Updates for the start of 2021

  • BID Support
    • Working with BBAC and Prestige Security, our daily security patrols are continuing, with patrols every morning to check on temporarily closed premises and support essential businesses.
    • If you are open or continuing to operate in anyway, please let us help you provide key messages to your customers by sharing your comms with us and tagging us into your social media posts.
  • Discretionary grant

The Council’s discretionary grant programme will be re-launched primarily to deliver limited financial support for businesses required to close as a result of the Tier 4 restrictions from the 31st December and who do not have a Business Rates assessment (such as those in shared accommodation).  The application form will be available here https://blackburn.gov.uk/coronavirus/support-business during this week (commencing 4th January). Businesses which were paid a grant following the National Lockdown in November do not need to re-apply. Please contact businessgrowth@blackburn.gov.uk  with any enquiries.

  • Support Grant 

Just a reminder that financial support is available for businesses that have a business rates assessment and have been forced to close by the Government, and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses. This includes those businesses that were required to close under the Tier 4 local restrictions, in place from the 31st December 2020.  You can apply for the grant payment here: https://blackburn.gov.uk/coronavirus/support-business  Please note you don’t need to reapply if you have already applied previously for this grantThe grant will be paid automatically and the Council is hoping the majority if not all will be paid by the end of the week.   This will be the same going forward.

  • The following businesses are permitted to remain open in Tier 4 restrictions:
    • food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops. This also includes fresh food retailers (such as butchers, bakers, greengrocers, fishmongers, and delicatessens)
    • off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol
    • pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
    • mobility and disability support shops
    • newsagents
    • builders’ merchants and suppliers of products and tools used in building work and repairs. This does not include carpet stores, and showrooms such as those for bathrooms, kitchens, tiles, and glazing
    • garden centres, agricultural supplies shops, and natural Christmas tree retailers. This does not include florists or nurseries
    • veterinary surgeons, animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and pet shops. Animal grooming facilities may also stay open but must only be used for the purposes of an animal’s welfare (and not for aesthetic purposes)
    • dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
    • banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points and undertakings which by way of business operate currency exchange offices, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers
    • post offices
    • funeral directors
    • laundrettes and dry cleaners
    • bicycle shops, vehicle repair and MOT services
    • petrol stations and automatic car washes
    • taxi or vehicle hire businesses and motorway service areas
  • Guidance on mixed retail
    • A business selling a significant amount of essential retail may also continue to sell goods typically sold at non-essential retail. For example, a supermarket that sells food is not required to close off or cordon off aisles selling homeware.
    • Where a business selling essential retail has another, separate business embedded within it that is required to close, the embedded business must close. For example, an electronics business operating a concession within a supermarket must close, as would a bookstore inside a garden centre.
    • Where a business has sufficiently distinct parts, and one section provides essential retail and one section provides non-essential retail, the non-essential sections should close to limit interactions between customers and the opportunity for the disease to spread. Sufficiently distinct sections might involve operating in separate buildings, across separate floors, a door between sections, using separate cashiers, or another clear demarcation between sections. For example a food shop may stay open, but a homeware section on a separate floor or separate building should close.
  • Brexit – UK & EU Trade & Cooperation Agreement

The UK and EU have agreed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement governing future trade relations from 1 January 2021, that will see no tariffs or quotas on the movement of goods produced between the UK and the EU. 

A summary explainer document is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/agreements-reached-between-the-united-kingdom-of-great-britain-and-northern-ireland-and-the-european-union 

The best place for businesses to get support and information about the changes is at www.gov.uk/transition , which includes a ‘transition checker tool’ available here https://www.gov.uk/transition-check/questions , so businesses can get personalised results about the specific actions they need to take.

Please get in touch with Blackburn BID Manager catherine.price@newground.co.uk if you have any questions about the above, the current restrictions or anything I can help you with.

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