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Business Grants form now live
Yesterday the form for businesses to apply for grants went live and we’ve had over 2115 applications already. This is a tremendous response and the teams in Revs & Bens and Finance are working incredibly hard to work through these and process the applications.
The majority of businesses who qualify will receive 100% small business rate relief with the aim of arranging payments within 24 hours, meaning payments will begin to be made this week and will be in those accounts within two business days.
A massive thank you has to go to both teams who came straight out of their amazing support for those who flooded into a pandemic, with closedown, annual statements and all sorts of business as usual required alongside – a huge thank you to them all for such excellent work at a difficult time.
Another thank you must go to our excellent Economic Growth team who support the introduction of tools like this to businesses and your relationships with those we support is so important at these difficult times – thank you.
We are experiencing exceptional demand on the ICT Infrastructure at present and you may well experience some delays / drop-outs, especially at busy times of day (such as first thing in the morning). In order to improve the experience for everyone, please could we ask people to follow some simple additional guidelines:
- We understand the importance of group conferencing in the present circumstances. Wherever possible, please conduct such group conferences using MS Teams rather than Skype for Business. This ensures that the call is handled entirely in the Microsoft cloud and does not place any additional load on the Council infrastructure.
- Try and limit Skype use to making / receiving direct phone calls only – this keeps the impact on Skype Infrastructure to a minimum.
- If third-parties are inviting you to conferences on other platforms (Zoom, Webex, Google Hangouts etc.), if at all possible and practical, please offer to host such conferences on Teams instead.
- Please do not stream media of any kind on your corporate device unless absolutely necessary for your role - this is important to keep things running for everyone. We hope this is not a permanent rule, but whilst things adjust, we must insist.
- Please be aware that in the morning, when many people login between 08:30 and 09:30, there may be a slower than normal service – we are doing what we can to overcome this but it’s simply the quantity of people attempting to access the service at the same time.
Everyone in ICT would like to thank you for all for your kind words of support over the past few weeks. We are continuing to investigate ways of improving the experience of remote working and will keep you updated on further developments as they happen. - from the IT team
Our Coroners team have been successfully working remotely and service level provision remains high. Our Registrars team have been under a great deal of pressure with legislation and advice changing the landscape daily. They have had the unenviable job of contacting couples and venues to reschedule hundreds of ceremonies which were due to take place, working tirelessly to do so.
The Registrars team have had to plan, invent, and implement an entirely new system of registration for deaths following the enactment of the emergency Coronavirus Act. These changes have been put in place extremely quickly but effectively, working with GPs, funeral directors, crematoria, hospitals and internal services, alongside our own Customer Service Centre, to achieve what is currently a smoothly running operation.
We would like to thank the entire Registrars team for their work – many of our services are potentially emotionally challenging for those receiving the service, Registrars is certainly one of the most prominent. Thank you for making the changes needed in the face of such difficult circumstance, we all wish you well over the coming months and please know that we’re in this together.