COVID-19 Information Hub for Business

We know that the COVID-19 crisis is presenting severe financial challenges for businesses so we have put together some practical hints, tips, supports and links to help you along the way.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended that all non-essential retail outlets close to members of the public. All other retail outlets are to implement social distancing. Read more here. More posters, leaflets and social media assets are available on HSE posters and resources.

Latest News – Monday, June 22nd 2020

  • The Taoiseach said there would be an acceleration of the roadmap
  • Cabinet agreed to implement all elements of Phase 2 and bring forward actions in the remaining phase
  • There will now only be 4 phases. Phase 3 on 29 June and Phase 4 from 20 July
  • Government approves revised Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. Read more here

Phase 2 will start on Monday, June 8th 2020 here are the main points:  

  • Stay Local: You may travel within your own county, and up to 20 kilometres from your home if crossing county boundaries.
  • Meeting other people: You may meet up to 6 people from outside your household both indoors and outdoors for social gatherings. Organised outdoor exercise, sporting, cultural or social activities of up to 15 people may take place
  • Shops: All retail is reopening. Shop locally, shop safely and support businesses in your community
  • Work from home: It is more important than ever to work from home where possible
  • Transport: Walk or cycle if you can. Only use public transport if you absolutely need to. Public transport capacity is limited because of social distancing requirements

Phase 3 will begin on Monday 29 June

The acceleration of the Roadmap has been made possible thanks to the progress made by the Irish people in suppressing the virus and keeping transmission levels low. The announcement is being made today to give businesses time to plan ahead of 29 June.

As our country is reopened in a controlled, measured way personal responsibility will be more important than ever. We must maintain physical distancing to the greatest extent possible, for as much time as possible, to prevent the spread of infection.

We are asking everyone to consider four things before making a decision about doing something and all times to evaluate the risk:

  • Distance
  • Activity
  • Time
  • Environment

The revised Phase 3 includes:

  • the reopening of churches and places of worship
  • gyms
  • cinemas
  • leisure facilities
  • hairdressers and barbershops
  • all sporting activities, including close contact sports, can recommence including team leagues for adults and children. However, these sports will take place with a very limited number of spectators
  • mass gatherings will be limited to 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors. If the presence of the virus remains low, this will rise to 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors in Phase 4
  • members of the public are continuing to be advised to use a face covering (that is, a non-medical face covering) as an additional hygiene measure, when using busy public transport or when in enclosed indoor public areas such as retail outlets

Other important news 

  • Support for businesses impacted by COVID 19 through commercial rates deferral. Read more here.
  • A six-month moratorium on interest and repayments on new Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 loan. Read more here.
  • The banking industry is aiming to increase the contactless payment limit from €30 to €50 by Wednesday, 1 April.
  • Bank of Ireland to temporarily close 101 branches.
  • A reminder to companies that Income Support Scheme available for those affected by COVID crisis. Read more here.
  • Minister Humphreys Welcomes EU Approval on €200m Fund to Support Irish Business during COVID-19 Crisis. Read more here.
  • Major Expansion of Business Supports for SMEs announced. Read more here.
  • Minister Donohoe announces measures to ensure delivery of Exchequer-funded capital projects under Project Ireland 2040. Read more here.
  • The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has proposed COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme in response to the crisis and the urgent need for retail companies to achieve a step-change in online capability. Read more here.
  • An Post commits €2m funding and expertise for SMEs. Read more here.
  • Restart grant scheme available for small Wicklow businesses. Read more here.

Return to Work Safely Protocol

The Return to Work Safely Protocol is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace when the economy begins to slowly open up, following the temporary closure of most businesses during the worst phase of the current pandemic.

The Protocol should be used by all workplaces to adapt their workplace procedures and practices to comply fully with the COVID-19 related public health protection measures identified as necessary by the HSE.

It sets out in very clear terms for employers and workers the steps that they must take before a workplace reopens, and while it continues to operate. A high-level consultative stakeholder forum, under the aegis of the Labour Employer Economic Forum will be established.

This forum will include membership from the various bodies with responsibility for health and safety at work and for public health more generally. The forum will allow for ongoing engagement at national level on implementation issues in light of evolving public health advice and other factors.

The Return to Work Safely Protocol, is the result of a collaborative effort by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Services Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Read more here.

Return to Work Safely templates and checklists

The HSA COVID-19 checklists and templates, based on the Protocol, have been prepared to help employers, business owners and managers to get their business up and running again and to inform workers about what they need to do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Templates

Employer Checklists   

Employee Checklist

Checklist 6: Workers

Worker Representative(s) Checklist

Checklist 7: Worker Representative(s) Checklist

Further information can be found at www.Gov.ie, www.hse.ie, www.hpsc.ie and www.hsa.ie

Reopening Committee 

A special committee has been established by Wicklow County Council to co-ordinate the reopening of Bray for business and trade.

The Reopening Committee will work in partnership with local stakeholders, including members of Bray Chamber of Commerce, the Health Service Executive and An Garda Síochána to plan for a considered, responsible return to civic life which is vital to help to restart the local economy in the town.

 This is in line with the Government’s phased roadmap for reopening the country socially and economically.

