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We're working with partners across the district including the NHS, Public Health England and other public sector organisations, to plan our response and help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Here you'll find information on the latest Government help and NHS advice as well as information on any council venue closures or changes to services.

10/06/2020 ADDITIONAL GRANT FUNDING FOR BUSINESSES
3 New Business categories have been added to the criteria!

Additional funding has been allocated to provide grant support to small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund..
3 ADDITIONAL BUSINESS TYPES HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE CRITERIA
Small businesses in the following criteria; can check eligibility to apply for the grant and complete the application form via our fact sheet below:
-Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;
-Regular Market Traders who operate at least 2 days per week in Wakefield on a consistent basis and with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
-Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
-Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
-Manufacturing businesses affected by Covid-19
-Businesses that supply to, or are reliant on, the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors
-Childcare provider businesses
Check eligibility & apply today: https://www.wakefieldfirst.com/media/documents/new...

ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR BUSINESSES
Are you eligible for a local authority discretionary grant fund?
.
On 01 May 2020 the Government announced the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund, designed to provide grant support to small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund. Wakefield Council have introduced the online application process for the Local Authority discretionary grant fund and the form is now live, we want to thank you for your patience during this difficult time.
Small businesses in the following criteria; can check eligibility to apply for the grant and complete the application form via our fact sheet below:
-Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;
-Regular Market Traders who operate at least 2 days per week in Wakefield on a consistent basis and with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
-Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
-Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
To view the full eligibility criteria & to apply visit: https://wakefieldfirst.com/media/documents/NEW-DIS...

On 1 May 2020 the Government announced the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund, designed to provide grant support some small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.

22/05/2020 LOCAL AUTHORITY DISCRETIONARY GRANT FUND

Who Can Apply?

The government has set out clear criteria on eligibility, and has asked Local Authorities to prioritise the following key business types:

1. Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;

2. Regular Market Traders who operate at least 2 days per week in Wakefield on a consistent basis and with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment

3. Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates

4. Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Beneficiaries are expected to provide supporting evidence to demonstrate their property related costs and the impact of COVID-19 on income.

For more information on eligibility & to apply visit here:

UK Furlough scheme extended to October

13/05/2020 Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October, the Chancellor announced yesterday.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until end of October...

-furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500

-new flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost economy

For further information on the scheme & eligibility check out our fact sheet: here

18/05/2020 HOW TO WORK SAFELY DURING COVID-19

Protect, your workforce & customers!

Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

Check out our fact sheet with useful lGoverment info & links around the following...

  • -Construction and other outdoor workGuidance for people who work in or run outdoor working environments.
  • -Factories, plants and warehousesGuidance for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses.
  • -Labs and research facilitiesGuidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments.
  • -Offices and contact centresGuidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments.
  • -Other people's homesGuidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people's homes.
  • -Restaurants offering takeaway or deliveryGuidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.
  • -Shops and branchesGuidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
  • -VehiclesGuidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar.

Click the read more button for information.

05/05/2020 TOP-UP TO LOCAL BUSINESS GRANT FUNDS SCHEME New info for Businesses!

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke set out that up to £617 million would be made available to certain small businesses, this is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF), so up to £617 million.

The exact amount for each local authority will be confirmed next week but in the meantime check out our useful fact sheet here to find out more about eligibility: here

05/05/202 FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN #PUTWAKEFIELDFIRST #wakefieldfirst

We understand that local businesses and residents are facing a challenging and uncertain time as we all consider the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. We want to ensure we support the local community and local businesses as much during this difficult period.

We need your help...

Are you a business/organisation in the Wakefield district who can help with the following...

  • -Supplying PPE
  • -Feeding the district
  • -Getting our district back to work
  • -Giving back

Take a look at our information page for further information & how to get involved: here

05/05/202 LARGE BUSINESSES CAN NOW APPLY FOR THE CORONAVIRUS LARGE BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME

Apply & learn more via our useful fact sheet

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will support large businesses, with an annual turnover of over £45 million.

