COVID-19 Information for Watford Businesses

We are acutely aware that these are exceptionally challenging times for our high street, and that it is an ever-changing situation, we would ask that where you think there is information your team would benefit from you cascade the information down. We have no issue with you sharing any of the below with your staff as it provides useful links to regularly updated information for you and your staff:

BID ACTIVITIES

Unfortunately, we have had to put many of our marketing activities on hold as we cannot be encouraging footfall into our town in conflict with the government’s messages.

At this moment in time the social media content is very much to encourage our audience to support our town centre businesses when they can, and that we hope to have more on offer to them than ever before once things return to normality. We are working with the Council and local community groups to encourage the message of supporting one another and increasing the sense of pride in our community during a tough time.

We will still be introducing the floral displays back into the town in June and will look to extend the length of time that we have the lamppost banners in place to enhance the look & feel of the town.

The BID team are currently working from home, but as ever our services are freely available so please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries on enquiries@watfordbid.co.uk or maria@watfordbid.co.uk

NEW MEASURES TO PROTECT UK HIGH STREET FROM AGGRESSIVE RENT COLLECTION AND CLOSURE

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.

Read the full article here.


GOVERNMENT ACTIONS:

As the situation regarding COVID-19 escalates, the government are 'doing whatever it takes' to support businesses.

COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses

Coronavirus action plan: a guide to what you can expect across the UK

Coronavirus information for the public

FUNDING OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT SCHEMES

In addition to the government schemes, over the last week or so several new funding programmes have been announced to support organisations and businesses involved in culture, heritage and sport that are experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19.

Visit Herts have compiled this information on their website, so that you can check to see if any of the opportunities may be relevant to your business or even a friend or family members: Visit Herts

SECURITY STAFF

Below is an update from Ian Todd, CEO SIA which clarifies the role of security officers as essential workers:
https://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

GENERAL INFORMATION

This provides a link to the CIPD and to frequently asked Q&A about COVID 19, and protecting your workforce

https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/coronavirus/faqs

WATFORD SUPPORT

Watford Council updates: https://www.watford.gov.uk/coronavirus

Watford town centre chaplaincy support: Frances Novillo | 07483 178582 | frances@watfordtcc.org

The Herts County Council / NHS leaflet Coronavirus Bereavement: A Guide for Adults acknowledges (p.33) that if you are a work colleague of someone who's died, you may have greater difficulties grieving, your grief may go unrecognised, or you may feel unable to express your grief. With this in mind, and within our remit as a local workplace wellbeing charity (Reg. Charity No. 1101281), able to provide ongoing support to staff in Watford town centre through our Chaplains, Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy is providing training to Watford's business community, HR directors, wellbeing coordinators, and concerned managers:

The Trauma of Loss: how to support a work team through the loss of a colleague, and how to support a colleague through bereavement

It's a 3-session course (1.5 hours each session) online from 9.30-11am on Tuesday 27th, Wednesday 28th, and Thursday 29th May.

Please email Lead Chaplain Frances Novillo frances@watfordtcc.org to book.

ONLINE TRAINING

UK Government’s Business Support Website has a list of upcoming webinar events from Government and non-government partners. You can find more information here

TRAVEL INFORMATION:

London Northwestern Railway revised timetables will come into effect from Monday 6th April for essential travel only, for up-to-date information please visit www.wmr.uk/coronavirus and www.lnr.uk/coronavirus

Arriva Bus travel updates and answers to FAQs regarding their service can be found at www.arrivabus.co.uk/coronavirus.

PROTECTIVE COUNTERTOP SCREENS

Any businesses still operating and in need of protective screens for counters/checkouts can obtain them at http://www.shopshields.co.uk/

#WATFORDCOMMUNITY

It may be a testing time to stay positive but using our social channels we are trying to spread positivity and share feel-good local stories to our 15k+ followers.

Please share any good things your business is doing during this time, or just any positive story you come across and send it to marketing@watfordbid.co.uk and/or marketing@visitwatford.com.

#WATFORDTOGETHER

We are supporting Watford Council in their introduction of a brand new ‘Watford Together’ website, which launched on Tuesday 7th April 2020.

#WatfordTogether will get people creative, active or arty with a range of cultural activities, events and competitions, giving people plenty to do that will keep them both physically and mentally active as well as providing opportunities to connect with others who share similar interests and pastimes.

The full range of activities on offer can be found on the dedicated #WatfordTogether website – www.watfordtogether.co.uk and on Facebook (facebook.com/watfordtogetheruk) which will be updated regularly with new ideas and things to do.

The BID will be working with the council to produce content and spread the word on social media of this new website.

Stay safe and stay in touch!