We'll keep you updated with the latest news as the coronavirus outbreak evolves here in the UK as of December 2021.

22/12/21 Hospitality & Leisure sector government funding

Since the recent restrictions were imposed, we have been working hard to show our support for those businesses most impacted.

Whilst we feel that there is still more support needed to help businesses survive, yesterday’s announcement clearly shows the power of collective voice.

Details of the financial support for businesses in the Hospitality & Leisure sectors and for associated businesses are as follows:

  • One- off grants of up to £6,000 per premise for hospitality & leisure sector businesses. The value of the grant is dependant upon the Rateable Value of the property.


  • Re-introduction of Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme for businesses with less than 250 employees. This allows for claims for up to 2 weeks for sickness as a result of a Covid related absence.


  • An additional £30m to be available through the Culture Recovery Fund for cultural venues.


  • £100m + to be added to the Additional Restrictions Grant fund for Local Authorities to allocate at their discretion.


All grants will be administered by Bristol City Council.

For further details click here for the government announcement.

10/02/21 - Green Business Grants

The West of England Green Business Grants is available for small businesses and could provide savings on energy bills of £1,700, improving the energy efficiency of their buildings and business operations.

Applications are open until 25 June 2021.


10/02/21 - New round of support grants open

Live from midday on Wednesday 10 February,  the discretionary grant is open to applications from businesses across all sectors who have been severely financially impacted by COVID-19 restrictions across Tier 2, Tier 3 and national lockdowns. This includes self-employed and sole traders as well as small or micro-businesses.


09/02/21 - The VAT deferral new payment scheme

The VAT deferral new payment scheme will be open from 23 February up to, and including, 21 June 2021. With the new scheme, you will be able to:

– Pay your deferred VAT in interest-free equal instalments
– Choose the number of instalments from 2 to 11, depending on when you join


08/02/21 - Delay Bounce Back Loan repayments

Businesses that took out Bounce Back Loans have greater flexibility to repay their loans, with the option to tailor payments according to individual circumstances and delaying them for a further six months.

The Pay as You Grow scheme will be available to over 1.4 million businesses, which collectively took out nearly £45 billion through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.


01/02/21 - Christmas Support Payment (CSP) for wet-led pubs

Applications for Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs (England) has been extended to 28th February 2021. This supports wet-led pubs that were severely impacted over the Christmas period due to temporary local restrictions.


05/01/21 - £4.6 billion in new grants to support businesses

In response to the new nation-wide lockdown, the Chancellor has announced that businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive one-off top-up grants. They will be provided on a per property basis to businesses closed as a result of the latest restrictions:

– £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
– £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
– £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

There is also a £594 million discretionary fund made available to support other impacted businesses.

This support comes in addition to a £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month. and the extension of furlough scheme.


17/11/20 - Applications are open for the Additional Restrictions grant

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)  currently applies for the four weeks of restrictions from 5 November to 2 December 2020 and will provide a maximum of £1500, depending on the size of the business.

Click here to check if you are eligible 


10/11/20 - Local Restrictions Support and Additional Restrictions grants

The government has announced further financial support for businesses that are required to close because of restrictions in the following sectors:

– Non-essential retail
– Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities
– Entertainment venues
– Personal care services
– Hospitality venues, such as restaurants, bars and pubs
– Hotels, hostels and B&Bs

Click the link to find out more about how much you could receive, the criteria and how to apply.


05/11/20 - Furlough scheme: extended to March 2021

The coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended to cover 80% of wages until 31 March 2021.


03/11/20 - Financial support for businesses and venues

With new and extended financial support announced, UK workers can retain their job and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2,500 a month.

The current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be retained and all employers are eligible. Due to the closing of more businesses, employees will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during November.

Find out more:
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
Job Support Scheme (From 1 November)
New style employment and support allowance


24/09/20 - Bounce Back loan repayment term extended

Length of repayment term for the Bounce Back loan has been extended from 6 to 10 years. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available.

Applications have also been extended to the end of November for the following schemes: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund.


24/09/20 - 15% tax cut extended

The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors has been extended to the end of March 2021.

Businesses who deferred VAT bills will be able to repay in smaller instalments under the New Payment Scheme rather than repay the total at the end of March 2021. This will be in the form of 11 interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year.



The Small Business Grants Discretionary Fund

The Small Business Grants Discretionary Fund provides a discretionary grant up to a value of £5,000 to eligible businesses, charities and community organisations.

The grants will support small and micro businesses directly impacted by the crisis that meet the following eligibility criteria:

– Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed building-related costs
– Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000


27/05/20 - Grant funding: local authority payments to SME's

Local authorities have received and distributed funding to support small and medium businesses in England during COVID-19.

As of 26 May, £9.9 billion has been paid out to over 804,000 business properties.


20/05/20 - Applications open for the Future Fund scheme

The Future Fund scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020.


12/05/20 - Furlough Scheme extended until October

The Chancellor announced that the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October 2020.

Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 and new flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work.


04/05/20 - Applications open for 100% Government-backed loan scheme for small business

The new fast-track finance scheme, announced by the Chancellor on 27th April, will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the funds within days for immediate support.

Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 through the new scheme. Loans will be interest-free for the first 12 months and businesses can apply online now.


20/04/20 - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is up and running

Opening 10 days ahead of schedule, the Job retention Scheme will enable businesses to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.

Employers are encouraged to go online to claim cash grants worth up to 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 a month per worker.


15/04/20 - Bristol City Council: Total processed grant value of £33.9m

Bristol City Council has now received over 5,000 small business grant applications. The total value of grants processed, as of midday on Tuesday 14 April, is £33.9m.

They are actively contacting those who can benefit and asking them to confirm their business rate number and bank account details so they can quickly send out funds. 

Please note businesses can only apply for either the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, not both. This simple form ensures that the grant is distributed correctly.


Updated - 09/04/20 - Claim for your employees' wages

The guidance for employers has been further updated, releasing more information on:

– Switching from sick pay to furlough and vice versa
– Visa conditions
– Employers of newly TUPE’d employees
– Reclaimable National Insurance and pension elements
– Payroll consolidation schemes


Updated - 04/04/20 - Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The guidance for employees has been further updated, releasing more information on:

– Scheme eligibility
– How much your employer can claim through ‘furlough’
– How much you’ll get
– Guidance for specific customers


03/04/20 - Chancellor strengthens support for businesses

Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is taking further action to support businesses affected by COVID-19 by bolstering business interruption loans, as well as announcing a new scheme for larger companies.

– £90 million of business interruption loans have been approved for nearly 1,000 firms
– £1.9 billion of corporate finance provided
– The current loan scheme has been extended so that more can benefit
– Lenders are now banned from requesting personal guarantees on loans under £250,000
– A new scheme has been announced to bolster support for larger firms
–  The importance of banks is emphasised


30/03/20 - The latest guidance on Grant Funding Schemes

The most recent information released on the small business grant fund and retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund guidance, including:

– How will the grants be provided?
– How much funding will be provided?
– Managing the risk of fraud
– Rating list changes
– Post-event assurance
And more.


30/03/20 - Grant Funds for small business, retail, hospitality and leisure

In response to COVID-19, the Government has announced two grant funding schemes to support small businesses and businesses working in the retail, hospitality & leisure sectors. Applications are now open via Bristol City Council.

Read more to find information on:
– Who can get a grant
– Types of grant
– How to apply for one


23/03/20 - Business support launched

Businesses will now be able to access support from the Government in order to keep operating during the current crisis. Support available includes:

– Government-backed loans of up to £5 million available to SMEs through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
– The Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility will provide a cost-effective way to raise working capital for large firms
– A new business information campaign has launched to ensure people are aware of the support available to their business


Updated 23/03/20 - COVID-19: Government support for businesses

The Chancellor has set out a package of measures to support public services, the public and businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

– The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme enables UK employers to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary
– For businesses that pay little or no business rates, there will be an additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding which will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs
– The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SME’s with access to working capital of up to £5 million in value and for up to 6 years
– Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies


03/06/20 - Raise the bar campaign update

The #RaiseTheBar campaign continues to ask Government to increase the business rates threshold from £51,000 to £150,000 to allow retail, hospitality and leisure businesses across England and Wales a fighting chance of survival.

Read the campaign’s progress in the latest update.


Updated 02/04/20 - Business rates: guidance on expanded retail discount

The guidance provided to local authorities on the expanded retail discount response 2020 – 2021, supporting operation and delivery of the scheme. This guidance outlines the criteria considered to be eligible for the scheme and does not replace existing legislation.

This document includes:
– How the relief will be provided
– Which properties will benefit
– State Aid
– Splits, mergers, and changes to existing hereditaments


01/04/20 - £22 billion grants and business rates package for high streets

From 1st April, high streets will begin to receive £22 billion, with grants of up to £25,000 already being paid into bank accounts of high street businesses.

– Thousands of high street firms will be exempt from business rates from 1st April 2020 as they begin to benefit from the £22 billion benefit
– Eligible properties will not pay business rates for the next 12 months
– Smaller businesses are beginning to receive one-off grants


17/03/20 - Budget 2020: new rate discounts

Information on the new business rate discounts following the 2020 Budget and the Chancellors Statement 17 March. There will be extra relief available to certain business ratepayers to help alleviate effects from the coronavirus.

Rate discounts are available for:
– Retail rate discount
– Child care providers
– Loans and lending


24/03/20 - COVID-19 advice for accommodation providers released

The Government has released advice for businesses providing accommodation to take the necessary steps to close as quickly as possible, whilst following social distancing guidelines. These businesses include hotels, B&Bs, hostels, campsites, caravan parks, short term lets and boarding houses.

Read more to find guidance for families in temporary accommodation, for hostels serving food and for residents showing COVD-19 symptoms.


23/03/20 - A new ban on evictions for commercial tenants

There is now extra protection for businesses as commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction.  Aiming to help businesses struggling with their cash flow due to worries around eviction, the measure supports the current conversations between landlords and tenants around voluntary rental payment arrangements.


02/04/20 - Extend the deadline for filing your accounts

If you think the impact of COVID-19 will cause delays in filing your company accounts, you can now apply for an automatic and immediate 3-month extension. You must apply for the extension before your filing deadline.


27/03/20 - Carrying over annual leave rules to be relaxed

Employees will now be able to carry their annual leave entitlement over into the next 2 years so that they don’t miss out due to COVID-19. These new measures will ensure workers won’t lose their leave entitlement and provides businesses with flexibility at an uncertain time.


26/03/20 - Deferral of VAT payments

Temporary changes to the VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020have been announced to help businesses manage their cash flow.

Guidance is available on the following:
– If you choose to defer your VAT payment
– What happens at the end of the deferral period
– What to do if you’re experiencing financial distress due to COVID-19


21/12/21 Bristol Business Support and #BusinessBooster

After much local and national lobbying, today’s announcement is welcome news for hospitality, theatres and museums.

We sent a letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor, alongside Visit West, Business West, Bristol Nights, Barbi and Bristol Food Union, urging them to act immediately with guidance and support for our businesses.

Additionally, in coordination with 100+ UK destinations, we called on the government to deliver a #BusinessBooster and support hospitality, retail and leisure businesses. Read our letter to the Government.

Businesses will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, and discretionary funding will be made available through the Additional Restrictions Grant to support other businesses impacted by Omicron, such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors.

The government will cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for COVID-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK.

£30 million of further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling more cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the winter.

We need to ensure the Government continues to review these packages of support over the coming months.

Re-opening Handbook for the Hospitality & Leisure Industry

Useful information from NTIA (Night Time Industries Association) ahead of the move to step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown from 19 July

Re-opening Handbook for the Hospitality & Leisure Industry

12/07/21 - England to move to step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown from 19 July

As we move towards the next stage of lifting Covid-19 restrictions from Monday 19 July,  Bristol’s Covid-19 Local Engagement Board and One City Partners have issued a statement, in which they speak of the key themes of kindness, tolerance and understanding.


22/02/21 - Shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality will reopen on 12 April

The Prime Minister has announced the road map to reopening divided into four stages, five weeks apart.

Key dates:

Stage 1: March 8 part 1 – Schools and care home visits back
Stage 1: March 29 part 2 – Outdoor family and friend reunions and sport is back
Stage 2: April 12 – Big businesses can reopen but the focus remains outside
Stage 3: May 17 – Indoor meetings, pubs and restaurants to reopen
Stage 4: June 21 – As close to normal as possible



05/01/21 - National lockdown: Stay at Home

The Prime Minister has announced a national lockdown for the UK, advising that everyone must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. New rules have been introduced and should be followed immediately.


26/11/20 - Bristol is placed in Tier 3

Bristol has been placed in Tier 3 and so the restrictions which apply to businesses within the Bristol City Centre BID area are as follows:

– Hospitality venues (including bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants) must remain closed but are allowed to continue providing takeaway, click and collect, drive through or delivery services.
– Hotels and accommodation businesses must remain closed
– Casinos, Theatres, Bowling Alleys, Concert Halls, Museums, Aquariums must all remain closed
– Leisure and sport facilities can open but group exercise classes or organised indoor physical activity cannot go ahead and saunas and steam rooms must close. Organised sport or exercise classes can only continue outside.
– Non-essential retail including hairdressers and personal care businesses can open


Businesses to reopen on the 2nd December

The recently released COVID-19 winter plan includes detail on the reopening of businesses, the tier system and the following:

– The route back to normality
– Controlling the virus
– Protecting the NHS and the vulnerable
– Keeping education and the economy going


05/11/20 - Businesses ordered to close

The Government has ordered the following businesses and venues to close.  The full list of venues that must close/can remain open can be found on pages 29-32 of the regulations.

– All non-essential retail
– Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities
– Entertainment venues
– Personal care facilities


04/11/20 - Updated guidance for working safely during COVID-19

Government guidance for working safely through the pandemic in the following sectors has been updated as of the 4 November:

Offices & Contact Centres
Close Contact Services
Shops & Branches
Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery

There is now different guidance for the following:

Schools, further education, and childcare providers
Marriages and civil partnerships and receptions and celebrations 
Public transport


31/10/20 - Second lockdown announced

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the UK government have introduced tougher restrictions:

– People must stay at home, except for specific purposes
– Meeting with people from other households is not allowed, except for specific purposes
– Businesses and venues will be closed unless they are ‘essential’ or can operate as a takeaway or delivery service


24/09/20 - Government to cover 22% of worker pay for six months

From 1st November the Government are introducing a new Job Support Scheme to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus.

Main points of the scheme include:

– Government and Employer pay 1/3 of the equivalent salary for hours not worked
– Business can benefit from Job Support Scheme and Job Retention Scheme simultaneously
– Help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans


24/09/20 - Test & Trace

The new NHS COVID-19 app is now available to download for free and is the fastest way to see if you or your business are at risk from coronavirus.

Businesses are required to have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to safely check-in.


22/09/20 - Further national measures announced

The Government has introduced further measures to address rising cases of COVID-19 in England. The measures are effective from 24 September and include:

– Work from home where possible
– Businesses selling food or drink, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This includes takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm
– Food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table in licensed premises
– Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink
– The official NHS QR code posters must be displayed in all Businesses so that customers can ‘check-in’ as an alternative to providing their contact details
– Support groups must be limited to a maximum of 15 people
– Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six
– Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people


11/09/20 - The Rule of Six

The Rule of Six principle is that businesses operating in accordance with current COVID-19 secure guidance will be able to continue doing as they are , provided that individual groups of customers obey the Rule of Six.

All guidance for businesses has been updated to take account of the new requirements, including:

– Close Contact Services
– Heritage locations
– Hotels and other Guest Accommodation
– Restaurants, Pubs and Bars
– The Visitor Economy


26/05/20 - The Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

The Government has released a roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis. This includes a plan to ease existing measures in a safe and measured way, subject to successfully controlling, measuring and reacting to the virus.

