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04 June 2020 - Update #18

This is our latest email bulletin relating to the COVID-19 outbreak - for more information about our services, how we can help you and links to national and local updates, please visit our dedicated webpage.

In this week’s bulletin we have exciting news detailing the launch of our new webpage, updates on our recovery plan as well as further details on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We have also summarised the next stages out of lockdown below according to the latest Government guidance. 

Next Stages Of Recovery From Lockdown

As of 1 June, outdoor retailers such as garden centres, car showrooms and markets were able to open with along with schools reopening for years one and six in primary schools, reception and nurseries. In addition to this up to six people are now allowed to meet outside in parks, garden or other private outdoor spaces provided they continue to follow the social distancing measures if they are not from the same household. As it stands, all other non-essential retailers are set to be able to trade again from 15 June. The above guidelines are on the basis that businesses must complete a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives. You can read our previous bulletin on how to get your business COVID-secure here.

BID News

Southampton From Your SOfa Launches This Week 
GO! Southampton has been working closely with cultural partners across the city to bring together a new campaign entitled Southampton from your SOfa. Utilising our B2C Visit Southampton platforms we have been working in collaboration to enable businesses in the city who are currently closed due to Government guidelines, be able to connect with their audiences online. The webpage features a whole host of activities, talks, gigs, concerts, interviews, exhibitions, webinars and more which sit within the arts, music, theatre, heritage and other cultural sectors. We understand the importance of the cultural sector in the city. Not only the vibrancy it brings, but also the positive impacts from an economic perspective. 

In the coming weeks we will be promoting the page across our Visit Southampton social channels and would love if your business could get behind us and share our content. Please use the #SotonFromYourSOfa in any posts or communications. If your business is offering something that would fit into one of the categories on our pages then get in touch with us on and we can add it to our channels.  

Next Steps Of Our Recovery Plan 

We are continuing to develop our recovery plan in partnership with Southampton City Council to make sure the city is ready for when visitors return. Social distancing queue markers will be implemented outside businesses in the BID area on 13 June. These floor vinyl stickers will help your customers stay a safe distance apart from each other whilst queuing outside your business. We will also apply line markers and arrows on the streets to further guide visitors around potentially busy areas. In addition to this, we will be widening footpaths in some areas of the city centre to allow for social distancing measures to take place. You can find further details of our plans to create a safe city centre experience for residents, businesses and visitors here. Your feedback is important to help us shape our recovery plan and more importantly how we can support your business during this time. Please complete this short survey here, to share with us your individual needs. 

Meercat Offering PPE For Businesses

The National BID Buying Group, operated by Meercat, are offering a PPE framework of suppliers and prices especially for their members. As GO! Southampton work on a joint procurement scheme with Meercat, all of our levy payers are able to access these prices on PPE supplies for their business. The National BID Buying Group have researched into the correct PPE and have only provided suppliers that meet the full specifications and/or have provided certificates. This means that by buying through them your business will have the right PPE keeping both your employers and customers safe. View the pricelist and enquiry form here.

Levy Payer Bills 

Supporting our businesses out of lockdown and into the recovery phase is our main concern during this time. To help you as best we can, we need that vital funding from our levy bills. We recently sent out our BID levy bills in March but few have been paid. We are extremely grateful to the businesses who have paid them and can understand why most haven't. Please do pay your levy bill as soon as you can afford to do so. That way we can play a major part in bringing the city back to life and attracting customers to your door.

Local News

Discretionary Grant Funding Application Set To Open

Applications for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund are set to open early June. The scheme aims to support small and micro businesses who are not eligible for other grant funding such as the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. The purpose of the scheme is to support small businesses and to encourage growth and re-employment as the ‘lock-down’ measures are eased. Government has given guidance on the eligibility criteria, and clear guidance on the need to prioritise certain businesses. Eligibility criteria determined by Government include businesses who: 

  • Are based in England 
  • Have fewer than 50 employees 
  • Have fixed commercial property costs such as rent 
  • Were trading on 11 March 2020 
  • Companies must be trading and not be in administration or insolvent 
  • Have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus 

The Government has asked local authorities to prioritise businesses not paying Business Rates based in shared offices, co-working spaces, regular market traders based in Southampton, small charities in receipt of charitable business rates relief and bed and breakfasts who are paying council tax instead of business rates. 

Eligible submissions will be assessed on turnover, the number of employees and fixed monthly property cost and an appropriate grant value assigned. All grants will be for between £1,000 and £10,000 to ensure that as many grants as possible can be provided. In addition all submissions will be scored and ranked to ensure that grants are provided equitably. A weighting will be given to prioritised businesses. The new scheme will be oversubscribed and so with a limited budget from Government some non-prioritised businesses may not receive grant support. Southampton City Council are due to published further guidance and open online applications - we suggest businesses, especially those mentioned above, check back to this page for more updates.

Barclays Money Mentors 

The Barclays Money Mentor initiative is offering free one-to-one appointments for employers who need advice on any financial issues they may be facing during these times. Businesses can speak to the trained money mentor about anything including budgeting, credit scores, clearing debts and creating a plan of action. Register for a phone call with local mentor Nicky here

Newsquest's Business Recovery Packages

A series of recovery packages, created by LocaliQ, have been designed for businesses to have a ‘quick start’ multimedia marketing plan and support in place to help engage with customers at the earliest opportunity and get desperately needed cash flow back into businesses post lockdown. Available in four different pricing solutions suited to the needs of the business, these packages will ensure companies are ready to engage with their customers within 24 hours of government updates. LocaliQ is the digital marketing service for Newsquest who publish Hampshire titles including the Daily Echo. For more information on these get in touch with Michelle Buckingham here.

National News

Further Details On The Furlough Scheme Extension

Last week, the Chancellor announced further details on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which included flexible working patterns for currently furloughed staff and additional clarification on how businesses will have to support furloughed wages from August. From 1 July, employees can return to work on a part time basis, a month earlier than previously announced. It will be up to the individual business to decide how this might look and they will have to pay their employees for the hours that they work. From August, the Government will ask for employers to contribute to the 80% wage that furloughed employers are receiving. Below is a summary of what this means for your business.

June and July
The UK Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything, except if staff return on a part time basis.


UK Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

UK Government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,190. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

UK Government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

Note: The final date a business can put a new employee on furlough in 10 June (next Wednesday), to be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, claim for wages here.

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
  • Check if your business can reopen here
  • Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here
  • Read the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme factsheet here
  • Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to your employees due to coronavirus here  
  • Read HSE’s short guide to working safely during the coronavirus outbreak here
  • Read how to clean your workplace safely here
  • Read the Governments COVID-19 Action Plan 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.