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CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

GTTC Support Scheme

Following the announcement of a further 4-week lockdown the Town Council contacted the team of volunteers who had been working across the community earlier in the year. We then wrote to previous clients to offer assistance with prescription collection and delivery during the renewed period of restriction.

This time the Town Council also worked with TTVS who also offered additional services such as shopping and social phone calling.

We were mindful that a lot of our previous volunteers would be working and/or at university, but despite this, it was heart warming to see so many offer up their services again.  We are very grateful to all who have volunteered this year and been able to help so many people from across our community.

Covid-19 Business Support

The Government have listed a comprehensive list of funding here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support and it is a good idea to use these as source documents as they are constantly being updated and added to. There is also a handy self-help tool that will guide you to the most appropriate help available following answers to a few questions see https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

Our partner North Devon+ also have a Covid-19 support page here https://northdevonplus.co.uk/covid-19-support/

Grants distributed by Torridge District Council can be found here https://www.torridge.gov.uk/coronavirus

There are two types of grants available at the moment, the first being the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and the second being the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and different businesses will be eligible for each one.

The LRSG is available to certain businesses and venues which appear in the rating list and have been be required to close from 5 November to 2 December 2020. For eligible businesses, the amount of LRSG payable is as follows:

  • Businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of £15,000, the grant payment will be £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period
  • Businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of between £15,001 – £50,999, the grant payment will be £2,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period
  • Businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of £51,000 the grant payment will be £3,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period

The ARG is available to:

  • Businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19.
  • Businesses outside the business rates system, which are forced to close.
  • Larger local businesses which are important to the local economy, that feel they would benefit from additional grant money on top of the funding provided to those businesses via the LRSG scheme (State Aid rules apply).

If businesses have further business related queries they can email North Devon+ info@northdevonplus.co.uk

Shop Safely! – Shop-Local! – Time to Rally behind our Local Shops and Businesses A message from the Leader of Torridge District Council – Councillor Ken James

“As final preparations are made to reopen our towns, high streets and businesses on Wednesday a lot of the focus has quite rightly been on doing this safely. Business owners have been checking and implementing measures to prevent the spread of covid-19 but Torridge’s track record of keeping the numbers low has already been impressive and I know that with everyone’s vigilance and cooperation we can continue to stay on top of that.

Instead I wanted to focus on what I hope should be on everybody’s shopping list this Christmas and that’s to rally round and give our support to the local high street and businesses that are so vitally important as a source of work and incomes for families in the area. The aim is a simple one and that is to ask each one of us individually and collectively to consider pledging as much of our spending as possible with local shops and businesses and to put “Shop-Local” at the top of all our shopping lists in the coming weeks. If we all spend just a small amount of money with this local focus in mind – collectively it will become a powerful economic stimulus and one, that we as Torridge residents, can be in control of. It’s worth remembering that according to economic data 63p of every £ spent local – stays local.

Even if you do have to shop online for certain items, many of our independent retailers now sell online and stores such as Etsy actually allow you to locate sellers close to you. So, there are plenty of ways we can support our local traders and help give their businesses a boost even if you aren’t able to show your support in person.

I hope that as many as possible will join the Shop-Local campaign this week and particularly on Saturday 5th December, which is designated nationally as “Small Business Saturday”. Now in its eighth year, Small Business Saturday is arguably the UK’s most successful small business campaign, which last year saw an estimated £800m spent in a single day with small businesses right across the UK. The Council will be supporting this initiative by making all our car parks free to park in for the day and watch out for further free parking days in the run up to Christmas.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please spread the word – Shop Safely – Shop Locally!”

Additional Restrictions Grant

North Devon+, who are administering our Additional Restrictions Grant, have asked that we publicise and share this link https://www.torridge.gov.uk/AdditionalRestrictionsGrant. Chris Fuller (TDC) has said that in short, there is a huge degree of confusion out there about who might be eligible for this. In particular there is an understandable belief that a business needs to have been forced to close by the lockdown, whereas actually the key requirement is that a business is severely impacted by the restrictions or that it is outside of the Business Rates system.

Community Food Programme

Over the summer, Co-op customers raised £1.5m to help those going hungry by buying items from their picnic range, with 20p per item being donated to the National Emergencies Trust (NET). NET are working with 46 local Community Foundations to distribute this money to food charities and community causes to fund programmes that provide access to food and sustainable solutions to food poverty.

This funding will support food programmes for vulnerable communities across Devon with a focus on foodbanks and provision of emergency meals for people affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Funding of £1,000 – £3,000 is available to eligible organisations. Payment of grants for successful applications will be made in early December 2020 with a grant period of 6 months. The grant must be spent by 31st May 2021.

Please note – application deadline is 13th November at 5pm!

Please click link below for more information:-https://devoncf.com/apply/community-food-programme/

Devon County Council – Covid Fund

Devon County Council has temporarily re-opened the COVID-19 Fund to provide flexible resources to organisations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to help mitigate for the social and economic consequences of the second National Lockdown.

Applications will open on Monday 9th November 2020 and will close on 2nd December 2020.

Applications will need to include details of how much funding will be required and how you have assessed the need for that amount.  Grants will typically be between £300 and £700, although in exceptional circumstances we may make offers of up to £1,000.

More information is online here: https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/document/covid-19-fund/

Leader of TDC seeks to reassure residents & those experiencing hardship – ahead of second National Lockdown

The Leader of Torridge District Council, Councillor Ken James, has sought to reassure residents that those experiencing hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic shouldn’t be afraid to come forward and seek help. Torridge Council has supported many government initiatives to distribute funding to those affected including business support grants and signposting to other schemes but there are also locally operated schemes that people may not be aware of.

Councillor James said:

“Nobody could have predicted the impact covid-19 would have on everybody’s lives both financially and on people’s health and mental wellbeing. While we have well publicised national schemes and a local scheme to help with Council Tax arrears further support is also just a phone call away through a fund being administered by our partners at Encompass”

Encompass is a registered charity working across Northern Devon to prevent and reduce homelessness and the impacts of poverty and financial hardship. The fund was set up with financial support from Devon County Council and is designed to support families who are suffering immediate financial hardship as a result of Covid-19. It can be used to provide support for essential basic needs such as food, personal or household items, repairs and even gas and electricity costs.

Councillor James went on to say:

“The governments extension to the furlough scheme and other measures is very welcome as we enter yet another period of uncertainty for businesses and families. Whilst we have been fortunate in the low Covid-19 infection rate in Torridge the financial impact of lost business and family income has been significant for many. For some this may also be the first time they have found themselves in this situation and in need of help. Anyone feeling they need support should contact the specially trained advisors at Encompass who will be able to signpost them quickly to help and assistance either from the government, Torridge Council hardship schemes or the hardship funding set up for Covid-19. There is no stigma attached to anyone needing help and in the current circumstances this could happen to any of us.”

Encompass can be reached by calling them on 01271 371499 and by selecting the “Community Helpline” option – Monday to Friday between 9.30am-3pm. Their list of expertise includes advice on welfare benefits, money, housing, but also mental health support from mind.

There are also extensive support pages on Torridge Council’s web pages here https://www.torridge.gov.uk/coronavirus and Devon County Council website here https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/document/support-for-people-and-families/ covering support right across the County.