All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45 million per year will be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million will be able to apply for up to £50 million of finance.

Apply & find out more via our fact sheet: here

01/05/2020 SENSITIVE YET EFFECTIVE MARKETING! how to keep acquiring new customers

Don't miss Winning Pitch's FREE webinar taking place today 2-3pm!

Should I market my business? Will it be a nuisance? What should we say or promote or market? Through this Webinar, you’ll receive practical tips to start marketing sensitively and understand the current trends to ensure that you don’t miss out on any of those possible opportunities that might come your way!

In partnership with the Leeds Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Winning Pitch have launched the Business Resilience Programme, which is aimed at supporting SMEs with the current challenges and disruptions caused by COVID-19. This is a series of webinars that we will be delivering over the next 6-weeks to help business owners!

Don't miss it: To Book click here

01/05/2020 COVID-19 CHECKLIST FOR BUSINESSES! Protect your workers & customers!

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 require the closure of particular businesses.

Restrictions are also imposed on businesses which are permitted to remain open. It is important that we all follow the government guidelines to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Where workplaces are open precautions need to be taken to reduce risks to both the workers and the public.

This checklist will help you to put in place measures in your workplace to keep both employees and customers safe!

Check our pdf fact sheet here:

28/04/2020 Open Letter from Imran Ahmad Khan MP - business continuity and support session

To the business community of Wakefield,

As part of the Wakefield Together initiative - the next business continuity and support session will be held on Thursday 30th April.

If you have an issue, question or query that is specific to your business or industry as a whole - please do get in touch directly and we will do our utmost to address it directly. There will also be a dedicated section of the session for those in attendance to field your questions to the panel following the standing agenda. The panel comprises representatives of the Member’s Office, WMDC, Wakefield First, the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses and Wakefield Bondholders.

As per the first session, existing members of partnering organisations will receive details directly through their representative body. To register attendance requests as well as direct questions if you are a Wakefield business or relevant trade body, please email imran.mp@parliament.co.uk - with all questions to be received in advance by close of business Wednesday 29th April.

A report from the second session (21/04/2020) is now available online - these are produced after each session and can be made available to all attendees the day after the meeting takes place. If you have a business in Wakefield and are seeking clarity or guidance, I implore you to join the business support and continuity session on Thursday. I will continue to champion and advocate for business both here in the constituency and in Westminster.

Yours Faithfully,

Imran Ahmad Khan MP

Wakefield's Member of Parliament

@imranahmadkhan imranahmadkhan.org.uk

23/04/2020 WINNING PITCH FREE WEBINAR! Accessing Business Interruption Loans

Don't miss Winning Pitch & Wakefield First's FREE webinar taking place Thursday 23rd April focusing on Accessing Business Interruption Loans!

-How to apply

-Key information you need to provide

-Details on specific criteria banks!

Along with practical tips to manage your relationships with banks! Book now:here

Complete our short Business Resilience Survey!

Here are Wakefield First supporting businesses is central to the work we do.

We want businesses to help shape the type of support we continue to offer during the coronavirus outbreak to ensure that everything we do has the maximum impact.

We have a dedicated team of business support advisors who have already been assisting local businesses who are in need at this time and have received over 700 enquiries since coronavirus restrictions began.

Now we would like to gain a deeper understanding of our business community in order to offer businesses the best support service possible.

Local businesses are encouraged to have their say in our Business resilience survey - whether a freelancer or part of a multi-national company. This will give you not only a chance to tell us what you need to support-wise, but the feedback will also help the team shape the support on our offer going forward.

23/03/2020 CLAIM FOR WAGES THROUGH THE CORNAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME Find out what you can claim for!

Employee's can now claim for 80% of their employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Take a look at our useful fact sheet which includes a check list of information that you will need to sucessfully submit your claim along with instructions of how to do so!

