Coronavirus Crisis in Carmarthenshire – Where to get help

Volunteering

If people want to formally volunteer, they should visit the Volunteering Wales website at www.volunteering-wales.net where lists of local volunteer groups are available.

Or they can also ring the Carmarthenshire Association for Voluntary Services (CAVS) on 01267 245555.

Befriending

There are many ways people can befriend others and help make sure the elderly, vulnerable and isolated in society are protected.

In general, people are encouraged to:

  • Regularly checking in on your neighbours, particularly the elderly, infirm and vulnerable
  • Setting up street or community What’s App groups to share ideas on how to help/Coronavirus updates from accurate sources
  • Delivering food and other supplies from local traders to the elderly and vulnerable
  • Donatiing to local food banks or collecting materials like books, CDs and DVDs for distribution to the elderly, who may soon have to self-isolate.
  • Create a list of local organisations that you and your neighbours can contact in the event that one of you need access to information, healthcare services, support, or resources. Consider including organisations that provide mental health or counselling services, food, and other supplies.
  • Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbours, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
  • If your neighbourhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbours, information, and resources. Alternatively, share phone numbers and email addresses particularly with those who are isolated or vulnerable

Other sources of help

Delta Well-being, who provide a community connector scheme to support the elderly and isolated. They can be reached on 0300 3332222.

Childcare Support

http://newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/2020/03/providing-care-for-children-of-key-workers/#.XnXr7yWnyEc

How can Carmarthenshire Council Help?

Information about the following matters can be sought through your local council:

Housing – Council Housing Rent

Social Care Enquiries

The individual requiring support must ring 0300 333 2222.

Support for Businesses

There are a number of schemes available for businesses at the moment and the type of support available to you would depend on your needs i.e. paying your rent, business rates, hardships or statutory sick pay support? If you need any specific advice please contact Caarmarthenshire County Council directly.

Tenants of Council Commercial Buildings

County Council business tenants, who operate private businesses from County Council owned properties will be entitled to rent holidays of up to three months.  This will apply to tenants trading from industrial sites, markets and commercial properties. Any tenants who wish to apply should email sundry.debts@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01267 228730. Any tenants who have received a rental demand for rent payment from Friday March 20 are advised that no action will be taken by the council for non-payment during the next three months.

Tenants of non council premises with rateable value of up to £12,000 –

A small business hardship relief fund that will be available to non-council tenants who are suffering a loss in income or hardship as a consequence of the Coronavirus. This fund will provide access to a grant of up to £3,000 to support the short-term rental liability of businesses for up to three months. Email me for more information or call on 01267 234567. It is anticipated that forms will be available from early next week, so if this is of interest, please could you contact by telephone or by email.

Business Rate Relief 

The Welsh Government has announced a package of support for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak. Shops, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% business rates relief for a period of time and pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill. This will be administered through us as your local authority. Expanding on this support a new package will be provided in 2020/21 for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales, with one year business rates relief and a grant of £25,000 for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000. It also provides a £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief, with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. Businesses that qualify for this support will not need to do anything to apply for this scheme. This will be administered through the Business Rates system. You do not need to contact your Local Authority about this, you will receive information in due course. The Welsh Government is exploring ways of supporting businesses who do not qualify for this scheme, details of this support will be added to the Business Wales website once confirmed. The rate relief will be administered through the Local Authority.

CCC Business Rates Team – We are awaiting further guidance from our rates team on this matter. If you’re interested, please let me know and we’ll update you as and when more information becomes available.

Other Welsh Government products for Businesses:

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch next week to support primarily small and medium sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. Further details, including on the lenders providing access to this scheme will be announced in the coming days, and the scheme will be available from early week commencing 23 March 2020.

Full details of the scheme, including eligibility criteria will be announced shortly. Further details can be found at:

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/

This will be available to businesses in Wales via the banks.

It is intended to support the continued provision of finance to Welsh businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak. It will operate in much the same way as the current Enterprise Finance Guarantee but on more attractive terms for both businesses and lenders.

Development Bank of Wales

The Development Bank of Wales has loan and equity funding available immediately to Welsh businesses. The Welsh Government is working closely with the Development Bank of Wales to consider additional support to help businesses through the Covid-19 impact. 

For further information please visit the Development Bank of Wales website or call 0800 587 4140. For further support and business advice please contact Business Wales on 03000 6 03000.

Statutory Sick Pay Support

The UK Government is bringing forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

this refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19 

  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
  • The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force
  • The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

For more information, please see the links and contact details below:

Business Wales

https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

03000 6 03000

Carmarthenshire Contact –

westwales@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Phone 01267 233749

UK Government

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

https://gov.wales/ministers-announce-new-14bn-business-support-package

Public Health Wales

Latest information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Public Health Wales