Government scheme plugs ₤10k business rates cash grant loophole
THE Business Rates
loophole which meant small businesses in shared office space
missed a critical ₤10,000 cash grant has been plugged with a new
₤617 million funding scheme announced on 2 May 2020. A petition
to the Government asking for help reached 22,500 signatures;
showing the level of frustration from small businesses across
"It's great news; small businesses who were reaching the end of
their cash reserves will be able to save their businesses using
this cash grant. They'd missed out because they paid their
business rates to their serviced office provider, not direct to
the Local Authority; it looks like this has been put right; we
are over the moon; the campaigning worked!" explains Office
Expert, Jonathan Ratcliffe, from Offices.Co.UK
The Department for Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills (BEIS)
has confirmed a new ₤617m scheme to support businesses in shared
spaces, regular market traders and small charity properties. Alok Sharma (Business Secretary) and the Minister for Regional
Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke, spoke to Local
Authorities, in England, about the ₤617m fund.
Ben Bradley MP let it slip on a Facebook post, and although the
cash grant will be at the discretion of the Local Authority,
it's still fantastic news for thousands of the UK's smallest
businesses who will benefit from the cash grants available.
The exact terms of the grant will be confirmed over the next few
days, however the following criteria must be met by those
claiming it. Businesses must be small under 50 employees and
must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a
significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction
"We expect more details on Monday, but from what we gather it
plugs the loophole which meant if you didn't have an account
with your Local Authority Business Rates Department, you got
nothing; it was very unfair and very stressful for all
involved." explains Ratcliffe.
The official statement from BEIS read:- "This is an
additional 5% uplift to the ₤12.33bn funding previously
announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail,
Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, so up to ₤617m. We will
confirm the exact amount for each Local Authority next week"
Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.Co.UK concluded that:- "We
got behind this campaign from Day 1 because our clients were
being punished through no fault of their own; we would like to
thank the Government for listening and supporting the UK's start
up community and saving thousands of entrepreneurs who drive
grass root businesses throughout the UK."
videos about a "killer vaccine" doing the rounds
A video has been
flagged to us on YouTube, that was posted on 20 April 2020, by
an account that has 1.43K subscribers, entitled:- "They
are getting the vaccine and literally dropping dead!"
Like so many videos of this type, this video claims that the
poster, who you can only hear, has:- "1st hand knowledge"
that has been given to them by an unnamed contact, in
this case within Warwick Hospital, about a "vaccine"
that is killing people who go into that Hospital. The
anonymous poster also claims that people who say they feel sick
will be taken to Hospital and will be given the injection that
is killing people. In a West Midlands accent, he says Police are
also at the Hospital to help keep this hushed up. Not only that,
but the comment under the video says:- "Gross malpractice
at Coventry University Hospital (England) during the era of
Covid-19." We don't want to undermine people who are
genuinely voicing warnings, but videos and posts like this
are very problematic and undermine trust in the likes of the
NHS. They can also stop people believing genuine whistleblowers
form alerting people, like Dr Li Wenliang. In the UK, we
have already seen what happens when these videos take a hold,
like what has happened recently with the videos that associated
the 5G phone masts with COVID-19. Please report these videos and
posts to social media platforms and also please do alert
regulated news outlets, like ourselves, so we can investigate
and if necessary alert the authorities to potential issues and
our readers. Sadly these types of accounts are becoming more and
more then 'norm' online and often result in the
modern equivalent of Chinese Whispers, on social media, where
people use them as click bate.
New travel advice update for
British Travellers issued
THE UK Foreign Office have updated advice
for British travellers in New Zealand, Jamaica, Guyana and
Ghana. Please use the links below for more information.
► Foreign travel advice -
► Foreign travel advice -
► Foreign travel advice -
► Foreign travel advice - New
Borough of Culture 2020 Covid-19 Time Capsule launched
TO mark the historic
times we are all living through to ensure everyone's safety,
Sefton Council's Borough of Culture 2020 team is creating
COVID-19 Time Capsule. The Team wants to capture young people's
views on social isolation and living in lockdown. They want to
know how young people feel, what they've done to stay connected
with their friends and family. The pack also asks how they have
celebrated some special occasions and what they are looking
forward to doing when Coronavirus is over. To help record the
memories, the Team has created a COVID-19 Time Capsule kit.
