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24 April 2020 - Update #12

This is our latest email bulletin relating to the COVID-19 outbreak - for all the latest information about our services, how we can help you and links to national and local updates, please visit our dedicated webpage. The page also includes links to our previous coronavirus bulletins. 


Local Government News
  • The consultation on Southampton City Council’s new City Vision (Local Plan) has been extended to 31 May 2020, due to COVID-19. The document will set out future developments of new homes, workspaces, infrastructures and facilities across the city over the next 20 years and beyond. Addressing the city’s key issues, the Southampton City Vision will meet the development needs of the city whilst recognising the needs and diversity of individual communities. As of 15 March, only 70 businesses had responded offering their thoughts on the Local Plan. This extension gives you the opportunity to have your say and help to shape the future of our city. Respond to the questionnaire here.

  • As of 21 April Southampton City Council had paid out 1,684 grants in Government funding to businesses during COVID-19 totalling £22m. Despite an initial positive response, these schemes, the Small Business Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, have yet to be claimed by approximately 1,200 eligible businesses in Southampton with £18m of funding still available from the Council. We are working with the Council’s Economic Development Team to reach out to BID levy payers who may be eligible but have yet to apply for one of these grants. If you think your business is eligible for either grant, you can fill out the online form here, or use the online finder tool to help find what financial support is available to your business.

Government News
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) opened for applications this week in a bid to help support larger firms with an annual turnover of £45m or more, which is the upper limit for the existing smaller-business CBILS funding. The scheme will be available through a series of accredited lenders, which are listed on the British Business Bank website here. To apply for this scheme go here.

  • A reminder that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme opened this week for employers to make financial support claims for their furloughed staff. For more information and to apply go here.

  • Last night the Government announced that all essential workers who are showing symptoms of coronavirus and members of their household can now be tested, giving more workers the reassurance and ability to return to work if test results are negative. Eligible employers include NHS and care staff, teachers, hospital cleaners, public servants, the emergency services, supermarket staff, delivery drivers, and other critical infrastructure staff. From today, key workers can apply for a test online here. For more information and to see the full breakdown of who qualifies for priority testing go here.

  • Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, has set out measures to help protect high street shops from aggressive rent collection. Although many landlords are working well with their tenants some are still putting pressure on businesses to pay their rent during this time. To overcome this, the use of statutory demands and winding up orders will be temporarily banned to shield businesses from accumulating more financial issues. For more information on the new bill go here.

BID News
  • We are fully backing the #RaiseTheBar campaign led by Croydon BID, which is lobbying for the upper rateable value threshold of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant to be raised from £51,000 to £150,000, which would allow many more businesses in these sectors to access the £25,000 grant funding. An initial letter was issued to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industry, Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, with a secondary letter due to be sent which we are co-signing. A petition has also been launched, which we encourage all businesses, particularly those affected, to sign hereTo find out more about the campaign go here.

  • We have extended the closing date for prize draw entries to our Visit Southampton photography campaign until 31 May. The social media channels are continuing to receive positive content from consumers, and we would love you to support by sharing the campaign with your audiences. Full details of the campaign are here. Remember if your business is operating in new ways (e.g online or through a delivery service) or engaging virtually with customers in an innovative way then tag our channels or get in touch with us at

  • Although many customer-facing businesses are temporarily closed in the city, there are still some businesses which are currently in operation for essential needs such as food shops, banks and pharmacies. Our security team continue to help these businesses as well as working with Hampshire Police to protect the closed properties from commercial burglaries. You can view the list of open businesses on our Visit Southampton 'Still Open For Business' blog. 

Useful Links
  • For Government guidance for businesses, employers and employees go here.
  • Sign up for the Government’s specific business support email bulletins here.
  • Sign up for general Government coronavirus email updates here.
  • View the Council's latest coronavirus information here.
  • Sign up for the Council's business e-newsletter here.
  • The British Business Bank have created a factsheet with information on CLBILS – view here.
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have created a Coronavirus Business Support Blog – view here.
  • Ocean Outdoor have launched a £10m advertising fund for SMEs - apply here.
  • Claim your free business advert across Newquest's Hampshire titles here.
  • Register your business for a free listing on the Wave 105 online business directory here.

    Our Contact Information  

    You can reach the BID team via If you have any queries at all, or if you think we might be able to help you with something specific, please do not hesitate to contact us.