The roadmap will be kept under constant review as the situation evolves here in the UK.


25/05/20 - Prime Minister sets out timeline for retail to reopen

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres across the UK are set to reopen in June once they are “COVID-19 secure” and can show safety for customers.


06/04/20 - Regulatory status of PPE

The different regulations that apply to devices and equipment, including hand gels and PPE (personal protective equipment), have been outlined to ensure everyone’s safety.

Read more to find the regulations on:
Antimicrobial hand sanitisers and gels

– Face masks
– Gloves
– Donating healthcare equipment to healthcare providers
– Failure to comply with the regulations


30/03/12 - Coronavirus press conference slides

Press conference slides and datasets used by Sir Patrick Vallance, to accompany the coronavirus press conference that took place on 30 March 2020. The slides include:

– Transport use change
– New UK cases
– Hospital admissions
– Global comparison of deaths


23/03/20 - PM announces strict lockdown for the UK

Boris Johnson has announced a UK lockdown, saying people can only shop for basic necessities and limit exercise to one form a day. People must also restrict travel only to and from work if it’s essential.

This BBC news article includes:

– The restrictions set out by the PM
– The businesses that will not need to close
– How to stick together, by staying apart
– The current challenge for police forces
– Other key developments


22/03/20 - National Crime Agency warning

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned that organised crime groups may try to exploit the coronavirus outbreak to target the UK. Their proactive approach includes:

– Continuing to protect the public and leading the UK’s fight against organised crime throughout the pandemic
– Continuing work to protect children from online abuse
– Identifying that criminals are already looking to exploit the UK by running intelligence assessments
– Recognising and investigating coronavirus-themed malicious apps and websites, as well as email phishing attacks aimed at stealing personal information


22/03/20 - Government sets out plans to enforce closure of businesses and other venues

Guidance issued states that the local government will be responsible for enforcing regulations requiring businesses asked to close on 20 March 2020. Regulations include:

– Businesses who do not follow the restrictions will be issued with prohibition notices
– Fines will be issued to businesses who fail to comply
– Businesses could face the loss of their alcohol license
– There will be no limit to the fines of businesses who continue to ignore restrictions


20/03/20 - Government announces further measures on social distancing

To limit the spread of coronavirus, measures to close entertainment, hospitality and indoor leisure premises across the country will take place from the end of trading hours on Friday 20 March.

– Social contact will be limited further by new measures taken from scientific evidence
– The public are urged to stay at home and limit travel


19/03/20 - Avon and Somerset Police respond to the coronavirus outbreak

Avon and Somerset Police respond to COVID-19 to reassure the public that they’re taking all necessary steps to maintain critical functions, including:

– Expanding the Incident Assessment Unit by increasing the number of supervisors and staff
– Keeping the neighbourhood policing teams in place and safeguarding them to reassure local communities and maintain a visible presence
– Enquiry offices and public-facing police posts remain open to the public but this is under constant review
– Focussing messages to the public on encouraging people to report non-urgent offences online instead of through 101
– Giving daily updates to their officers with the latest advice and guidance from Public Health England and the Government


17/03/20 - Government to grant permission for pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways

The Government will relax planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.



Our series of free webinars will provide guidance for businesses in the City Centre BID area during this unprecedented crisis.


At a time when many of the usual business communication channels are not available, our online network takes on even more significance.

On Tuesday 7th April, we were joined by independent LinkedIn Coach and Trainer, Greg Cooper, as he explained why it’s really important that we continue to show up and maintain an active dialogue with our customers and our network.



Against a back drop of an already struggling retail market, the enforced closure of the majority of retail and leisure businesses has brought new, unprecedented challenges.

On Thursday 9th April, we were joined by James Woodard, Director of Hartnell Taylor Cook, as he talked about how landlords and tenants are already dealing with these issues, offering advice on how to manage these discussions.



There’s lots of different information on whether you can claim on your insurance for business interruption caused by COVID-19.

