Check if you are eligible for coronavirus Restart Grant in England
THE Government is inviting people in non-essential retail in England to check their eligibility for a coronavirus Restart Grant.
The grant is meant to support businesses in reopening safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The Government says grants will be available from April 1 but applications can be submitted in advance.
Eligible businesses in the non-essential retail sector may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 from their local council.
Unfortunately for many traders the criteria for eligibility is that the applicant must pay business rates. Additionally the grants are at the discretion of local authorities.
The Government advice — click here to read in full — says traders need to visit their local authority’s website to find out how to apply.
People can’t wait to visit outdoor markets and events, says survey
AT LAST perhaps some good news.
A new survey reveals that as restrictions are expected to be lifted this summer people can’t wait to visit outdoor markets, festivals and other live events.
Self-employed traders can apply for fourth support grant from late April
The UK government says it recognises the continued impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the self-employed. It announced in November that there would be a fourth Self Employed Income Support Scheme grant.
At the Budget it was confirmed that the fourth SEISS grant will be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £7,500. The fourth grant will take into account 2019 to 2020 tax returns and will be open to those who became self-employed in tax year 2019 to 2020. The rest of the eligibility criteria remain unchanged.
Eligibility for the scheme will now be based on a submitted 2019 to 2020 tax return. This may also affect the amount of the fourth grant which could be higher or lower than previous grants that might have been received.
Applications will open at the end of April.
To read the Government statement on this click here.
Other financial support for your business in the UK
Find financial support for your business in the UK by using the Government checker – click here
For specific advice on financial support for businesses in Northern Ireland click here.
For specific advice on financial support for businesses in Wales click here.
For specific advice on financial support for businesses in Scotland click here.
NEW (March 25th) — UK Government statement on help for Scotland click here.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) — situation for retail markets across the UK
After Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement detailing what he said was an irreversible roadmap out of lockdown, it could be that April 12th in Step 2 is the date when non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen.
For more information click here
From April 26th non-essential retail can open. Cafes, pubs and restaurants can also open on this date until 8pm indoors, but not serve alcohol. Outdoor drinking will be permitted until 10pm.
Travel restrictions in and out of Scotland are to end from 26 April, but international travel will “not be achievable” before 17 May.
For more information click here
From March 13th stay at home restrictions will be lifted. People will be permitted to travel within their local area.
People can meet family and friends who live locally as long as it is outdoors (including private gardens). A maximum of 4 people from 2 households (excluding any carers or children aged under 11 from either household) can meet, socially distanced.
From March 15th – All primary pupils and those in qualifications years will return to education settings.
Hairdressers and barbers can reopen for appointments.
For more information click here
for information click here
Third national lockdown in force in England — Chancellor announces £4.6 billion support package
A THIRD national lockdown now in force in England has brought in tight restrictions which include a ban on the sale of non-essential items.
At the same time Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £4.6 billion package to help businesses through to the spring.
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor said.
Whilst those grants will be made to businesses eligible for business rates, a further £594 million is also being made available through local authorities to support other impacted businesses.
To read the full statement from HM Treasury click here.
Government guidance on the lockdown appears to mirror that given previously:
Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods.
These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
In relation to businesses that can remain open the guidance makes it clear that market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open.
Whilst there has as yet been no specific clarification from Government on mixed retail it would seem logical to adopt the guidance allowed in the previous Tier 4 rules:
- 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.
Tier 4 restrictions extended to most of England
STRICT Tier 4 restrictions originally introduced in the South East and east of England have been extended to include The Midlands, North East, parts of the North West and parts of the South West, with almost all remaining areas escalated to Tier 3.
The changes are effective from Thursday December 31.
Whilst as in Lockdown 2 supermarkets in Tier 4 are allowed to open as normal and sell their whole range of goods, market stalls have been singled out along with the rest of non-essential small businesses and must close.
The guidance states:
To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. These include:
non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods – these venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
Under the heading businesses and venues that can remain open the guidance emphasises:
market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open.
The areas in Tier 4 are:
- Derby and Derbyshire
- Leicester City and Leicestershire
- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
East of England
- Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes
- Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock
- All 32 London boroughs plus City of London
- North East Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of County Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland)
- North of Tyne Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland)
- Tees Valley Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees)
- Greater Manchester
- Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen, and Blackpool
- Warrington and Cheshire Region
- Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex
- Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth
- Isle of Wight
- Kent and Medway
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
- Gloucestershire (Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester City, Stroud and Tewkesbury)
- Somerset (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, and South Somerset)
- Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
To read the Government’s latest published guidance on the new regulations click here.
To read comprehensive guidance on England’s tier areas click here.
To read general Government advice on the pandemic click here.
Lockdown 2 regulations studied by NMTF and NABMA — an interpretation
Dateline: Friday November 6th 15:00 hrs
THE regulations for Lockdown 2 have been published and the NMTF and NABMA have worked together to interpret them in so far as they relate to markets and market traders.
To read the revised joint statement click here.
Lockdown returns to England Thursday — how will markets fare?
Dateline: Monday November 2nd 13:45 hrs
SINCE the Prime Minister announced the second national lockdown in England from Thursday November 5th the NMTF has been trying to discover how it will impact on indoor and outdoor retail markets.
At the moment we are assuming retail markets will be allowed to remain open to sell essential goods.
But the Government has made it clear supermarkets will once again be able to sell a full range of goods — and we consider this to be an unlevel playing field.
In partnership with NABMA we have launched a petition on Change.org to demand that both indoor and outdoor retail markets should remain fully open to sell both essential and non-essential items.
The petition reads:
“Markets across the UK have been at the heart of our towns, cities and communities for centuries and have a proven track record in supplying local people with food and goods.
“As England enters another period of lockdown, we demand that the Government give markets parity with supermarkets in terms of the supply of essential and non-essential goods during this period. Markets should be allowed to remain fully open.
“Markets have demonstrated throughout 2020 that they are a safe and reliable source of goods for local and vulnerable people. They are a vital asset to the vibrancy and economy of local communities, and they should be allowed to remain fully open.”
Supporting letters have been sent to three Government ministers — Communities and Business Secretaries Robert Jenrick and Alok Sharma and High Streets and Markets Minister Kelly Tolhurst.
We hope to persuade Government before the relevant law is passed in Parliament on Wednesday.
The letters tell ministers:
NABMA (National Association of British Market Authorities) and the NMTF (National Market Traders Federation) feel strongly that the closure of all “non-essential businesses” is not equitable if supermarkets are allowed to remain open and sell the non-essential products.
We are therefore calling on the government to allow all retail markets in England to remain fully open.
Markets across the UK have been at the heart of our towns, cities and communities for centuries and have a proven track record in supplying local people with food and goods. Our industry is made up of some 1,200 traditional and specialist markets and approximately 40,000 businesses trade on these markets on a regular basis. Sadly, recent surveys have suggested that due to the impact of the pandemic, as many as 80% of traditional markets now fear for their future. A further lockdown will impact on the fragility of many such local markets.
Click here to read the full content of the letters: