General Business Help & Support News England - 22.11.2021

Below is our weekly roundup of changes to government support information generally and for businesses, employers and the self-employed.

Claiming the Bus Recovery Grant

The Bus Recovery Grant (BRG) has been set up to support commercial bus operators in England due to the ongoing impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on their revenue from reduced patronage.  

To claim the BRG, you must:

  1. Be a public bus operator running commercial or community bus services in England outside of the London and Greater Manchester areas.
  2. Have completed an application to join the BRG scheme - you cannot now apply to join the scheme and make claims.
  3. Meet the eligibility criteria for the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG).
  4. Currently be running at 90% or more of pre-COVID-19 mileage levels – if your mileage is beneath this you must contact the Department for Transport at BRG@dft.gov.uk and your local transport authority (LTA).

Operators should claim the BRG for each 4-week period. You can now claim online for 27 October to 23 November 2021 (period 3) onwards.

See: Claiming the Bus Recovery Grant - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

First oral antiviral for COVID-19 approved by MHRA

Developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Lagevrio works by interfering with the virus’ replication. This prevents it from multiplying, keeping virus levels low in the body and therefore reducing the severity of the disease.

Based on the clinical trial data, Lagevrio is most effective when taken during the early stages of infection and so the MHRA recommends its use as soon as possible following a positive COVID-19 test and within five days of symptoms onset.

Molnupiravir has been authorised for use in people who have mild to moderate COVID-19 and at least one risk factor for developing severe illness. Such risk factors include obesity, older age (>60 years), diabetes mellitus, or heart disease.

See: First oral antiviral for COVID-19, Lagevrio (molnupiravir), approved by MHRA - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Kickstart Scheme employer resources

If you've been offered Kickstart Scheme funding, you can use these resources to show your support for the scheme.

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The resources have added ‘5 tips to fill your Kickstart vacancy swiftly and successfully’ document.

See: Kickstart Scheme employer resources - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check what COVID-19 tests you need to take and the quarantine rules for travel to England.

See: Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

New laws and code to resolve remaining COVID-19 commercial rent debts

New laws are to be introduced to provide a legally binding process to resolve the remaining commercial rent debts, a new Code of Practice published to guide landlords and tenants in how to negotiate a way forward, and changes to protect tenants from rent debt claims against them and help the market return to normality have been announced.

See: New laws and code to resolve remaining COVID-19 commercial rent debts - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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