Covid-19 Discretionary Business Grants Scheme

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has launched a Discretionary Grant Scheme for local businesses. Deadline for applications is 7 June.  This fund does not replace the Small Business Rate Relief, Rural Rate Relief Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, but is aimed at small businesses that were not eligible for these funds.

Priority businesses: the following types of businesses will be prioritised for grants:

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Free IT support available

Until the end of May Infinity Group are offering free technical IT support to the elderly and vulnerable in the Tunbridge Wells Borough. They are helping people to get online and set up essential services such as shopping or communicating via video applications on computers and phones and they will offer guidance and advice on online safety. The support will be delivered over the phone or via video link, to avoid contact with those that are shielding. 

Click here for more details or call them on 01892 57699 or email sos@infinitygroup.co.uk

Face covering advice

As an added precaution and to help reduce the spread of coronavirus the public is now advised to consider wearing a face covering the nose and mouth in enclosed public spaces, such as in shops, trains and buses, where you are more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet.  

They do not need to be worn outdoors, while exercising, in schools, in workplaces such as offices and retail.

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New government guidance announced

This week the government set out its plan to return life to as near normal as possible, for as many people as possible, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect the NHS. Its Staying Alert and Safe guidance can be found at here.

From Wednesday 13 May you can now:

  • spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing
  • meet one other person from a different household outdoors – following social distancing guidelines
  • exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines
  • use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person while staying 2 metres apart
  • go to a garden centre
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Waste & recycling centres to reopen

From May 15 KCC’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres will open to the public from 9am-3pm and will accept all types of waste including chargeable items.  From May 13 you can book a slot to use one online or by phone and you can only book one trip in any four-week period to allow all residents to have fair and safe access.

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Support & guidance for businesses & charities

KCC have provided a lot of useful advice and links for businesses and charities in Kent impacted by COVID-19. Please check each organisation’s website for the latest information.

Kent 4 Community – community funding support website for the Kent area Free to register search tool for helping you to seek out grants, awards and other funding which may be relevant to your organisation. For more information: https://www.idoxopen4community.co.uk/kent

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Guidance on coronavirus testing

One of the most challenging things about coronavirus is the uncertainty: not knowing who has the infection or when it’s safe to return to normal life. Testing can help provide greater certainty and help defeat the disease. Here is the government’s latest guidance on who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available.

Who can be tested

The priority is testing patients, but also being tested are:

  • all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms (see the full list of essential workers)
  • anyone over 65 with symptoms
  • anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers)
  • anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above
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