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13th January: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Latest News Updates
Posted – 13 Jan 2022

!! COVID Stockport Business Grants Update !!

Stockport Business Rates Related Schemes:

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure grant:

  • The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant is a one-off grant to support businesses that offer in-person services in a fixed rate-paying premises.
  • Businesses that were trading on 30 December 2021 may be eligible to apply for the grant.
  • Businesses that offer more than one service may only be eligible if 50% or more of their overall income comes from hospitality, leisure or accommodation.

How much will businesses receive?

Businesses that have a rateable value:

  • of £15,000 or less on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667
  • between £15,001 and £50,999 on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000
  • of £51,000 or more on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000

What are the Tax implications?

  • Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.
  • Only businesses that make an overall profit once the grant income is included will be subject to tax.
  • Payments made to businesses before 5 April 2022 will fall into the 2021/22 tax year. Unincorporated businesses will be taxed when they receive the grant income.

Business Grant Subsidy Allowance:

  • Businesses will be subject to the financial limits set out in the Business Grant Subsidy Allowance.
  • Businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible premises.

Applications are now open. Visit Stockport Council website for full information and application – Omicron Hospitality and Leisure grant – Stockport Council

NOTE: The closing date for applications is at midnight on 18 February 2022. We will not accept any applications after this date.

COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF):

The fund will be available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.

The Stockport scheme is currently being developed.
Further details will be on the Council website when available – check this link regularly for updates – 
Financial support for businesses and employers – Stockport Council

Additional Restrictions Grant:

ARG is a Discretionary Grant Scheme that has been operating over a series of funding allocations from Government. 

Round 2 Top Up:

The latest scheme with round 2 top up funding opened in November 2021. Information and application is on Stockport Council web page at this link – https://www.stockport.gov.uk/additional-restrictions-grant

Round 3 Top Up:

Round 3 top up funding allocation has now been received and must be used by 31/03/22. Most businesses are eligible to apply if still experiencing negative impact from Covid pandemic.

Applying for an ARG:

  • Businesses can apply for a grant from both top up 2 and 3 allocations but separate need to be submitted from businesses for each round of funding (Government requirement).
  • If businesses have applied for ARG before 21/12/21, then they can submit a further application now.
  • If businesses applied after 21/12/21 then no need to do anything further – if not applied at all yet then apply ASAP.
  • Applications will be processed on first come first served basis until funds are exhausted so applying does not guarantee success in getting a grant if funds have been exhausted at that time

How Stockport is handling Long Covid

SK Business Recovery spoke to local resident Stuart Bradley who is suffering from long Covid and to Tina Betts, CFS/ME Physiotherapist helping patients to manage their symptoms:
View the video HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkU-q_eiHVQ&t=3s

An estimated 1.3 million people living in private households in the UK (2.0% of the population) reported experiencing long COVID (symptoms persisting for more than four weeks after the first suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) infection that were not explained by something else) as of 6 December 2021. Long COVID is a term used to describe the symptoms and effects of COVID-19 that last longer than four weeks beyond the initial diagnosis. The estimates relate to self-reported long COVID, as experienced by 351,850 study participants who responded to a representative survey, rather than clinically diagnosed ongoing symptomatic COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 syndrome in the full population.

UK NEWS UPDATES:   

Omicron piles pressure on struggling care system

The care system faces grim and relentless pressure compounded by Omicron, an organisation representing not-for-profit providers says. The National Care Forum says existing staff shortages, absences caused by the Covid variant and delayed PCR results have left many services struggling. The government says it has put significant additional money into social care. But the NCF says this amounts to “crumbs from the table”.

Anti-viral tablets are keeping patients ‘out of hospital’

A patient taking part in trials for Covid antiviral drugs says she started feeling better within 24 hours of taking the tablets. Amy-Claire Davies, of Swansea, said Molnupiravir pills were delivered to her door within an hour of speaking to the prescription service. “If I hadn’t taken them, I would have ended up being hospitalised,” Ms Davies said. The tablets were prescribed as part of a trial led by Oxford University.

REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS:  

GMCA expected to ask government to amend Clean Air Zone plans
The Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee has been recommended to write to the government to ask to delay the full implementation of the Clean Air Zone, GMCA chief executive Eamonn Boylan has confirmed in a statement. The city-region was instructed by government in 2020 to implement plans to reduce NO2 emissions by 2024 and take action on dangerous and illegal levels of air pollution. While the current Clean Air Plan was agreed in July 2021, plans have come under criticism in recent weeks as businesses seeking to comply with the new rules have reported that inflation and global supply challenges have impacted their ability to purchase new or second-hand low-emission vehicles.

Entrepreneur workshops at Stockport Central Library
Stockport Central Library will host a series of workshops in January and February to offer advice and support to those looking to set up a business in borough in 2022. The town centre library will host the workshops as part of the Build a Business in GM Libraries scheme, which will see libraries across Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs provide targeted support for local residents to set up new businesses. The scheme is funded by a £1.3 million grant from the European Regional Development Fund. The three workshops will share the basics of running a business, help you understand your market and get your business ready to launch with the support for expert speakers and local SME champions.  

