April 22 coronavirus update for businesses

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Progress Housing employees help care for residents

Progress Housing Group employees are helping keep residents safe during the coronavirus lockdown by taking on new tasks. The team, which consists of joiners, drivers, roofers and labourers, has been undertaking essential cleaning jobs after the group's main contractor was unable to provide its usual services.

The team has taken on cleaning and disinfecting communal lounge and kitchen areas, as well as handrails, door handles and letterboxes within its independent living schemes.

June McNamee, independent living scheme operations manager, said: “We cannot thank our colleagues enough for the help they are providing. Our tenants feel happier and safer as the schemes continue to be cleaned five days a week.

"Adhering to safety guidelines and ensuring the wellbeing of our tenants and staff is paramount and social distancing is being adhered to at all times. They are doing a sterling job to keep our independent living schemes clean and safe, and the standard of cleaning is exceptional."

Chorley Council pays out £12m to businesses

More than 1,000 businesses have benefited from financial support in the form of grants thanks to support implemented by Chorley Council during the Coronavirus crisis.

Chorley Council contacted businesses who they thought may be eligible for small and rural business grant funding (£10,000) and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector with property within a specified rateable value range (£10,000 or £25,000 grant funding) asking them to apply – almost 350 grants (in the region of £4m) were processed on or before 1 April, when government funding was received by the council. Hundreds more grants were processed in the days that followed.

And with government funds taking time to arrive with local authorities, Chorley Council was keen to offer more immediate support and decided to step in with advanced payments before government funds were available.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: "We recognised that businesses really need this money as soon as possible and we weren’t prepared to make them wait until we had received government money before being able to administer this, we had to step in.

“We began to implement our processes for delivering grants as soon as the government announced these measures of support, so that eligible businesses who requested it could get this vital financial support in advance of 1 April or shortly after.”

Government updates guidelines for third sector

The government has published new information regarding the support available to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations during the coronavirus outbreak.

The information includes advice from the Charity Commission, support for workers and volunteers, as well as possible opportunities to obtain emergency funding.