Claim now: here

20/04/2020 CLAIM FOR WAGES THROUGH THE CORNAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME Find out what you can claim for!

Employee's can now claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Take a look at our useful fact sheet which includes a check list of information that you will need to sucessfully submit your claim along with instructions of how to do so!

Claim now: here

20/04/2020 SUPPORT FOR LARGE BUSINESSES WITH CASH FLOW ISSUES Via the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will support large businesses, with an annual turnover of over £45 million.

All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45 million per year will be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million will be able to apply for up to £50 million of finance.

The Scheme will be available through a series of accredited lenders, which will be listed on the British Business Bank website. The government will provide lenders with an 80% guarantee on individual loans.

Find out more about the scheme & eligibility: here

20/04/2020 SUPPORT FOR INNOVATIVE COMPANIES Via The Future Fund!

This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This scheme is not available yet. It will launch in May 2020.

The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The scheme will be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.

Check out the eligibility criteria & headline terms via our fact sheet: here

17/04/2020 COVID-19 BUSINESS CASH GRANT - DON'T FORGET TO APPLY FOR A COVID-19 BUSINESS CASH GRANT!

Wakefield Council have over two thousand eligible businesses yet to apply for the SMALL BUSINESSES GRANT...£29M is yet to be paid.

All eligible businesses are encouraged to click the link below to access the following:

- A £10,000 grant to businesses with a Rateable Value of up to £15,000 and who are currently entitled to Small Business Rate Relief in order to help meet their ongoing business costs.

- A £10,000 grant to businesses who pay no Rates as they currently receive mandatory Rural Rate Relief.

- A £10,000 grant to retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses operating from premises whose Rateable Value is up to £15,000.

- A £25,000 grant to retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses operating from premises whose Rateable Value is between £15,000 and £51,000

Please click on this link to apply: https://lnkd.in/gn_vUSH

For additional help and advice, please contact the Wakefield First Business Support Team who can be found here: https://wakefieldfirst.com/covid-19/

17/04/2020 NEW BUSINESS RESILIENCE PROGRAMME Don't miss this brand new series of webinars!

In partnership with the Leeds Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Winning Pitch have launched the new Business Resilience Programme, which is aimed at supporting SMEs with the current challenges and disruptions caused by COVID-19.

This specialist free of charge programme will be delivering 1-2-1 Coaching / Consultancy support, a series of webinars and leadership groups. The Programme will be delivered by their associate team, who have a breathe of experience and specialisms including: leadership, business innovation, employee engagement, human resources, mental health awareness, supply chain management, marketeers as well as numerous other areas.

How they can help you?

The Programme is aimed at supporting between 300-400 SMEs over a 6-week period and will be open to all businesses.

They have launched the initial Webinar / Peer-2-Peer Programme on their Eventbrite Page which will cover key topics for businesses such as;

-How to rapidly find, evaluate and turn into high-profit

-Employee engagement... how to boost morale and unlock greater productivity

-Leadership Groups

-Lessons for Leaders... how successful leaders think and act during a crisis

-Sensitive yet effective marketing... how to keep acquiring new customers

-Mindset gym... how simple changes to the way you think will deliver growth

If you are interested in these events & would like more information or to attend click here.

17/04/2020 TAKE PART IN OUR BUSINESS RESILIENCE SURVEY

Help us support your recovery and resilience!

We recognise that the Coronavirus is having an impact on businesses of all sizes and sectors. At Wakefield First, we are keen to gain a deeper understanding of our business community so that we can continue to give you the best support service possible.

If you are a business in the Wakefield district – whether a freelancer or part of a multi-national, please take the time to complete our survey. Not only will it give you a chance to tell us what you need to support you and your business right now, but your feedback will help us shape our support for businesses going forward.

Things are tough for all right now, but together we can come through this, and your feedback on how we can help your businesses will help us rebuild the Wakefield economy stronger than ever.

