COVID-19 Information for Watford Businesses

Watford BID contact: 01923 919 989
enquiries@watfordbid.co.uk

Watford BID have compiled a handy reopening guide for Watford town centre businesses containing pertinent information as lockdown restrictions begin to ease. You can download your guide by clicking the pdf link below:

watford-town-centre-reopening-guide-april-2021

The document contains useful information on reopening safely, available grants, Watford BID activities to increase footfall, town centre operations and more for you to digest. If you have any questions regarding any of the information on the document, please contact enquiries@watfordbid.co.uk or call on 01923 919 989.

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BUSINESS GRANTS

Watford businesses can apply for grants due to forced closure or a change in trading. If you applied for Local Restrictions Support Grant in November, then there is no further action for you to take at this stage in light of the latest national lockdown (January 2021).

If you have not yet applied for business grants then you can do so by visiting https://www.watford.gov.uk/businessgrants

NEW RESTART GRANTS FOR WATFORD BUSINESSES

To provide a much-needed cash boost to thousands of businesses in the borough as they start to reopen this week, non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses may be eligible for a one-off payment via Watford Borough Council through the new Restart Grant.

Businesses in Watford in the non-essential retail sector may be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000, while businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors, may be eligible for one-off grants of up to £18,000.
To be eligible for the Restart Grant businesses must occupy commercial premises and have a business rates account in their name. The amount awarded depends on the rateable value of the premises and type of business.

If you successfully applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant and have been receiving automatic payments under this scheme, you need to complete a new application to receive the Restart Grant, as no automatic payments will be made. Applications for the Restart Grant will close on 30 June. Apply now at https://www.watford.gov.uk/restart-grant.

The new scheme is similar to the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG). However, there are some differences in the eligibility criteria, and businesses that have been successfully awarded a LRSG in the past will have to provide further information for a Restart Grant, as some of the evidence that the council needs to collect have changed.

We urge all eligible businesses to apply for a grant, and to come to us if you require any support with the application process. Please contact enquiries@watfordbid.co.uk or call 01923 919 989.

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WENTA FREE BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAMME

To further support businesses, the council have also partnered with not-for-profit and social enterprise Wenta, to launch a free business support programme tailored to the needs of local businesses and residents across Watford.

The programme provides free of charge services including one-to-one business advice, skills training webinars and workshops, access to co-working, incubation space for small businesses and specialist support. For more information, visit watfordbusiness.com/recovery.

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BOUNCE BACK BETTER

The Watford BID board have unanimously agreed to support the Bounce Back Better campaign, which calls for ‘special support’ for the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.

We are utilising the collective voice of Watford BID to encourage change on a national level, a letter was sent by our chief executive to local MP Dean Russell calling on the government to do more for the retail, hospitality, and leisure sector in 2021/2022.

A quote from Maria Manion, our Chief Executive:

“Our hospitality sector has experienced several business closures since March 2020, and some of our businesses have been unable to open since March 2020. The impact of this pandemic has been devastating on the hospitality, leisure and cultural sector. I don’t think the government truly appreciates or understands the costs associated with the opening and closing of businesses, the impact on lives and livelihoods and the inter-relationship between the hospitality, leisure sectors and our broader business community.

Ultimately businesses need to be supported through these exceptionally unusual and challenging times. There is no quick fix, but we must fully understand that by supporting our town centres, which are the social and economic hearts of our communities, we are supporting our broader communities. The government must act now to support our businesses, and our local communities before the damage becomes irreversible.”

Downloadable PDF: bounce-back-better-manifesto

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GOVERNMENT ACTIONS:

COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses

Coronavirus action plan: a guide to what you can expect across the UK

Coronavirus information for the public

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GENERAL INFORMATION

This provides a link to the CIPD and to frequently asked Q&A about COVID 19, and protecting your workforce

https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/coronavirus/faqs

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WATFORD SUPPORT

Watford Council local updates: https://www.watford.gov.uk/coronavirus

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PPE FRAMEWORK SUPPLIERS

Any businesses still operating and in need of PPE, social distancing marking, protective screens for counters/checkouts, or sanitisers - the following suppliers we can confirm are accredited suppliers that have been able to provide full specifiactions and/or certificates:

Shop Shields

National BID Buying Group

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WATFORD COMMUNITY

It may be a testing time to stay positive but using our social channels we are trying to spread positivity and share feel-good local stories to our 20k+ followers.

Please share any good things your business is doing during this time, or just any positive story you come across and send it to marketing@watfordbid.co.uk and/or marketing@visitwatford.com.

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WATFORD BID E-UPDATES

We send out weekly emails with all the latest local and nationwide information & news relating to COVID-19 that will be relevant to Watford businesses. if you are a BID levy payer and would like to be added to the list please email marketing@watfordbid.co.uk.

We are on all social media channels:

Watford BID LinkedIn
@WatfordBID Facebook
@WatfordBID Instagram
@WatfordBID Twitter

Stay safe and stay in touch!