Home / News / 24th November: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

24th November: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Latest News Updates
Posted – 24 Nov 2021

Businesses in Stockport are invited to take part in a short survey to help shape the borough’s Economic Plan currently being drawn up by Stockport Council.

Businesses are invited to take part in a short 10-15 minute online survey to share their views on doing business in Stockport as part of the preparation for developing the borough’s Economic Plan. The survey will ask a few questions relating to best understand the nature of the different businesses operating in the borough. All responses will be treated as confidential and in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. Access the survey here.

STOCKPORT GRANT SCHEMES:

Stockport Council launches new Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for businesses facing continued challenges from impact of coronavirus
Stockport Council has opened applications for its Additional Restrictions Grant scheme, allowing businesses that remain negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic to access further financial support. The Additional Restrictions Grant supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed. You can apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant if your trading levels continue to be negatively impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). The ARG scheme will be regularly reviewed. The Council reserves the right to amend and/or extend the eligibility criteria, at any point to reflect the available funding remaining and / or further government restrictions being imposed. Any revisions will be incorporated into updated guidance held on the Council website.

Locality Boost Grant
The Council is also offering a further opportunity for businesses in local areas to access a Locality Boost Grant for their area if they did not do so in the first round of these grants. The Locality Boost Grant is for district centre trading associations or their equivalent. District centre trading associations can bid for your local area to run events to drive footfall that will support local businesses that are reopening. If the local area does not have a trading association that can lead the bid, an equivalent lead accountable body or local business will need to be agreed by businesses in that area. They will then lead as the single point of contact for their area. Only one application for each local area will be accepted. Further information on the Locality Boost Grant and how to apply is available at this link Locality Boost Grant – Stockport Council

GOV & BBC UK daily data: 

There have now been nearly 9.9 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and sadly almost 144,000 people have died, government figures show. More than 50.7 million people have now received a first dose of the vaccine, nearly 88% of people in the UK aged 12 and over. About 80% have had their second and 26% have had a booster.

Total UK Cases: 9,845,492 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 
44,917 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 
8,024, 68 fewer than on previous day
New deaths across UK: 45
Total UK deaths: 143,972
England Cases per 100,000: 
439
R number in UK: 
0.9 to 1.1

Vaccine data:

Total 1st doses given: 50,777,474 – 88% of UK aged 12+
Total 2nd doses: 80%
Daily 1st doses: 16,424
Daily 2nd doses: 13,892
Daily Booster doses: 237,995

Latest Stockport data:

Total Stockport cases: 49,742 to 22 November
Cases in the latest week: 931, 23 fewer than previous week
Total deaths: 776 to November 5th
Cases per 100,000: 316 per 100,000 week ending 18 November

Stockport vaccine data:                  

1st dose: 84% of over 12s to 17 November
2nd dose: 77%

The R value and growth rate
The R range for England is 0.8 to 1.0 and the growth rate range for England is -1% to +2% per day as of 19 November 2021.

UK NEWS UPDATES:      

Productivity back on top of the UK agenda as North-West shows strong performance
Rising inflation, wage demands and increased costs of living has pushed productivity to the top of business and political agendas once again, and this focus looks set to only intensify over the comings months.
Be the Business have just published their latest Productive Business Index, a wide-reaching report into business performance and productivity. Latest findings show that business leaders are feeling more confident about their business performance, with the North East and North West performing particularly strongly.
The rise in use of digital, online and ecommerce looks set to continue, with 38% of companies planning to increase investment in this year. Similarly, more than half of companies are in the process of hiring, with 57% expecting wage increases to be on the horizon.  

£11m government funding announced to help make UK alcohol industry sustainable Hydrogen and biogas will power whisky and spirit producers across the country following a cash boost of more than £11m from the UK government. The multi-million-pound investment announced today will help distilleries across the UK ditch fossil fuels and develop low carbon heating systems, making production processes greener and more energy efficient. Four projects will receive a share of more than £11m to decarbonise their distilling processes for the UK’s whiskies and spirits.
The distilleries sector has the potential to cut carbon emissions by half a million tonnes every year – equivalent to emissions from powering more than 60,000 homes or taking around 100,000 cars off of the road.

