We hope you are staying well. Do get in touch if you have questions, comments or ideas about any of the items in this newsletter, or anything else to do with the Earls Court Business Forum.
Don't get caught out! - New COVID laws for businesses start today
New laws are coming in to force for businesses where people meet socially or come in to close contact. This includes dine-in restaurants and cafes, pubs and bars, leisure and tourism services, close physical contact services including, for example, barbers, beauticians and nail bars, and community centres.
From Friday 18th September businesses must:
Enforce the "Rule of 6" - ensuring customers do not meet in groups of more than 6 on their premises and maintaining social distancing between groups
Collect details from customers for NHS Test and Trace - previously this was advised but it is now compulsory. Details should be collected from individuals, or from one individual on behalf of a group of up to 6. The details that should be collected are a name, telephone number, email address (or postal address if they do not have an email address), date and time of entry, and the number of people in the group.
From Thursday 24th September businesses must:
Display an official NHS QR code poster to enable people to use the NHS Test and Trace system. Businesses must continue to maintain a system for collecting details from those who do not want to use the app. You can register for and print your QR code poster here
Remember, personal details should be stored securely for 21 days in case you are required to disclose this information to the NHS Test and Trace project, and then destroyed.
The Finborough Theatre should have celebrated its 40th anniversary as a jewel in Earls Court's arts scene this year but has instead been forced to cancel all programming in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Like many businesses, this hasn't stopped the theatre being creative and offering services to arts lovers everywhere. The theatre has created its #FinboroughForFree series of previous productions streamed online for free on the Finborough Theatre YouTube Channel. Current shows airing include the 2017 world-premiere of Continuity, an "excellent 75 minutes of tense theatre" given four stars by The Guardian.
However due to the crisis the Theatre finds itself in need of urgent funding to maintain its charitable mission of nurturing the new generation of theatrical talent into its next 40 years. It has therefore launched a Crowdfunder appeal as part of Theatres Trust's #SaveOurTheatres campaign - a national initiative to prevent the permanent closure of UK theatres. The theatre is offering a variety of benefits in return for donations, ranging from advance ticket purchase opportunities to having your name in their foyer and a personal tour of the theatre. You can donate or share the campaign here.
What has the government announced recently about business support packages?
With a number of schemes and amendments announced in recent weeks we summarise some of the key ones here:
Government extends ban on commercial evictions - The government has extended rules preventing the eviction of businesses until the end of 2020. Read more here
New short term grants for businesses required to shut because of local lockdowns - You may well be eyeing local lockdowns in other parts of the country and wondering if that will soon happen in London too. It is worth knowing that the government recently announced a new scheme to provide grants of up to £1,500 every 3 weeks for businesses required to close under local lockdowns triggered by national decisions. Read more here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - The guidance has been updated to reflect changes to the scheme as the government reduces the percentage of employment costs is will cover for furloughed employees. The scheme ends on 31 October 2020/
Kickstart Scheme - The new Kickstart Scheme will fund 100% of the National Minimum Wage and National Insurance Contributions for new 6 month work-placements created by businesses for people aged between 16-24 on Universal Credit. Businesses creating fewer than 30 jobs will have to join a local scheme to apply as part of a group of businesses. We will let you know when we know more about what is happening in RBKC. Read more here.
What do you do if your hospitality venue has a COVID outbreak?
A COVID-19 outbreak in your venue is the last thing anybody wants. But what should you do if it happens? In this blog Night Time Economy Solutions talks about their experience of working with businesses to whom this has happened and their advice on what to do next.