Home / News / 25th November: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

25th November: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Latest News Updates
Posted – 25 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 almost 10 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and sadly 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 28% have had a booster.

Total UK Cases: 9,974,843 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 
43,676 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 
7,874, 233 fewer than on previous day
New deaths across UK: 149
Total UK deaths: 144,286
England Cases per 100,000: 
450
R number in UK: 
0.9 to 1.1

Vaccine data:

Total 1st doses given: 50,827,554 – 88% of UK aged 12+
Total 2nd doses: 80%
Daily 1st doses: 26,822
Daily 2nd doses: 22,002
Daily Booster doses: 365,152

Latest Stockport data:

Total Stockport cases: 50,096 to 24 November
Cases in the latest week: 1041, 109 more than previous week
Total deaths: 786 to November 12th
Cases per 100,000: 354 per 100,000 week ending 20 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:      

Mothercare returns to profit
Mothercare has swung to a pre-tax profit in the first half of the financial year after it implemented measures to improve profitability amid a return to pre-pandemic levels of business. The retailer posted a pre-tax profit of £3.6 million in the six months to 25 September compared to a loss of £13.2 million in the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA came in at £5.6 million compared to a loss of £0.1 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, Mothercare said its turnover declined to £41,7 million from a previous £44.4 million after Covid-19 had a significant impact on its business throughout the world.
At the half year end, it still had just over 10 per cent of partners’ global stores closed.

Pret A Manger sales return to pre-pandemic levels
Pret A Manger has reported that sales have risen above pre-pandemic levels for the first time since Covid-19 struck. The coffee chain said UK sales were higher last week than in January 2020. This included London’s financial districts, airports and West End shopping districts, as well as regional towns, northern counties and Scotland, and marked the first time that sales have returned to pre-Covid levels.

Warning of wine and spirits shortage as supply chain in chaos
Britain could face shortage of wine and spirits at Christmas, a drinks trade body has warned. In a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said rising costs and supply chain chaos have held up deliveries. Imports were now taking up to five times longer than a year ago, it said.

The government said: “We do not expect disruption to the supply of alcohol this Christmas”. The letter was co-signed by 49 firms, including Pernod Ricard, Moët Hennessy and the Wine Society. It said the sector has been badly affected by the HGV driver shortage crisis, which the industry has blamed on factors including Covid and Brexit.

National Highways help delivery firms over Black Friday and Cyber Monday 
National Highways is going the extra mile to help delivery firms this Black Friday and Cyber Monday by lifting and completing 394 miles of roadworks. 
Almost 98 per cent of England’s major A-roads and motorway network will be free from roadworks between 8pm on Sunday 28 November through to 6am on Friday 3 December. With many orders being processed after Black Friday, the removal of roadworks on major routes coincides with expected delivery dates to customers. National Highways is also encouraging motorists heading out on the roads in search of a bargain to think about checking their vehicle before setting off. 

Resources for raising awareness about COVID Pass fraud
Resources for raising awareness about COVID Pass fraud and how to get your free NHS COVID Pass.

REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS: 

Northern Venture Capital Investment reaches over £990m
Businesses in the North attracted £992m in venture capital investment in Q3 of 2021, according to KPMG’s latest Venture Pulse Survey.
The figure was raised across 55 deals in the region, with the largest type of financing deal in the North being later stage VC, accounting for 40 per cent of the deals.

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: 

COMMUNITY:   

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.

CONSTRUCTION:


Northern contractors reeling from rail infrastructure cancellation
Contractors across the north of England have raised fears over an “economic black hole” for the local industry following government cancellation of rail plans across the region. Stuart Miller Regional Director of CECA said: “One key section of Northern Powerhouse Rail alone could deliver a £22bn boost to the northern economy by 2060 according to a report from engineering consultancy Mott Macdonald.

“Major infrastructure projects of this nature are the lifeblood of many and we’re disappointed that, once again, prosperity in the North has been overlooked.
Smaller contractors are also urging government to make sure they get a fair crack at winning contracts.

PROPERTY:

New build sales fail to live up to frenzy seen elsewhere in the market
Data released by Zoopla suggests that demand for new builds outside London remains above the five year average but has failed to match the frenzy of the wider house sales market in the past year. The North-West, Yorkshire and the North-East have seen strong new home buyer demand at more than 30 per cent above the five-year average; in London, new homes buyer demand remains around 25 per cent below. 

RETAIL:

Lidl to ramp up UK store openings with 1,100 stores by 2025
German discounter Lidl has announced plans to increase the number of its UK stores to 1,100 by 2025, up from 880 now. The move will create 4,000 new jobs, the supermarket chain said. Its latest UK accounts published on Wednesday morning showed revenues climbed 12% to £7.7bn in the 12 months to the end of February.

That helped it post a pre-tax profit of £9.8m, compared with a £25m pre-tax loss in the previous year. It said that despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, it opened 55 new UK stores in the year which left it on track to reach its previously stated aim of having 1,000 stores by the end of 2023.

TRAVEL:

Immigration and border statistics relating to COVID-19
This page brings together documents relating to published statistics on the immigration system and passenger arrivals since the COVID-19 outbreak – Added ‘Statistics relating to passenger arrivals since the COVID-19 outbreak, November 2021’.

Statistics relating to passenger arrivals since the COVID-19 outbreak, November 2021
A statistical report showing the impact of COVID-19 on the immigration system, up to October 2021.

 

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)