John Lewis launches £1m sustainable innovation fund to tackle ‘throwaway’ culture The John Lewis Partnership is launching a £1m fund that will channel cash into projects with the potential to end the high street’s “throwaway” culture.
The department store giant, which operates both the John Lewis and Waitrose fascias, is inviting academics, charities and start-ups that have ideas with the potential to reduce the environmental impact of the food, clothing and gadgets we buy, to pitch for a share of the money. Those successful will the be given grants of £150,000 to £300,000.

REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS:   

Manchester to top the league tables as the UK’s No.1 city for economic growth
As the city recovers from the pandemic, Manchester is set to top the league tables as the UK’s No.1 city for economic growth. That’s according to JLL’s UK Residential Forecasts 2022-2026 Report which predicts the future trajectory of house prices across the UK, exploring people’s shifting living priorities, and the impact that Covid-19 and the climate crisis have had on residential property. With the hospitality sector driving the surge in economic activity and people returning to work across the city centre, Manchester City Centre has returned to its former pre-Covid levels.
Areas including MediaCityUK and New Bailey continue to see increasing investment in terms of their commercial and residential potential, meaning JLL forecasts there to be a 4.7% average increase in house prices and 2.9% average increase in rental value forecasts over the next five years.

11 companies creating thousands of jobs across the North-West
A range of business located all across the region have made a host of major job announcements in recent weeks – with thousands of opportunities on offer.
As recovery from the Covid pandemic continues, major employers such as KPMG, Iceland and Octopus Energy are among those to have confirmed they are looking for new hires in Liverpool, Manchester, Chester and further afield.

North-West Digital Tech Cluster to support start-ups and create 1000 jobs
Plans for the creation of a Digital Tech Cluster that aims to create 1,000 new jobs over the next 10 yaers and drive economic growth in the region have been revealed.

Small Business Saturday 4th December Stockport

Small Business Saturday – free webinar and learn how you can get involved
Small Business Saturday is on 4th December. All kinds of small businesses can get involved, whether you are a family business, local shop, online business, wholesaler, business service or small manufacturer, Small Business Saturday is supporting you! Join other Stockport businesses who have already signed up. Learn more – join the free webinar on Wednesday 24th November at 11am – sign up here:
Find out all the ways you can get involved on Small Business Saturday website.
Are you a big business and interested in supporting Small Business Saturday? If so, please do get in touch.

Vaccine clinics for 12–15-year-olds
New vaccination clinics for eligible 12–15-year-olds in four Stockport sites:

  • Saturday, 27 November, at Westmorland Primary School, Brinnington, SK5 8HH from 9.30am to 3.30pm; 
  • Thursday, 9 December, at St Peters Church, Hazel Grove, SK7 4EA from 4pm to 8pm.
  • Monday, 13 December, at Life Leisure Houldsworth, Reddish, SK5 7AT from 4pm to 8pm.
  • walk-in vaccination centre in the One Stockport Hub in Merseyway also continues to vaccinate eligible 12-15 year olds from 10am to 3pm every Saturday until 18 December.

SECTOR SPECIFIC CORONAVIRUS-RELATED NEWS: 

BUSINESS:

UK COVID-19 alert level methodology: an overview
Explains the criteria used to move between the alert levels set out in the UK government’s COVID-19 recovery plan – updated UK COVID-19 alert level methodology: an overview.

Vaccine rollout and non-retail attractions boosted high street bounceback
A review of high street footfall data from across England has revealed that the Covid-19 vaccination rollout helped town centres bounce back after Covid-19 lockdowns, the High Streets Task Force has revealed. The Footfall Review 2020-2021 also found that town and district centres offering attractions beyond traditional high street retailers had fared best at recovering after the Covid-19 pandemic, with smaller, local high streets proving the most resilient. The High Streets Task Force, commissioned by government in 2019 and run by the Institute of Place Management, analysed footfall in 600 city, town and district centres throughout 2020 and 2021. After the initial lockdown, regional cities each saw footfall decline by approximately 10 million visitors on average, however, all district centres analysed and almost half of towns saw pre-pandemic footfall recover to normal levels by summer 2020.

