Covid-19 Update 19.11.20

Dear all

Some updates below.

(1)Growth in Covid cases

(2)Lockdown government business grants open today

If there are any other local issues you’re having please email us and we will see what we can do about it.

Lockdown is here because Covid-19 is sadly still making people sick and killing people.

Please continue to stay safe

National restrictions

Stay at home, except for specific purposes.

Do not mix with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.

Certain businesses and venues must close.

More detail https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

Yours sincerely

Phélim

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Leader of the Council

Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council

Chair, Policy and Resources Committee and Covid-19 Recovery Sub-Committee

Member of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee

Member of the Greater Brighton Economic Board; Strategic Delivery Board; Board of Trustees Brighton Dome & Festival Limited and Royal Pavilion and Museums Foundation; Representative to the Local Government Association

phelim.maccafferty@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove BN3 3BQ

@phelimmac

http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Ward surgeries at 7.15pm on last Weds of every month at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Palmeira Square (except August and December)

(1)Growth in Covid cases

A message from the Director of Public Health. Please read it carefully, our cases are again rising. I am especially worried about the 57% increase among the 40 to 59 age group and 50% increase among those aged 60 and older. This steep rise demonstrates why the whole city needs to take this second lockdown seriously to break the chain of transmission.

Dear Colleagues

When we reported the drop in numbers last week, I warned it was too early to say that this would be sustained. Unfortunately, the numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19 are again going up among all age groups.

The full data is available on our website. In summary, there has been a 46% increase in cases in the city’s population as a whole. There was an especially sharp 57% rise in adults aged over forty and a 50% rise among people aged over 60. This growing spread of Covid among our older and most vulnerable residents is very worrying.

It has been suggested some of the increase in cases seen nationally in the last week reflects extra social interaction in the period leading up to the national lockdown. This highlights why the lockdown guidelines to stay home and to avoid meeting people outside your household (except where allowed) are so necessary to stop Covid spreading out of control in our city.

With such high stakes, we must all take this second lockdown as seriously as the first one. We are already two weeks in with only a short time left to play your part in helping to reduce the numbers of cases in our city.

Work from home if you can and only go out for essential activities to avoid close contact with people outside your household. If you cannot work from home follow Covid safety guidelines in your place of work.

If you experience any Covid related symptoms – even if very mild – you must immediately self-isolate with your household, apply for a test and follow the self-isolation guidelines to stop the virus infecting more people.

To break the chain of transmission we need everyone who is contacted by NHS Test and Trace to respond to the calls and emails to provide the information they ask for.

The Council’s Community Hub can provide support and advice for all residents, especially people who need to self-isolate. If you or anyone you know needs help during this difficult time, please don’t hesitate to contact our Community Hub.

Please share this message widely with your contacts.

Kind regards

Alistair Hill

Director of Public Health
Brighton & Hove City Council

(2)Lockdown government business grants open today

Subject:                Business Support Grants

Date:                     19 November 2020

We want to tell you and the businesses and organisations in the neighbourhood that the application process for business support grants is now open. Apply here. We of course cannot give any assurance about eligibility or the likely success of obtaining a grant but we encourage you to read the information below and apply through the online portal. Relevant documents attached too.

This affects businesses in the city that are

  1. Closed because of the pandemic, or
  2. Open but severely affected by the lockdown restrictions from 5 November to 2 December.

Background

The government is providing funding for two local schemes – the Local Restrictions Support Grant and the Additional Restrictions Grant which is discretionary. Businesses not eligible for the main local restrictions grant may be able to get a discretionary payment.

We are writing to businesses that we think may be eligible for a grant to encourage them to apply. These are businesses that we have on our records from the previous Covid grants process in the summer.

We are also notifying business support organisations and partnerships  in the city so that they can share the information through their networks.

We have set up a secure online form for businesses to apply.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed)

Businesses that pay business rates and have had to close may be eligible for a grant of up to £3,000 for the period of closure.

The amount will depend on the rateable value of the property.

All types of businesses that are registered rate payers including Community Interest Companies, community centres, and charities with trading arms may be eligible for a grant.

The council will make the payments. As long as businesses have made a genuine claim, they will not have to pay back the grant.

Additional Restrictions Grant (discretionary)

The council can use discretion on which businesses to target for a small payment. In Brighton & Hove they will be mostly businesses which have fallen through the cracks of the main grant due to a technicality and those most affected by the lockdown.

The grant allocation of £5.8 million covers two financial years, so we have the flexibility to hold half of the allocation back to support businesses during future lockdowns.

The principles of how to distribute the grants were agreed at the Policy & Resources Urgency Sub-Committee on 13 November. Read the report or view a recording of the committee meeting.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)

There is an additional local restriction grant available for businesses that had to close on 23 March and have not been able to re-open as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions.

The only businesses eligible for this grant are nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques and adult entertainment venues.

More information about who can apply and the application process can be found at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/covid-business-support

Latest update

Applications are now open. There is one application form for both grant funds.

The application form and guide are on our website at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/covid-business-support.

Please urge businesses to read the guide before they go onto the portal, as it will tell them what information they need to have to hand before they start. This is important because applicants will not be able to suspend their application and go back to it once they have started.

The guide will also help them through the form so that they provide the information that we need to assess their claim.

We expect both schemes to be over-subscribed. We will be directing businesses that are unsuccessful to other available government support. More information about these schemes are on our Covid-19 businesses and employers web page.

How we are letting businesses know about the grants

From our records the council is proactively contacting more than 5,500 businesses that fall within scope of paying rates to encourage them to check their eligibility and apply.

Business and community organisations in the city are contacting their members.

Council teams which come into contact with businesses, for example VisitBrighton, and the environmental health team, are helping to distribute information.

Information is being shared with the community and voluntary sector.

We are sharing information on our news and social media channels.

We are getting a transcript of the applicant’s guide translated into five of the main languages spoken by residents in the city: Arabic, Polish, Mandarin, Bengali and Farsi.

We welcome suggestions about how we can let every small business know about this opportunity. If you have a suggestion please let us know at news@brighton-hove.gov.uk

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