Banner photo for the news story 'COVID Update 21'

The 'R' Rate

This was the week when we all learned a lot more about how the letter ‘R’ will rule our lives. It was the outbreak of COVID-19 that saw it shoot to fame. Apparently, we will soon be hearing more about ‘R’, not just on a national scale but at a localised level too. Give it a few weeks, the Prime Minister proclaimed on Sunday, and we should all know the ‘R’ factor in our towns better than we know the ages of our children or the names of our family members. Until a vaccine appears, the ‘R’ factor will govern our lives...

As you will be aware, decisions on which businesses can open when will depend on ‘R’ remaining at, or below ‘1.0’ (currently it is between 0.5 and 0.9).

BID Recycling

Our sincere thanks go to the HBBC Team who have maintained the Tuesday morning collection service during the lock-down which has been of particular use to our takeaway businesses. As more businesses are opening and others preparing to open – all under strict Government Guidelines – this Friday morning between 10.00am and midday the front door of the BID Office as 76 Castle Street will be unlocked and a stock of recycling bags will be left halfway up the stairs. Please help yourselves but just take enough to last for one month.

Reminder – this service can only be used by BID Businesses who have already signed up for it. Clear bags are for paper and cardboard, orange bags are for hard plastics (milk cartons etc). If you haven’t already made use of this FREE BID weekly collection service and would like to sign up, please e-mail All bags must be ready for collection by 9.00am every Tuesday please.

Extension of the Furlough Scheme

On Monday Evening we heard a message from Government that the existing Furlough Scheme would continue as it is now until the end of July. From then on, a Revised Furlough Scheme will be introduced to last until the end of October. The details on the Revised Scheme have yet to be announced, but we suspect this will mean it will exist for certain industries only, and where the Company pays around 50% of the payment to each individual. However, as with everything in this uncertain time, details can change.

Discretionary Support for Small Businesses

The Government have promised our Councils more information by the end of this week, at which time those businesses who did not receive the £10k or higher grant will be able to check their eligibility and then apply. We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.

'Sneeze Screens'

AM Signs of Hinckley have managed to source a supply of these much sought-after anti-Covid products. It is understood that the acrylic material is in very short supply through the UK, so if your business needs them, then now is the time to get them.

Paul Rolfe and Adrian Morton from AM Signs (just off Stockwell Head) are happy to advise and say that these are all slot together with no screws or fixings needed. No screwing into counter either so fully stand alone. As fellow BID members, they are more than happy to set up on site free of charge in the Town centre.

Pauls details are:
Office: 01455 632275
Mobile: 07835 675479

Sneeze Screens Photograph (higher resolution) (jpg)

Statutory Demands from Landlords for Rent

Government has put in place a temporary ban on the use of statutory demands, made between March and the end of June by landlords, where a company is not able to pay bills.

We always recommend to enter into discussions with your Landlord to agree a temporary arrangement – but in the event that they become threatening the following advice is available:

Government Rent Demands Advice

Social Distancing Banners

Hinckley BID and HBBC have shared the cost of a number of Social Distancing Banners which you will see erected shortly throughout the Town Centre.

These, together with other spray painted reminders on the pavement should help to keep the Social Distancing rules.

Business Rates Revaluation

A revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 ‘to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus’, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced.

Legislation had been introduced to bring the next revaluation forward by one year from 2022 to 2021, but following the recent economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic ministers want to ensure businesses have more certainty during this difficult time.

The government is continuing work on the fundamental review of business rates, with the key aims of reducing the overall burden on businesses, improving the current business rates system, and considering more fundamental changes in the medium-to-long term. The call for evidence for the review will be published in the coming months.

The postponement comes on top of the government’s support package for business and workers during the economic emergency including:

  • Businesses are set to receive a discount of almost £10 billion on their rates bills this financial year in response to coronavirus, after the business rates retail discount was increased to 100% from 50% for 2020 to 2021.
  • Over £12 billion for local authorities to deliver grants of up to £25,000 to eligible businesses. As of 3 May, over £8.6 billion has been paid out to over 697,000 business properties.
  • Protections for UK high street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month, backdated to March 1 and available for at least 3 months. The first grants have been paid.
  • A deferral of the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June - representing a £30 billion injection into the economy.
  • A total of £330 billion worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses.

A Useful 'Back to Work' Guide

For local support and Information from Associate BID Member CRONER based on Wheatfield Way, please go to

Bright HR are a private company who have passed us a copy of their ‘Back to Work’ Guide for Employers. You may find some of it useful – please go to the following link.

Getting back to work after lockdown (pdf)

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – Now Open

From today (Wednesday 13 May 2020) self-employed individuals whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500), paid in a single instalment.

If you are eligible you will be able to make your claim on a specified date between 13-18 May, based on your Unique Tax Reference number.

HMRC has assigned eligible self-employed individuals a specific date to apply on and this can be checked on HMRC’s online checker at any time here.

People will not be able to apply before their claim date but can make a claim after that day.

The claims process is simple, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May 2020, or within six working days of completing a claim.

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If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact:

Best wishes, stay safe and well.

The Hinckley BID Team