DVLA Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Find out the date of applications we are processing and how to access our online services.

CARE:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommendation for unpaid carers
This resource outlines personal protective equipment (PPE) advice for unpaid carers.  

Restricting workforce movement between care homes and other care settings
Guidance for care home providers on limiting staff movement between settings to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection – revised guidance describing circumstances in which staff movement may be cautiously permitted to plan for capacity concerns and to ensure continuity of care.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing unpaid care
Information for people who are caring, unpaid, for friends or family during the COVID-19 pandemic – updated ‘Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family’ throughout in line with the latest clinical advice from UKHSA, and in alignment with other policy changes relevant to unpaid carers. Please refer to the summary change note in the guidance for a full breakdown of all updates.

COMMUNITY:   

COVID-19: arranging or attending a funeral or commemorative event
Guidance for arranging or attending a funeral or commemorative event during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – updated in line with change in messaging on when to take an LFD test.  

Finding and choosing a private coronavirus (COVID-19) test provider
Lists of and information about private test providers, to help you get the private COVID-19 tests you need – updated the general list of providers.

HEALTH & WELLBEING:    

Coronavirus and self-isolation after testing positive in England: 1 November to 6 November 2021
Behaviour of individuals required to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19, from the COVID Test and Trace Cases Insights Survey. Includes information on the impact of self-isolation on well-being and finances. Experimental Statistics.

NHS Test and Trace: what to do if you are contacted
An overview of NHS Test and Trace, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

COVID-19 vaccination: booster dose resources
Information on the booster dose for eligible individuals – added links to order the booster leaflet for those aged 40 years and over, NHS booking site and NHS booster information page.

PROPERTY:

Automation key to agency businesses recovery from Covid
Property should take a leaf from some other industries’ books and embrace increased automation to help the sector recover quicker and better from Covid. That’s the view of Peter Grant, chairman and chief executive at Openview – Powered by VTUK, who cites a raft of examples from the invention of the ATM to the fully-automated Docklands Light Railway to prove that businesses can benefit from enthusiastic support for technology. “As long as agencies have a long-term goal in mind about what they want to achieve and are thoughtful when deciding the application, they can guarantee a forward momentum of progress to yield results” says Grant. “Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen some incredible signs of recovery and growth despite the pressures. Agencies can rely on automation to help optimise and scale work. 

TRANSPORT:

Transport and transport technology: public attitudes tracker
Tracking public attitudes to and awareness of transport technologies in England – published Wave 7 summary report, data dictionary and tables.  

Transport use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and developing faster indicators of transport activity
To monitor the use of the transport system during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. DfT provides statistics on transport use by mode – latest data table added for transport use during the coronavirus pandemic.

Haulier coronavirus testing
To monitor the number of tests delivered and the positivity rate of the tests – latest data table added.

Covid-19 Webinars:

Remote education webinars
How to access school-led webinars on remote education to help share good practice – new dates for webinars for teachers added.

Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus. The YouTube video for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – Universal Credit and Child Benefit has been updated.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to make a claim:
This guides you through making a claim, including the essential information you need, what to do before you make your claim, calculating and processing your claim.
Choose a date and time

If you’ve missed any of HMRC’s live webinars, you can catch up  series of recorded webinars on HMRC’s YouTube channel – available at a time to suit you.

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:

Repayment period for Bounce Back Loans extended to ten years
Businesses that took out government Bounce Back loans to help them through the Coronavirus crisis now have more time to repay. Companies will be contacted with options to extend the length of the loan from six to 10 years as part of a new ‘pay-as-you-grow’ initiative. The new proposals give businesses three new options:

1. Extending the length of the loan from six years to 10;

2. Making interest-only payments for six months, then repaying the principal on a phased basis with other interest-only periods;

3. Delaying repayments entirely for up to six months.

Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020.

Report an outbreak of Coronavirus in Stockport:
https://www.stockport.gov.uk/coronavirus-in-stockport/report-a-coronavirus-outbreak

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)