On Tuesday 14th April, we were joined by James Woollam, Managing Director at Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers, as he clearly explained the conditions within insurance policies that you should now be aware of to ensure you do not invalidate your cover.



On Thursday 16th April, we were joined by national mental health GP specialist, Dr Dominique Thompson, in the first of three wellbeing sessions to hear her initial top three tips for staying well and in control in unpredictable and uncertain times.

If you are feeling the pressure and under stress, there are still things that you can do to look after your emotional health. This webinar will explain why you may be feeling more exhausted, more anxious or even overwhelmed and, most importantly, what you can try to help improve the situation.



On Tuesday 21st April, we were joined by Sarah Haynes, leader of KPMG’s Employment Solutions Team in the South, as she provided a valuable update on the current guidance on the Job Retention Scheme, including technical and practical considerations for employers.




Sleep – we all need it, but it can be elusive, and especially so in extraordinary times like these.

On Thursday 23rd April, we were joined by Dr Dominique Thompson, a GP and mental health expert, to discover the myths and realities of a good night’s sleep. This short webinar will help you to optimise your sleep and to make sure that, as much as possible, you can get out of bed on the ‘right side’.


An Update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Thousands of employees have been furloughed and employers are starting to make claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. There remain a number of unanswered questions and uncertainties around the scheme, relating to who is eligible and what can be claimed.

On Tuesday 28th April, we were joined by Gareth Edwards, an Employment Partner at VWV, who talked through the main issues, finishing the session with a helpful Q&A.


Adapting to a new normal: Leaving lockdown and other common concerns about COVID-19

On Thursday 30th of April, we were joined by Dr Dominique Thompson to consider how we can best prepare for and adapt to a new normal, and how COVID-19 might still affect our lives in the next few months.

Dominique discussed what you might need to do before ‘leaving lockdown’ longer term, and what practical steps you might take to be ready for life in a ‘post-lockdown’ world.


Protecting your business against cyber attacks

Businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks at the moment because of the increase in homeworking and the use of new apps. A cyber attack could have serious financial and reputational consequences at an already stressful time.

On Tuesday 5th May, we were joined by Claire Hall, Senior Associate at VWV, as she talked through some of the important measures that you can take to protect your business against a cyber threat.


Using video to market your business

On Thursday 7th May, we were joined by Sunjay Singh, Co-Founder and Creative Director at video marketing agency, Life Media UK, as he talked about practical video marketing tips that businesses can leverage right now to keep up communication with their target audience.


Reliefs, relaxation, rescue and recovery: Government schemes to support businesses through coronavirus

On Tuesday 12th May, we were joined by Anna Thompson, Senior Associate Solicitor at Michelmores, as she provided a brief overview of the different Government schemes available to support businesses through COVID-19.

Discussing business rates reliefs, VAT deferral, Time to Pay arrangements and the various types of loans, Anna talked about how businesses might look to prepare for recovery.


Using video to prepare for the bounce-back period

On Thursday 14th May, we were joined by Sunjay Singh, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Life Media UK, as he shared how to make the most of video marketing to prepare for the bounce-back period, post-lockdown.


Contracts and coronavirus

Specialist members from the VWV coronavirus response team, Ben Holt, Ed Rimmell and Stephanie Rickard,  joined us on Tuesday 19th May to look at key issues with the inability to perform contracts during the lockdown.

The team covered “force majeure” provisions, frustration and the Procurement Policy Note on payment of suppliers.


HR: Resilience & wellbeing

As a HR professional for over 30 years, James Maher from Bristol Mind recognises that during these uncertain, ever changing times, HR teams are holding huge responsibility for organisational welfare and wellbeing.

In this webinar, on Thursday 21st May,  James introduced some thoughts and insights on how HR teams can practice some self-care & resilience as demand and expectation on HR increases.


Business tenants: Legal protections, myths and tips

On Tuesday 26th May, we were joined by Andrew Baines, Partner Solicitor at Michelmores, as he talked about the recent changes to commercial landlord and tenant law, the announcement on further changes, legal myths and realities, how landlords and tenants appear to be dealing with each other, and helpful tips for tenants.


