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21 May 2020 - Update #16

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 bulletin we highlight the main Government updates on funding and guidance along with other BID and local news. As we anticipate more workers to be returning to the city in the coming weeks, we have summarised the transport and travel updates below for getting in and around Southampton.    

BID News 

Recovery Support Survey 

GO! Southampton are seeking feedback from our levy payers to see how the BID can help businesses through the post-lockdown recovery stage. The BID is actively working in partnership with Southampton City Council to reopen the city with social distancing measures in place. As part of our planning, we have created a short survey to understand your plans for opening and the support you may require. Please fill out the survey here, closing date 27 May. 

Urban Lecture Series  
The next session of our Urban Lecture Series is taking place online on 2 June from 5.30pm, where Zoë Berman, Ruth Irvine, Amy Scott-Pillow and Phevos Kallitsis will be discussing ‘Gender and sexuality in the urban realm’. Register for your free place here.  

Local News 

Mayflower 400 Heritage Grants 

The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Southampton City Council have come together to bring a new grant scheme to the city, enabling local organisations to deliver activities as part of the Mayflower 400 anniversary commemoration. Grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 are being offered to help with projects that are connected to Southampton’s heritage and Mayflower 400. Find out more here.

Solent LEP Pay It Forward Scheme

Mango Thai Tapas, Ottoman Kitchen and The Art House are some of the levy payers amongst other businesses who are utilising the Solent LEP ‘Pay It Forward’ crowdfunding scheme to raise extra funding whilst they are partially or fully closed. This scheme allows micro and small businesses to pre-sell goods or services via Crowdfunder and receive up to £5,000 match funding from the LEP. Find out if your business is eligible here. Robin Creative Media are also using the scheme to offer promotional video and photography packages to Southampton businesses - read more here.

Travelling In And Around Southampton

Government Safety Guidance 
Following the new Government recovery strategy, it is advised that if and when employees return to work they should avoid public transport where possible and instead, walk, cycle or drive to minimise the risk of spreading the disease. If you cannot avoid using public transport it’s recommended to wear a face covering if you can, travel at off-peak times, use contactless payment and adhere to the 2 metre social distancing measures where possible. Full guidance for passengers from the Department of Transport can be read here. You can use the My Journey Planner here to plan your journey to and from Southampton. 

South Western Trains
South Western Trains, who run Southampton Central station, will be introducing more measures to ensure safety to passengers and colleagues including:
  • New 2 metre floor markings to encourage social distancing 
  • No longer accepting cash payments at ticket machines and ticket offices
  • Continuing to clean high-contact areas on trains and at stations
  • Encouraging good hygiene amongst staff 
Along with these measures, additional rail services will run from this week onward, although still working at a reduced capacity with continued advice to only travel by train if absolutely essential. See the amended timetable here.

Both Bluestar and City Red First Group have actively adapted their services in light of COVID-19, with the introduction of interventions to allow for social distancing. As demand is expected to rise, service levels are due to increase. For the latest Bluestar information visit here or for City Red First Group visit here.

National News 

Secure Workplace Business Webinars
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are hosting several free webinars over the next two weeks to guide businesses on how to ensure their workplace is COVID-secure. This compliments the latest Government guides which were released last week focusing on eight industries:
construction and other outdoor workfactories, plants and warehousesother people's homeslabs and research facilitiesoffices and contact centresrestaurants offering takeaway or deliveryshops and branches and vehicles. Register for the webinars here.

Expansion of CLBILS Loan 
The maximum loan size available under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) has increased from £50m to £200m in order to help firms have access to larger sums of money who do not qualify for the Bank of England’s COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). These expanded loans will be available from 26 May. Read more information here.

Statutory Sick Pay Relief Scheme Opens Next Week 
The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is set to open next week on Tuesday 26 May, allowing employers of small and medium-sized businesses to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they may have paid out due to coronavirus. Businesses can check if they can use this scheme and find out what relevant information is needed before the online portal opens here.

Future Fund Scheme Applications Open 
Applications for the Future Fund Scheme opened this week, allowing businesses to apply for a minimum loan of £250,000 which is partly funded by the Government and matched by third-party investors. The fund supports innovative companies in the UK who typically rely on equity investment and are currently affect by COVID-19. To find out eligibility and how to apply go here.

Testing Available For Five and Overs
It was announced this week that anyone over the age of five showing symptom of coronavirus can now book a test online. This comes after Chief Medical Officers concluded that Anosmia (loss of smell or taste) can be regarded as a symptom of coronavirus in addition to a continuous cough and/or a high temperature.  Apply for a test 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.
  • Use the finder tool to see what support your business is eligible for here.
  • View the Council's latest coronavirus information here.
  • Sign up for the Council's business e-newsletter here.
  • Read how to clean your workplace safely here.
  • Read the British Business Banks Future Fund factsheet here.
  • CBILS loan success: read our case study here.
  • Read the ‘Working safely during coronavirus’ Government guidance here.
  • Read the HSE managing risks and risk assessments page here.
  • Sign up for the free Solent LEP Covid-19 Business Support Tool 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.