Complete the survey here

For more on how we can support our business through the Coronavirus and beyond, head to www.wakefieldfirst.com or email us at info@wakefieldfirst.com

Small Business Grant


Please note this is a rapidly changing situation so please check regularly for updates. Check your business is eligible and access the online form for business grants here.

6 April 2020 Update: A range of support offered by Wakefield Council to businesses affected by coronavirus

We are doing all we can to support businesses – that’s the message from Wakefield Council as the district pulls together during the coronavirus outbreak.The Council has employed a series of measures to help the district’s businesses at this difficult time. These include:

A dedicated team of account managers helping businesses and gathering information

The team has already made contact with over 700 businesses to find out what support is needed locally. The team has signposted almost all businesses to help with staffing issues, financial pressures, supply chain and import/export challenges, training needs, key partners, government grants and additional funding.

The data compiled by the team will allow the Council to have a greater understanding of the support needed in the district and we can tailor the offer accordingly, lobby for additional funding and respond to particular areas of concern. This has given the team insight into which support services are needed and a local list of these has been sent out to businesses.

In addition to this, the team are also looking towards the future and gaining information on what support they feel would be beneficial in the future. Using intelligence will allow the Council to focus resource into the recovery effort, supporting our economy to recover quickly.

Helpline

A helpline providing one to one telephone support to any business that might be struggling and needs to hear a friendly voice and sound advice signposting the caller to a range of services and support. Wakefield First, the business facing arm of the council is working closely with key partners such as the Federation for Small Business, Wakefield Bondholder, Mid Yorkshire Chamber and Nova to coordinate messages to their members and clients.

Government grants

The Council has already helped over a thousand local businesses and charities across the district to receive their Government grant but there are many more that are eligible for support. To date 3,400 online applications have been received, more than 1,250 have been processed with £13.5m of grant funding being released on Friday 3 April.

Daily data sharing

The economic growth service provides daily updates about information gathered and the support that is needed across the district to a range of Council departments and partners.

A speedy online form to access Government business grants As part of plans to take some of the burden off businesses, the Council has set up a special business grant application form so that they can receive Government grants in light of the coronavirus outbreak – speeding up the process to access much needed funding.

The application process will be supported by a team established to process the high volume of business grant applications. They will be working through all grant requests to ensure all eligible businesses receive the payment.

Online support

A knowledgeable team updates the district on a range of issues through a dedicated webpage and social media posts on topics such as:

  • Cash-flow
  • HR – advice on redundancy, sick pay and the government’s job retention scheme.
  • Tax liability
  • Rating reliefs
  • Step-up

    The council’s Step Up’ service, set up to provide advice to help residents find work, improve their skills or make a career change is providing tailored support based on personal circumstances by telephone. To contact the team call 01924 303334.

    Quote from Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration

    Cllr Darren Byford said: “It is an extremely challenging and uncertain time for all businesses and we are doing all that we can to support them.

    “We know how important it is to hear a reassuring voice on the other end of a telephone and that is why we are providing a dedicated team of account managers ready to help.

    “As well as this, we have online support on our website covering many frequently asked questions by businesses at this time, ranging from how to access a grant to staffing issues and financial pressures.

    “Please be assured that we are ready to help in any way we can to protect our very important local economy.”



    Consultation Update Spring 2020

    Following the Council decision in October 2019, the Council is currently preparing to consult on the Publication Draft version of the Wakefield District Local Plan. However, as a result of the Coronavirus emergency and the associated challenging circumstances for the Council and everyone else, the consultation is postponed from May until October 2020. Inevitably, postponing the consultation will delay the submission of the draft plan to the Secretary of State for Examination until early 2021, and the adoption of the plan until early 2022.

    Further information is available on the Council’s website at Wakefield Local Development Plan 2036 - Wakefield Council and the Local Plan Consultation Portal at http://consult.wakefield.gov.uk/portal. Any enquiries about the Local Plan 2036 should be sent to wdlp@wakefield.gov.uk

    Neville Ford, Service Manager, Planning and Transportation

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