Young people can use the kit to record artwork they've created
and photographs including the people they are with and the
people they are missing. They can also include special memories,
a diary of the time and newspapers or clippings. Copies of kits
submitted to the Borough of Culture 2020 team will be judged and
the best will 1 of 2, ₤50 Smyths Toys vouchers and their diaries
be included in the Time Capsule itself.
Download the COVID-19 Time
Anyone who doesn't have a printer, you can email:-
BOC2020@Sefton.Gov.UK and we will send 1 out, in
the post. All entries must be returned to BOC2020, Bootle Town
Hall, Trinity Road, Bootle Liverpool, L20 7AE no later than
Tuesday, 30 June 2020. 1 entry per person and will not be able
to return any diaries that are not chosen as a winners of this
competition so people are advised to keep copies.
Cllr Trish Hardy Sefton Council's main Borough of Culture
sponsor said:- "These really are unprecedented times and
creating a COVID-19 Time Capsule to mark it is a great idea.
These kits are an ideal way of helping our young people record
their experiences to share with their families and their own
children 1 day and for one lucky winner, a chance to have their
experiences included in the Time Capsule itself."
Also going into the Time Capsule, will be number of objects to
mark the Borough of Culture celebrations. These include an
origami squirrels with instructions how to make it, examples of
diaries that the young people at SING have been working on and
memory boxes the older people have been doing. Items from the
Playing Out project that families have been making and
photographs from the competition that the Birkdale HUB will be
running will also be included.
A decision has not yet been reached on where in Sefton Borough
the COVID-19 Time Capsule will be placed but once all the items
have been chosen, the Borough of Culture 2020 team will be
asking for suggestions from local people.
Earlier this month Sefton Council's Borough of Culture 2020 team
announced that it had worked with local arts, culture and
community groups with successful grant applications to adapt
their projects for digital delivery to enable people to enjoy
and take part in the activities online or by post. Find out
Total UK cases
COVID-19 cases - update for Liverpool City Region and
ON 2 May 2020, 621 new fatalities have
been reported of those who have tested positive for
COVID-19, by a Public Health or NHS Laboratory taking the
national the total of recorded UK
Laboratory COVID-19 associated fatalities to 28,131. The number of Laboratory confirmed UK COVID-19
infections have also risen by 4,806 to 182,260, according to the
Department of Health. Within England, a total of 122,842 confirmed cases
have also been reported. In the North West we have had a total
of 19,435 confirmed cases. Current Hospital Laboratory confirmed
cases within the following Local Authorities, in and around the
Liverpool City Region now stands at the following:-
► Liverpool, 1,428 confirmed cases.
► Sefton, 810 confirmed cases.
► Wirral, 1,018 confirmed cases.
► St. Helens, 655 confirmed cases.
► Halton, 325 confirmed cases.
► Lancashire, 2,824 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire West and Chester, 829 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire East, 888 confirmed cases.
► Manchester, 1,118 confirmed cases.
► Stockport, 851 confirmed cases.
► Trafford, 603 confirmed cases.
► Wigan, 694 confirmed cases.
► Bolton, 782 confirmed cases.
► Rochdale, 476 confirmed cases.
► Bury, 502 confirmed cases.
► Tameside, 465 confirmed cases.
► Oldham, 658 confirmed cases.
► Blackburn with Darwen, 321 confirmed cases.
These stats are according to Public Health England as of
02/05/2020. Last updated 5.29pm GMT. UK total includes cases
detected through:- "Pillar 2" testing (tests carried out by
commercial partners) and therefore does not equate to the sum of
the 4 countries' counts, which only include:- "Pillar 1" (tests
carried out by NHS / PHE / Devolved Administration Labs)..
UK total includes cases detected through:- "Pillar 2" testing
(tests carried out by commercial partners) and therefore does
not equate to the sum of the 4 countries' counts, which only
include:- "Pillar 1" (tests carried out by NHS / PHE / Devolved
UK Government Coronavirus Press
Conference on 2 May 2020 Video