SECTOR SPECIFIC CORONAVIRUS-RELATED NEWS:  

BUSINESS:

COVID-19: workplace testing terms and conditions
The latest terms and conditions plus standard operating procedure for coronavirus (COVID-19) workplace testing – updated ‘Workplace testing: standard operating procedure for England, Northern Ireland and Wales’.

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in your workplace.

CARE:  

Adult social care in England, monthly statistics: January 2022
Experimental statistics on a range of topics including infection control measures, coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 in adult social care settings.

Free PPE for frontline extended for another year
Offer of free PPE for frontline health and care staff extended until 31 March 2023

COMMUNITY:   

National effort to vaccinate vulnerable communities receives funding boost
Community Vaccine Champions from Bradford to Brighton will be tapping into their local networks and encouraging people in their community to come forward and get vaccinated.  

Additional actions for childminders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
What childminders should do when someone they live with has COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive, or is self-isolating as a close contact. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR home test kit instructions
Find out how to do a PCR test for COVID-19 at home and check if you need to register a test kit – added information about giving feedback about your test kit or reporting harm – updated 12 January 2022

Enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19)
This guidance aims to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic – minor change to paragraph on testing if you have symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

NHS COVID-19 app: privacy information
Privacy notice and data protection impact assessment for the NHS COVID-19 mobile app.

HEALTHCARE & WELLBEING:    

Coronavirus (COVID-19): ministerial direction on independent sector contracting
Letters regarding the ministerial direction relating to contracts with independent healthcare service providers across England in response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: Headline Results 12 January 2022
An interim release of latest data from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection survey containing high level estimates for?England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.?This survey is being delivered in partnership with the University of Oxford, University of Manchester, UK Health Security Agency and?Wellcome?Trust. This study is jointly led by the ONS and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) working with the University of Oxford and Lighthouse laboratory to collect and test samples. These headline results are a temporary publication presented in advance of our fuller, regular weekly bulletin issued at midday each Friday.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: antibody and vaccination data, 13 January 2022
Antibody and vaccination data by UK country and regions in England from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey. This analysis has been produced in partnership with University of Oxford, University of Manchester, Public Health England, and Wellcome Trust. This study is jointly led by the ONS and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) working with the University of Oxford and Lighthouse Laboratory to collect and test samples.

HOSPITALITY & LEISURE:

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in your workplace – events and attractions – Guidance updated to include change from 11 January, people in England who receive a positive lateral flow test will be required to self-isolate immediately but won’t need to take a confirmatory PCR test.

SPORT:  

Guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) measures for grassroots sport participants, providers and facility operators
This guidance sets out information for the public and sport providers on how to organise and participate in grassroots sport and physical activity as safely as possible – guidance updated to include change from 11 January, people in England who receive a positive lateral flow test will be required to self-isolate immediately but won’t need to take a confirmatory PCR test.  

TRAVEL:    

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents
This is advice for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK and British nationals overseas who need to apply for a passport affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus – concession allowing applications to be made at any VAC if your country’s VAC is closed has been extended to 31 March.

GOV & BBC UK daily data: 

There have been nearly 15 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and more than 150,000 people have died, government figures show. Nearly 52 million people have now received a first dose of the vaccine, 90% of people in the UK aged 12 and over. 83% have had their second and 63% have had a booster.

Total UK Cases: 14,862,138 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 
129,587 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 
19,735 (123 fewer than on previous day)
New deaths across UK: 398
Total UK deaths: 151,007
England Cases per 100,000: 
1,554
R number in UK: 
1.2 – 1.5

Vaccine data:

Total 1st doses given: 52,011,835 – 90% of UK aged 12+
Total 2nd doses: 83%
Daily 1st doses: 19,276
Daily 2nd doses: 28,780
Daily Booster doses: 139,584

The R value and growth rate
The latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The R range for England is 1.2 to 1.5 the growth rate range for England is +3% to +6% per day as of 7 January 2022.

Latest Stockport coronavirus data:

Total Stockport cases: 75,467 to 12 January
Cases in the latest week: 5,826 (-1,139 compared with previous week)
Total deaths: 813 to December 31st (+2 on previous week)
Cases per 100,000: 1,980 per 100,000 (2 to 8 Jan)

Stockport vaccine data:

1st dose: 85% of over 12s to 9 January
2nd dose: 79%
3rd / booster dose: 63%

Covid-19 Webinars:

ACAS – run a series of courses to help businesses with transition from lockdown

Brexit Webinars:

Exporting: Actions you need to take now: An overview of the actions you need to take now before you export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Key processes include – staged border controls, zero-rated VAT, customs declaration, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates, and authorisations. Please register to take part if you’re planning to export.

Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary: You now need to complete import or export declarations to trade goods with the EU. These are complex and a lot of businesses choose to use an intermediary to do these for them. This webinar explains your responsibilities as a trader if you choose to use an intermediary. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import or export.

What are customs import declarations?: If you import goods, you now need to make customs import declarations on controlled goods and all goods by the end of June. This webinar will help you understand what they are in more detail. This includes what is needed for simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, how to make them, and delayed import declarations. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.

Importing: Staged controls and how to prepare to use them: This webinar will walk you through the three stages of the new border controls introduced on 1?? ?January?? ?2021, and what actions you need to take for each stage. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.

LATEST LINKS:

Home workers can claim £26 tax relief for job expenses
If you’ve asked your employees to work from home, and you’ve not reimbursed them already, your employees may be entitled to claim tax relief on additional household expenses they’ve incurred, such as heating and lighting.

New hotline launched to report COVID fraudsters
A new hotline has been launched to stop fraudsters illegally targeting COVID stimulus schemes.

If you would like to register your interest in creating one or more Kickstart Job, please complete the Kickstart Employer Enquiry Form and a member of the Council’s Kickstart Team will contact you to explain more.

Kickstart Scheme
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.

Kickstart Scheme terms and conditions
Kickstart Scheme terms and conditions for employers and gateways receiving the Kickstart Scheme grant from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Kickstart Scheme employer resources
If you’ve been offered Kickstart Scheme funding, you can use these resources to show your support for the scheme.

Kickstart Scheme employer contacts
List of regional contacts for employers applying for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme.

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 30 or more job placements
If you are an employer looking to create 30 or more jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 29 or less job placements
If you are an employer looking to create 29 or less jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Visit the Stockport Council website to report details of any outbreaks online.  
https://www.stockport.gov.uk/coronavirus-in-stockport/report-a-coronavirus-outbreak

Opening times for Stockport Council Coronavirus Helpline
The helpline for vulnerable people across Stockport can now be accessed through new opening times by calling 0161 217 6046:
• Monday – Thursday from 9am to 5pm
• Friday from 9am to 4.30pm
• Saturdays from 10am to 1pm
At busy times, residents are automatically offered a call-back from one of our call handlers.

New tools and resources available from Acas:
Redundancy letter templates
Redundancy process map 

Acas have also contributed to the development of a new return to work toolkit in partnership with SOM, CIPD, BITC and Mind.

Business Support in Stockport – a centre pool of information to support business owners in Stockport:
www.skbusinessrecovery.co.uk

Government – Guidance on Returning to Work safely
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Stockport Council’s FREE job matching website helps support employers with vacancies and individuals across the Stockport borough who are looking for work. The service, Stockport Jobs Match, will help to connect employers who have urgent temporary or permanent vacancies with applicants who are immediately available and in need of employment. The website also helps signpost individuals to available support services and information. www.stockport-jobsmatch.co.uk

Stockport Council – Health & Mental Well-being https://www.stockport.gov.uk/showcase/coronavirus 

Government – Financial Support
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – online claims portal open

Government – Business Support:
Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool

Government – Business Support Hub:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

Government – IT safety support:
Government Warnings Over Coronavirus Scams – Here’s How to Protect Yourself

Government – Financial Support: 
HMRC has published guidance on how it will work out income and profits for the self-employed or those in a partnership who have lost profits due to coronavirus. 

Government – Business Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

Government – Financial Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding

Government – Business Support:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Gov.uk: Maintaining Educational Provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Business Growth Hub:
www.businessgrowthhub.com/coronavirus  https://www.businessgrowthhub.com/coronavirus/resources/2020/03/coronavirus-business-support-webinar-series

Employment – Useful information for the Self-Employed:

News and Guidance for the self-employed:
Concerned how Coronavirus might impact you and your business?
Please get in touch with Enterprising You and you will be connected to someone who can help.

You can also access information and guidance including the latest Government updates via www.businessgrowthhub.com/coronavirus

Can you claim back Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay in the Rebate Scheme
From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees. 

Health updates:

Health – updates from NHS
https://www.england.nhs.uk/news/

Health – Dedicated helpline to support vulnerable residents in Stockport:
Support can be accessed by calling 0161 217 6046 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.

Health – Dedicated health & wellbeing services:
24/7 mental health helpline & safe haven for anyone over the age of 18 in Stockport (0800 138 7276).

Health – An Emotional Wellbeing Hub which provides information, advice, and guidance for anyone up to the age of 25 for emotional wellbeing and mental health concerns. 0161 217 6028 – 8.30am-5pm Mon – Thurs 8.30am-4.30pm on Friday. 

Community – Guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
How businesses can offer services, funds and volunteers to civil society during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Find out more information here.

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    LATEST TOWN CENTRE FOOTFALL

    Total visits this period:

    492,332

    Busiest time of the day:

    12.00 - 13.00

    Average dwell time:

    141 mins

    Average visits per day:

    16,410

    (Provided by Sept 2021 research)