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Caroline's Covid / Business Update

At today's Cobra meeting in Eastbourne Caroline Ansell reported back the activities she is undertaking to push for additional business support:

  • Caroline has been lobbying to extend the rates holiday for businesses who have been forced to close.
  • She is also lobbying to make the 5% VAT rate permanent in the hospitality sector.
  • Caroline is lobbying the Treasury to delay the repayment of BBLS and CBLS loans so that businesses have the chance to bounce back before having to repay these loans. Over £50 million of loans have been distributed in Eastbourne alone so we are asking for the repayment schedule to be delayed.
  • She is also pushing the Treasury for additional fiscal support for SMEs and has requested that the Univeral Credit £20 Covid Uplift be continued indefinitely.
  • Caroline shared our supermarket survey with DEFRA and they have pressurised supermarkets to improve their protection protocols across the UK.
  • We have also asked her to push supermarkets to test their staff at the start of each day to protect colleagues and customers.
  • We have asked government to review the changes expected to the Luxury Goods VAT scheme as this will affect the number of visitors coming to the town.
  • Finally she reported that 90% of care home staff and guests have received their first vaccination and that the programme of vaccinations is progressing well here.

Eastbourne Borough Council have asked us to share that a £500 grant is available to people forced to self-isolate who can't afford it. While £47,500 has already been paid out to 95 residents there is plenty of money left in this fund. If you know of anyone who is carrying on working with Covid symptoms because they don't get sickpay, ask them to call 01323 410000 to claim £500 support.

Darrell Gale reported for the NHS that Covid deaths in Eastbourne are still escalating and are up to:

  • 96 in hospitals
  • 72 in care homes
  • 5 in the hospice
  • 3 at home

This totals 176 people in Eastbourne since the start of the pandemic. Even if you have had the first vaccination, the NHS Trust advice is:

  1. Always wear your mask outside
  2. Stay 2 metres away from everyone outside - this includes when out exercising or food shopping
  3. Don't stop to chat with friends outside
  4. Always wear disposable gloves in filling stations
  5. Always clean your own supermarket trolley or basket
  6. Always wash your hands when you get home

Eastbourne is ranked 13th worst out of 315 local authorities for Covid infections so please take care.