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Latest Lockdown Update

What business support is available?

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The furlough scheme has been extended for as long as this lockdown is in place. It will provide 80% of furloughed staff wages. As soon as we know more about when and how to apply, we will send you the details.

Local Restrictions Support Grant
The Government is providing business support grants to those who pay business rates at the following amounts:

Rateable value: £15,000 or less: £1,334 per month or £667 per fortnight.
Rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: £2,000 per month or £1,000 per fortnight.
Rateable value over £51,000: £3,000 per month or £1,500 per fortnight.

This grant was initially for those in local lockdowns but will be available across England as soon as possible. The page is due to be updated with the financial figures and how to apply but you can find an overview here.

If you do not pay business rates, we are investigating what support might be available and we will update you as soon as we have heard.

As soon as we know more about when these grants will be available and how to apply for them, we will let you know.

Free Social Media Training

A strong online presence is so important at the moment. We have teamed up with Edeal and Ditzy Media to offer free social media training to Eastbourne-, Wealden- and Lewes-based businesses. Funding (from Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council and Wealden District Council) and space is limited so this is on a first come first served basis.

For a free two-hour social media training session, email

Ask the experts how they are handling the latest Covid situation

Join Alex Polizzi, Channel 5's Hotel Inspector and owner of The Polizzi Collection, with Mark Driver of Rathfinny Wine Estate, Julia Hand of Hand Picked Hotels Worldwide, Simon Longbottom (to be confirmed), CEO of one of the largest hospitality groups in the UK, the Stonegate Pub Company and Nick White of Bistrot Pierre UK.

Our hospitality experts will be asked how they built their businesses and how they are coping with a second lockdown and the ongoing uncertainty of Covid by Rob Cottrill, CEO of both Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Councils.

The event will be taking place via Zoom from 10am on Tuesday 24th November. To find out more and register your interest, click here.

COVID-Ready Quality Scheme

If you haven't already done so, now is the perfect time to sign up for Eastbourne's very own COVID-Ready Scheme. Many businesses across Eastbourne have already signed up and are displaying their window stickers, showing they are meeting all guidelines, and they are now listed on the Visit Eastbourne website.

It is free for members of Eastbourne unLtd Chamber of Commerce to sign up to the scheme. Find out more here.

The scheme is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and East Sussex Primary Authority, which includes Trading Standards, Environmental Health and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.  It is accessible to all business sizes and provides expert guidance on best practice for social distancing measures, cleaning regimes, staff training and responding to signs of infection.

Top Tips

  • Update your website and social media; please contact us if you require free training.
  • Make sure your contact details are clearly visible.
  • Use Facebook adverts.
  • Communicate with your existing database - let them know what you are doing.
  • Start a Click and Collect service.
  • Start a delivery service.
  • Consider promotions and time sensitive offers.
  • Could you provide Zoom meetings with potential customers to discuss products, price, purchase etc?
  • Personal shopping offer? Invite customers to ask what they should buy a particular friend/family member for Christmas. For example, they could list a few of the person's likes and ask for a recommendation.
  • Focus on products that are known to be good sellers at Christmas and push them out.
  • Make your business personal with real photos and videos and by introducing yourself online.
  • Collaborate with other local businesses.