The Coronavirus presents a unprecedented challenge, but we can assure you that Rugby First will continue to make every effort to maintain our CCTV, Rangers and cleaning services to keep the town centre clean and safe during these difficult times, as well as supporting town centre businesses.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) extended
From today (Monday 6 April) CBILS has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. The changes mean even more smaller businesses across the UK impacted by the coronavirus crisis can access the funding they need.
Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme.
More details are available at the British Business Bank’s website
Keeping your business safe
Even though the majority of businesses in Rugby town centre are closed, Rugby First is working closely with Rugby Police to ensure that your business property remains safe, with regular patrols and the 24 hour CCTV operation.
Business owners can help Rugby First and Rugby Police by ensuring that they have taken the following steps to prevent crime:
- Remove window displays if practical
- Keep valuable items securely stored out of sight
- Remove cash from the premises and having clearly visible signs to reinforce this message
- Check your CCTV system is working and that any images recorded would be identifiable
- Keep lighting on in key areas
- Make sure your premises are securely locked and that points of entry are secure.
If you have any queries or would like further advice, please contact the Rugby First Control Room.
£60,000 support available for local artists
The Coventry City of Culture Trust is investing in a fund to support individuals and organisations in the arts and cultural sector who are facing urgent pressures caused by loss of work due to coronavirus. The fund is being administered by the Heart of England Community Foundation and will offer grants of up to £1,000 for organisations and £500 for individuals working in the sector.
Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We recognise that, in our sector like so many others, it is causing hardship for both organisations and individuals across our region. The Coventry 2021 Coronavirus Resilience Fund will help to support some of those who are most in need in and working in the arts and culture sector in Coventry and Warwickshire.”
To apply for the fund go to the Heart of England’s website.
The Government’s list of shops that can stay open includes the following:-
Bicycle repair shops
New business support website
A new resource for businesses, this site helps businesses find out how to access the Government support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply all in one place.
Changes to Rugby First rangers and cleaning services
We are taking the COVID-19 outbreak very seriously and following best practice advice from the Government, NHS and Rugby Borough Council, therefore we have made a series of changes to our Rangers and Cleaning services so that we can continue to provide you with these amenities:
Rangers & Cleaners
Our rangers will continue to patrol the town centre and will respond and deal with issues. However, we have reduced the number of business visits and our rangers will not be carrying out instore patrols, to minimise the potential spread of the virus.
Our cleaning team will continue to keep the town centre clean but they will not be able to perform the business deep cleans and the five minute ‘hit squad’ times may be increased, depending on demand.
All of our teams who are out in the town centre are implementing enhanced hygiene measures and will be wearing disposable gloves.
If you would like a ranger or cleaner to attend your premises, please contact our Control Room.
The shredding collection scheduled for Friday the 27th March is postponed. Any business that requires a collection can request one by contacting the office on 01788 572150.
We are closely monitoring the situation and will notify you of any further changes. In the meantime we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support during these difficult and trying times.
For up to date business and health advice, please see the following websites.
HMRC helpline for businesses
HMRC has set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to Coronavirus. Callers will be able to discuss:
- agreeing an instalment arrangement
- suspending debt collection proceedings
- cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately.
The helpline number is 0800 0159 559 – and is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm.
Rugby Borough Council
The council has issued a statement on their response to COVID-19 with measures to support the community, the vulnerable and local economy, which you can read in full on their website.
The council is preparing to administer small business grants on behalf of the Government and will publish further details when they are available.
All local authorities are working with the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses to provide responsive and effective support.
Business rates bills to reflect the new discounts and measures announced by the Chancellor are being updated and will be completed before 1 April.
Impact of COVID-19 on Rugby town centre events
In the light of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and latest government advice, Rugby First is postponing all of its planned events for the foreseeable future to protect local residents and visitors. This will affect Bikefest (17 May) Rugby Festival of Culture (20 June) and Rugby Food and Drink Festival (27 June).
Rich Warren, operations director Rugby First said: “Rugby First is working closely with town centre businesses, venues, traders and entertainers to inform them of the changes and mitigate disruption as much as we can. With regards to the market, it will close on Monday 23rd March while we monitor the situation.
“We would like to reassure the town that our 24 hour CCTV operation will operate as normal and our team of Rangers and cleaners will be out in the town centre keeping it as clean and safe as we possibly can for people.”
To try and help support businesses through the disruption caused by COVID-19, the Government has set out a package of temporary measures. The main features are :
- A statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
- Business Rate Relief for a year for all companies in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors
- Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief
- Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance and
- HMRC Time To Pay Scheme for freelancers and self-employed people
- VAT deferral until 30 June 2020
Full details and criteria for these initiatives can be found on the Government’s website, which is updated daily.