COVID-19 Information for Watford Businesses

Watford BID contact: 01923 919 989
enquiries@watfordbid.co.uk

Working together as a business community has never been as important as it is right now, and that is why we are urging all Watford BID levy payers to vote for a further 5 years of investment & care for our town centre.

Please visit www.watfordbid.co.uk/ballot to read our 2021-2026 Business Plan outlining our plans for recovery & growth in Watford town centre, and how we will only be able to achieve our goals with your 'YES' vote.

The ballot period is from 8th January - 4th February, please do get in touch if there is anything you would like to discuss with us.

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BUSINESS GRANTS

Watford businesses can apply for grants due to forced closure or a change in trading. If you applied for Local Restrictions Support Grant in November, then there is no further action for you to take at this stage in light of the latest national lockdown (January 2021).

If you have not yet applied for business grants then you can do so by visiting https://www.watford.gov.uk/businessgrants

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WENTA FREE BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAMME

To further support businesses, the council have also partnered with not-for-profit and social enterprise Wenta, to launch a free business support programme tailored to the needs of local businesses and residents across Watford.
The programme provides free of charge services including one-to-one business advice, skills training webinars and workshops, access to co-working, incubation space for small businesses and specialist support. For more information, visit watfordbusiness.com/recovery.

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£1,000 GRANT FOR 'WET-LED' PUBS

• One-off £1,000 grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ across tiers 2 and higher in lieu of Christmas trade
• additional government support for the traditionally busy Christmas period
• businesses can apply in addition to existing £3,000 support

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and higher who will miss out on much needed business during the busy Christmas period.

Pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food have been asked to make huge sacrifices over the festive season and will be eligible for a one-off £1000 to help make ends meet.

The payment will be a one-off for December and will be paid on top on the existing £3,000 monthly cash grants for businesses. This will cover those in tiers 2 and above forced to reduce their operations as a result of the latest regional measures put in place to contain transmission of the virus.

Visit http://www.watford.gov.uk/businessgrants to check eligibility and apply.

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BOUNCE BACK BETTER

The Watford BID board have unanimously agreed to support the Bounce Back Better campaign, which calls for ‘special support’ for the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.

We are utilising the collective voice of Watford BID to encourage change on a national level, a letter was sent by our chief executive to local MP Dean Russell calling on the government to do more for the retail, hospitality, and leisure sector in 2021/2022.

A quote from Maria Manion, our Chief Executive:

“Our hospitality sector has experienced several business closures since March, and some of our businesses have been unable to open since March. The impact of this pandemic has been devastating on the hospitality, leisure and cultural sector. I don’t think the government truly appreciates or understands the costs associated with the opening and closing of businesses, the impact on lives and livelihoods and the inter-relationship between the hospitality, leisure sectors and our broader business community.

Ultimately businesses need to be supported through these exceptionally unusual and challenging times. There is no quick fix, but we must fully understand that by supporting our town centres, which are the social and economic hearts of our communities, we are supporting our broader communities. The government must act now to support our businesses, and our local communities before the damage becomes irreversible.”

Downloadable PDF: bounce-back-better-manifesto

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GOVERNMENT ACTIONS:

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

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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

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WATFORD SUPPORT

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

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PPE FRAMEWORK SUPPLIERS

Any businesses still operating and in need of PPE, social distancing marking, protective screens for counters/checkouts, or sanitisers - the following suppliers we can confirm are accredited suppliers that have been able to provide full specifiactions and/or certificates:

Shop Shields

National BID Buying Group

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WATFORD COMMUNITY

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 18k+ 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.

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WATFORD TOGETHER

We are supporting Watford Council in their introduction of a new ‘Watford Together’ website, which launched in Spring last year.

#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 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.

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WATFORD BID E-UPDATES

We send out weekly emails with all the latest local and nationwide information & news relating to COVID-19 that will be relevant to Watford businesses. if you are a BID levy payer and would like to be added to the list please email marketing@watfordbid.co.uk.

We are on all social media channels:

Watford BID LinkedIn
@WatfordBID Facebook
@WatfordBID Instagram
@WatfordBID Twitter

Stay safe and stay in touch!