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Andover BID Business News coronavirus Local News

Andover BID: Coping with the COVID-19 crisis

ANDOVER BID SUPPORTS LOCAL BUSINESSES THROUGH COVID-19

Andover BID says that during these difficult and unprecedented times, it remains focussed on supporting local businesses and is doing all that it can in very uncertain times for the business community. BID says that with businesses under great pressure to do the best for their organisations and their customers and staff, BID’s emphasis as well as planning a recovery plan for the high street when it is allowed to reopen is to support the businesses through this period of uncertainty and beyond.

Steve Godwin, BID Manager says, “We are keeping a very close eye on Government support available for businesses and have been sending weekly digital communications to businesses in the town centre and answering many phone enquiries and we will continue to do this as the initiatives and other useful resources become available.”

“The main comments that we are receiving from businesses is just how difficult it can be for them to interpret the many government help schemes that are being made available, so we are offering help regarding the individual support packages.

One example we have been looking at is the situation of companies furloughing staff. Last week, the Treasury issued the fourth update of its Job Retention Scheme – the third having been issued only a week earlier.
The main two announcements were that the portal for companies who have furloughed their staff would be opening on 20th April and that the qualifying date for employment is now the 19th March and not the 28th February. Only 24-hours later, the treasury made a fifth announcement that the furlough scheme would be extended to the end of June. “

Steve feels that this may provide an early indication of the government’s views of the likely immediate future. To date in this emergency, the sciences have framed much around the debate on health (“the longer that people stay at home, the faster the virus is defeated”). This is absolutely the correct policy, but we are also aware that it is balanced with the economics too, (“every day that the country stays locked-down, the economy worsens, and more businesses are likely to fail”). Whatever we all do, it must be right for the safety of us all and the benefit of
our country.

No one knows with any certainty how long this period of disruption will last or how damaging it might be to our economy. It will, however, only be a matter of time before we emerge from this virus and when that happens, Andover BID will be even more relevant to the recovery of our town centre. With that aim, they are working with their stakeholders, local businesses, Test Valley Borough Council, community support groups, and the media to ensure good and clear communication through leadership and the preparation of a plan for the recovery of Andover Town Centre when that might be possible.

The small staff team of BID and the volunteer board of directors thank each business and encourage them to let them know if there are any specific areas of support required. To contact Andover BID and to access a guide for businesses claiming furlough for staff or any other information relating to COVID-19 to access their website.


For business support, contact Andover BID and remain updated from the BID website –
https://www.andoverbid.org/coronavirus

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