ALF: WE DIDN’T WANT TO BE  IN THIS SITUATION, SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE

IF BUSINESSES CAN OPEN DURING THIS LOCKDOWN, THEY ARE NOT ELIGIBLE UNLESS THEY CAN PROVE DOWNTURN

IF YOU HAD SUPPORT IN JAN, THEN YOU WILL BE FAST TRACKED

APPS FOR BUSINESS SUPPORT SCHEME WILL OPEN FROM 5PM WEDNESDAY

SALARY SUPPORT SCHEME EXTENDED AND OPEN TO ALL BUSINESS WHO CAN PROVE 25% REDUCTION IN TURNOVER FROM 2020

APPS FOR MARCH OPENS MARCH 29

MERA APPS OPEN FROM MARCH 4, PAYABLE FROM MARCH 3

SECOND CIRCUIT BREAKER THIS YEAR, THIRD IN 12 MONTHS

CONCERNED IT WILL CAUSE GREATER FINANCIAL PROBLEMS 

INTEND TO INCREASE SALARY SUPPORT FORM £280 TO £310 AND MERA FROM £200 TO £230 PER WEEK

WEEKEND DISRUPTION – ECONOMIC RECOVERY GROUP WILL ADDRESS THIS 

ACUTELY AWARE OF IMPACT ACROSS COMMUNITY

SHORT CIRCUIT BREAK CAN CAUSE HARDSHIP

WE HOPE INCREASE IN SUPPORT CAN HELP ALLEVIATE THREAT

ACTION IS ROBUST AND PROVEN, WE MUST MOVE FORWARD AS QUICKLY AND SAFELY AS POSSIBLE 

QUESTIONS:

CLAIRE CHRISTIAN – FANTASTIC UPDATE, CAN THOSE WHO CAN WORK OUTSIDE APPLY FOR THE GRANT?

ALF: YES BUT ARE ASKED ONLY TO REPLY IF THEY ARE IMPACTED BY REQUIREMENT NOT TO WORK IN OCCUPIED PROPERTIES OR IF WORKERS ARE REQUIRED TO SHIELD, MUST BE MATERIALLY IMPACTED

ROB CALLISTER – SILENCE 

SPEAKER – WE’LL COME BACK TO YOU

CHRIS ROBERTSHAW – CAN YOU HEAR ME? WHEN YOU REFER TO 25% REDUCTION COMPARED TO LAST YEAR, MAY NEED TO MOVE THIS AS BUSINESSES WERE ALREADY BEING HIT BY COVID THIS TIME LAST YEAR. SECONDLY, ON SATURDAY, CHIEF MIN SAID IT WAS ADVICE BUT HAD SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON BUSINESS, WILL YOU REFER ERG TO LOOK AT SUPPORT FOR THOSE THAT CLOSED AND LOST OUT ON SATURDAY?

ALF – USING 2019 AS BASIS FOR CLAIM IS PERFECTLY FINE FOR SALARY SUPPORT SCHEME, I WILL REFER THIS TO THE ERG, WE’VE ALREADY DISCUSSED IT AND WE’RE CONSIDERING IT. ACKNOWLEDGE CONCERN IN HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, UPDATE LATER THIS WEEK.

JULIE EDGE – SECOND CIRCUIT LOCKDOWN, SO INCREASED SUPPORT IS BENEFICIAL, HOSPITALITY SECTOR HAS GRAVE CONCERNS OVER INSUFFICIENT SUPPORT FOR HOTELS ETC, CONCERN OVER LACK OF EXIT STRATEGY, UK TOURISM INDUSTRY PREPARING AND TAKING BOOKINGS, WHAT IS ON OFFER FOR OUR HOTELS?

ALF – CONSTANTLY REVIEWING ALL ASPECTS, THERE IS A SCHEME IN PLACE FOR HOTEL PROVIDERS IN PLACE UNTIL APRIL, I EXPECT IT WILL BE REVIEWED SHORTLY. FUTURE STRATEGY, LOTS OF FACTORS IN PLAY HERE, CHIEF MIN LIKELY TO WANT TO EXPAND ON STRATEGY AND WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN OVER NEXT WEEK/10 DAYS.

ROB CALLISTER – I SHARE CONCERNS OVER FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES OF FAMILIES. ANY FURTHER SUPPORT FOR THOSE STRUGGLING TO PAY RENT OR MORTGAGES? PEOPLE ARE ALREADY IN SIGNIFICANT DEBT AND HAVE USED UP MORTGAGE HOLIDAYS?

ALF – EFFECTIVELY WE HAVE ADDED £120 PER MONTH TO MERA AND SALARY SUPPORT, HOPE THAT WILL HOPE ALLEVIATE THOSE CASES WHERE PEOPLE ARE IN INCREASING DIFFICULTY. CONTACT SOCIAL SECURITY IF YOU NEED HELP, MIGHT BE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE. WORKING ON BASIS OF 21 DAY BREAK BUT WE ARE MONITORING SITUATION. HOPE INCREASE GO SOMEWAY TO SUPPORTING BUSINESSES AND EMPLOYEES.

CLARE BARBER – HOW ABOUT ISOLATION PAYMENT SCHEME? 

ALF – BENEFIT SYSTEM WILL PICK INDIVIDUALS UP WHO ARE NOT EARNING AND HAVE TO STAY AT HOME BECAUSE OF COVID. PREVIOUSLY BEEN IN DIFFERENT SITUATION TO UK AND USED WELFARE TO SUPPORT PEOPLE.

CLAIRE CHRISTIAN 2 – SALARY SUPPORT INCREASE FORM £280 TO £310, WILL THAT BE AVAILABLE FOR FEB AND MARCH OR JUST MARCH?

ALF – AVAILABLE GOING FORWARD, JUST MARCH NOT FEB.

ROB CALLISTER 2 – ANY WORK BEING DONE ON EVICTION PREVENTION?

ALF- NO SPECIFIC DECISION TO REIMPLEMENT CHANGES TO CURRENT SITUATION ON EVICTION BUT WE WILL CAREFULLY MONITOR THE SITUATION. WILL ACT IF THERE IS LONGER TERM DISTRESS OR FURTHER ECONOMIC SCARRING. 

CLAIRE BARBER 2 – SUPPORT FOR HOSPITALITY BUSINESS THAT SHUT ON THAT SATURDAY?

ALF – AS I SAID, ERG IS LOOKING AT IT.

JULIE EDGE 2 – BUSINESSES ARE STRUGGLING TO MAKE PAYMENT AND CLAIM BACK, CAN WE HAVE IT ANY QUICKER?

ALF – I DO ACCEPT THAT THERE IS POTENTIALLY SOME DIFFICULTY WITH THIS LOCKDOWN SO CLOSE TO THE LAST ONE. BROADLY SPEAKING, MOST BUSINESSES WILL BE ABLE TO GET THE SUPPORT PAYMENTS IMMINENTLY. WE HAVE GOOD TRACK RECORD ON PAYING OUT QUICKLY. HOPEFULLY WE CAN PROTECT JOBS.