 Topics the Reopening Committee will consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Looking at workable solutions so that businesses can re-open safely from queuing in public spaces, delivery times to waste collection times
  • Temporary changes in the town centre to make it safer and more spacious for pedestrians to encourage social distancing including looking at the feasibility of widening pavements, pedestrianised zones, putting up new signage, setting down two-metre marker dots to provide a ‘visual guide’, removal of some on-street parking, the introduction of one-way systems, relocating bus stops and the removal of street furniture
  • Business and public consultation

Initial measures will be kept under review and enable wider recovery using advice provided by the Government.

Cllr Anne Ferris, Cathaoirleach, Bray Municipal District, said: “The Committee will be focusing on understanding best practices, planning for protections and protocols that businesses and residents will need in place in order to feel confident about resuming activities, once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted but as a society, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that reopening proceeds smoothly and safely.”

The Committee is keen to work closely with the local business community, to find new and innovative ways to keep everyone safe in this ‘new normal’. As part of this consultation process, we are asking businesses if they have any ideas to submit them using the form below:

The Committee will look at the feasibility of implementing practical suggestions received.

Bray’s ‘Unity in the community’ initiatives

There are several simple actions that have been implemented across the town to help drive a message of ‘Unity in the community’ during these uncertain and challenging times. They include:

  1. Temporary public signage to help pedestrians observe social distancing rules throughout the major public spaces in the town.
  2. Unity in our community’ flags are flying high on the seafront to show a symbol of local strength, unity and pride.
  3. Temporary ground graphics will showcase ‘Positivity Stones’ which aims to help promote positive mental health and wellbeing. The first positivity stones were added to Bray beach during Connect Ballywaltrim’s 24 Hour Youth Marathon last summer which was hosted by Connect Bray Neighbourhood Youth Project.

Please scroll down the page to access more news, resources and support links.

Business Financial Supports

There is a wide range of financial supports and guidance available to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Read more here.

Business Continuity Planning 

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has created a user-friendly checklist identifies a range of issues for enterprise to consider in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can download the documents here.

Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is working with all government stakeholders to ensure that businesses are prepared and informed on the most up-to-date advice and supports available. Read more here.

Local Enterprise Office

Local Enterprise Offices can offer other supports that can help your business respond. These include:

  1. The new Business Continuity Voucher. Read more and apply here.
  2. New COVID-19 Business Loan. Read more here.
  3. Mentoring. Read more here.
  4. Trading Online Voucher Scheme. Read more here.
  5. LEAN for Micro. Read more here.
  6. LEO Financial Supports. Read more here.

Fáilte Ireland COVID-19 Support Hub Update

As the COVID-19 crisis rapidly evolves, Fáilte Ireland is regularly updating their online support hub with new supports and expert guidance to meet the immediate and urgent needs of tourism and hospitality businesses.

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information 

Eligible self-employed people can access to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Read more here.

Chambers Ireland 

Chambers Ireland is regularly updating the #COVID19 Info for Business section of their website, so as well as data & analysis of their latest Covid-19 Business #survey results, you can also find vital business resources from Government & state bodies here

Bray Chamber

Bray & District Chamber are here to help their members…

Support and information

  1. They can help you access information and support through our Chambers Ireland network. They are there to get you the answers you need.
  2. Chambers Ireland continues to engage with Government Ministers regularly as the situation evolves, and the Chamber is in contact with our local representatives to illustrate the challenges business continue to face during this difficult time. If you have a specific issue you wish to raise, please contact them on info@braychamber.ie.
  3. We recognise that businesses will have concerns about COVID-19 and will be sending regular updates as new information is available.

Connections

More than ever Bray Chamber understands the importance of connection and helping each other. Contacts and networking are more important during these challenging times than ever before. As a Chamber, they are here to assist you.

Promotion of Your Business

What are you doing differently in your business, we challenged you to think about how you can provide services and supplies, being mindful of the current environment. Contact the Chamber with your news, maybe details of how you are changing your business to meet current (and different) demands, have you any special offers online that we can promote for you, pass on details of how people can contact you or order from you and they will pass on this information through bray.ie’s and the Chambers social media platforms and websites.

Get in touch

Please contact them on info@braychamber.ie, they are here to help. Remember, the Chamber is a small business facing the same pressures as you. It is only the support of you, their members that enables us to do the work we do on your behalf. Thank you for this.

To become a member please read more here.
Shop Local First 
Bray Chamber, Bray Municipal District – Wicklow County Council and bray.ie are calling on the people of #Bray to shop local first.

We encourage people to play their part by spending their money locally and help struggling local businesses weather the current storm.

Let’s work together #Bray and support those close to us, as a community, we can all get through it together.

How can consumers can help:

  • Shop online locally
  • Buy a voucher from a local business – have you a friend’s birthday coming up, and they need some cheering up!
  • Buy a voucher for your business – so when your business doors open again, you have the voucher to buy supplies, etc.
  • Order Take away from a local restaurant
  • Keep an eye on Bray Chamber Facebook page for special offers and news stories from local businesses
  • Share these local news stories and special offers through your social media and get the word out they are open for business

There is a list of local businesses that we’re currently aware are operating during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) here.

Other useful links: 
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