Reintegration on return to work

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented and the process of “unlocking” will present many novel challenges. Among these will be the reintegration of fragmented teams.

On Thursday 28th May, we were joined by Felix Spender, expert in conflict and collaborative management, as he discussed the potential challenges and opportunities the pandemic brings in order to develop strong cohesive teams to deal with the new normal.


Reopening and operating post-lockdown

This very informative webinar was hosted by our Business Liaison Manager, Paula Ratcliffe, who was joined by Keith Rundle, Operations Director at Bristol City Centre BID, and Steve Bluff, Manager at Broadmead BID.

The team was also joined by members from Bristol City Council and leading retailers in the city centre.

This specialist panel talked through the relevant guidance for non-essential retailers to reopen and operate safely, and what help is available.


Hospitality: Reopening post-lockdown

With many hospitality businesses aiming to re-open in early July, we hosted this webinar with Bristol City Council’s Jonathan Martin (Licensing and Trading Standards), Duncan Venison (Network Operations) and Kurt James (COVID Incident Team) to discuss and answer questions on how Bristol City Council are planning for the next phase of reopening the city centre.


Local Restrictions Support Grant and Additional Restriction

For this webinar, we were joined by Bristol City Council members Public Protection Manager, Adrian Jenkins, and Licensing & Trading Standards Manager, Jonathan Martin, who talked through the latest restrictions and the available support grants.


Workplace stress in 2020 and how to manage it

This year has been tough for everyone. And with levels of anxiety and loneliness rising to an all-time high, looking after your health and wellbeing is more important than ever.

We’re joined by National Mental Health GP Specialist, Dr Dominique Thompson, for a webinar dedicated to health and wellbeing advice for the workplace.

In this session, Dominique provides useful strategies and resources in supporting colleagues, as well as yourself, through this challenging period.


Details on our next webinar coming soon!

Learning portal

Level-up in the lockdown with free online courses

HM Government Skills Toolkit

The UK Government’s free-to-use online skills toolkit allows people to develop their skills during the current lockdown. The toolkit includes a selection of high-quality courses, from social media and coding to programming and digital marketing.


Barclays Digital Confidence Lifeskills

LifeSkills is a free programme designed to help young people develop the skills they need for the 21st century workplace and includes valuable content for educators, parents and young people.


Lloyds Bank Academy

The Lloyds Bank Academy is packed with free digital skills learning for any level, with the option to learn online or face-to-face. Gain skills for everyday life, as well as skills to boost business.


NatWest MentorLIVE

NatWest Mentor are now offering their digital platform – MentorLive – for free! MentorLive is part of a wider range of support they offer as part of their ‘paid for’ services, and is a fully-featured system to manage HR & Health & Safety in your business, with access to:

– Free tools & templates (including Furlough letters & guidance)
– Detailed FAQ’s & policies on SSP, holidays & working from home
– Workplace posters
– H&S templates inc COVID-19 risk assessment template
– Free weekly webinars delivered by their expert consultants

They are also offering the Mentor 90 day Employment Law & HR and Health & Safety Advice Service.


Bristol Mind YouTube channel

The team at Bristol Mind have put together a series of short, free videos from a variety of local trainers and experts, offering advice and support to help you look after your wellbeing during the pandemic.

The videos are 10-15 minutes long and cover:

– Tips on managing stress and anxiety
– Tips for Managers on supporting remote staff
– Postnatal mental health during COVID-19
– Support whilst working from home
And more!


Google Digital Garage

Use Google Digital Garage to learn at your own pace, with flexible and personalised training courses that are designed to build your confidence in the digital world.

Get access to:
– Online courses
– Free webinars
– Certification
– Face-to-face workshops


Pearson UK Learns

UK Learns provides a curated selection of online courses, from data science to childcare, to help the UK workforce and businesses acquire new skills and earn qualifications and accreditations. Many are free of charge, some for a limited period.


Contact Us

    Subscribe me to your mailing list