, fees or repayments;
  • Repay over 6 years, 2.5% interest rate, no early penalty;
  • Can’t apply if already under CBILS;
  • No restriction on the total amount of the facility that may consist of refinancing – whereas with CBILS you can only use 20% of the loan to refinance.

 TC Group can work alongside you to collate all the necessary documentation for your self-certification and should you need support to do so is on hand to help submit it for you. 


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
HMRC has today begun contacting customers who may be eligible for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.Although we cannot claim on your behalf, we can assist you in checking whether you are eligible and when you can make a claim via HMRC’s new online tool.In order to make a claim you will require the following information:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – if you do not have this you can find it here;
  • National Insurance number – if you do not remember it, you can find it here;
  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online;
  • An account number and sort code for the bank account you want the grant paid into (only provide details where a Bacs payment can be accepted).

 While HMRC will calculate the grant, as your agent TC can check the calculation to see if it is correct. Contact your TC Partner on 0330 088 7111 to discuss further.

Couples Inheritance Tax Thresholds
Just as you would regularly review your financial affairs, it is advisable to regularly give your Will a health check to make sure it still works for you and takes advantage of all available tax allowances. Our private client team has been working closely with our clients and their family members to do just that, and in the last few weeks, we have seen a number of clients with out of date Wills who were missing out on significant inheritance tax savings. We wanted to highlight one of these specific areas.From April 2017 the Government introduced the residence nil rate band with a headline of increasing a couples inheritance tax threshold to £1 million by April 2020. This new relief could save a further £140,000 in inheritance tax per couple if they leave their home to their children or grandchildren. However, the rules around this can be complex and in certain circumstances, the relief can be restricted, so it is important that your Will is reviewed to ensure that your family are able to benefit from the extra tax savings available.If you haven’t updated your Will since 2017, we can review and update your Will where necessary to ensure that you are eligible for this additional tax relief.

Please contact privateclients@tc-group.com or call our Private Client Team on 0330 088 7111 to arrange your free consultation.

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BCP: Financial support for businesses – information and contact details as of 19/03/2020.

The Chancellor recently announced a new wave of measures to financially support businesses impacted by COVID-19. These include but are not limited to:

  • Businesses receiving Small Business or Rural Rate Relief will get a grant of £10,000 to support cash flow 
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality grant – those with Rateable Value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will get an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality rate relief – Discount of 100% extended to all businesses in sector regardless of Rateable Value 
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – will enable businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. 
  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. 

To keep updated with the latest government announcements on business support throughout the coronavirus situation check the Central Government website or subscribe to receive email alerts.

It is important to note that BCP Council is awaiting further guidance on the award mechanism of this financial support from Central Government. As soon as this information is known, we will inform you via this email, on our @Business_BCP Twitter feed, the @BCPCouncil Twitter feed and on our website. At this time businesses do not need to take any further action. Funding for the Grant Scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.

Further information and support for the local area can also be accessed through the Dorset Growth Hub, and the Dorset LEP.

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Get help and support for your business

Following on from the government’s announcement, the following helpline has been set up for businesses requiring financial assistance. 

Tel: 0300 456 3565 Website: http://bit.ly/2Qu5y71

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Engage with BCP Council for Economic Growth, 24th April

BCP Council invite you to ‘Engage with BCP Council for Economic Growth’, an interactive business-focused event to find out what BCP Council has achieved so far and to introduce you to the Corporate Strategy going forward. You are also encouraged to engage with us to help shape our Economic Development Strategy and provide feedback on the day during round-table discussion.

Friday, 24th April from 7:45 am at the Marsham Court Hotel.

The event is free but you must register via Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/2xhSbjF We hope to see you there to discuss the key challenges for growth. 

Event agenda

07:45-08:15 – Event registration / networking (tea/coffee & pastries provided)

08:15-08:30 – ‘The First Year of BCP Council’ – Vikki Slade, Leader BCP Council

08:30-08:45 – BCP Council Corporate Strategy – Bill Cotton, Corporate Director, BCP Council

08:45-09:00 – Q and A

09:00-09:20 – The Draft Economic Development Strategy – Sandra Rothwell, Economic Advisor

09:20-09:50 – Workshop feedback on the Economic Development Strategy 

09:50-10.00 – Next Steps and Close

10:00-10:30 – Further networking/discussion (tea/coffee provided)

Register here: http://bit.ly/2xhSbjF

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