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Coronavirus: What businesses in Crawley must now be closed and who can stay open?

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The government has released the list of which businesses can and cannot stay open with immediate effect.

For those which are allowed to remain open they must:

  • Ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants; and
  • Let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded.
  • Queue control is required outside of shops and other essential premises that remain open.

Parks will remain open but only for individuals and households to exercise once a day. Communal spaces within parks such as playgrounds and football pitches will be closed.

The list, published below, seperates the businesses into categories and has the exceptions to the side. The following businesses and premises must remain closed:

Business, premises or placeExceptions
Food and drink
Restaurants Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational.
Cafes, including workplace canteens Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational. Cafés or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless.
Public houses
Bars and nightclubs, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
Retail
Hair, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours
Massage parlours
All retail with notable exceptionsSupermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies including nondispensing pharmacies, petrol stations, bicycle shops, home and hardware shops, laundrettes and dry cleaners, bicycle shops, garages, car rentals, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents, post offices, and banks.
Outdoor and indoor marketsMarket stalls which offer essential retail, such as grocery and food.
Auction houses
Car showrooms
Hotels
Hotels, hostels, BnBs, campsites and boarding houses for commercial use Where people live in these as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable they may continue to do so.
Key workers can continue to stay in hotels or similar where required
Caravan parks/sites for commercial uses Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so.
Non-residential institutions
Libraries
Community centres, youth centres and similar Facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services.
We will do everything to support vulnerable people who are without a network of friends and families.
Places of worship for servicesFunerals following the social distancing guidance; places of worship should remain open for solitary prayer.
Live streaming of a service without audience would be permissible.
Cinemas, theatres and concert hallsLive streaming of a performance by a small group could be permissible with social distancing observed.
Assembly and leisure
Museums and galleries
Bingo halls, casinos and betting shops
Spas
Skating rinks
Fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres
Arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar
Outdoor recreation
Enclosed spaces in parks, including playgrounds, sports courts and pitches, and outdoor gyms or similar

In addition:

Takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational.

This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers. Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. This will be clearly communicated by the government when in effect. People must not consumer food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafes or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food,

Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their license does not already permit.

Business

Coronavirus: Crawley businesses urged to check type of loan before borrowing

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Small business owners have been urged to check the type of loan they are signing up to before borrowing against their personal assets, as many have unnecessarily secured personal assets to the future of their business.

Despite the government offering to guarantee interest-free and charge-free loans, which are to be offered by as many as 40 of Britain’s biggest lenders, some banks continue to offer business owners their standard, and more expensive commercial loans, which are secured against their personal property.

Although some banks have said they will stop demanding personal assets, such as property or savings as collateral, the question still remains whether those that have already signed up for this financial help will be able to uncouple their hard-earned assets.

Oliver King, an associate solicitor in corporate law at Langleys Solicitors, said:

“Businesses that quickly found themselves in trouble, due to the current economic situation, may have already taken out loans, and have been obliged to provide additional security and personal guarantees by lenders, which could come back to bite them at a later date.

“Following pressure from the Institute of Directors to stop this practice, we urge the banks that have taken personal guarantees to do the honourable thing and waive the guarantees, rather than punish already hard-pressed SMEs.

“This would need to be a voluntary act by the banks, and one that continues on the current wave of goodwill we have seen in recent weeks, to avoid punishing SMEs further down the line.

“It remains to be seen whether, as the Treasury has indicated they expect, all of the lenders on the scheme to drop the requirement or not.

“There have also been calls for a similar scheme to be opened up to smaller, challenger banks that specialise in lending to SMEs, making them agile enough to make swift decisions, something which is certainly required in the present climate. As well as separate calls to open up the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to all businesses with turnover of less than £45m, as opposed to just those businesses that cannot access other loans.”

“It is essential that any small business looking to benefit from the government’s support programme looks into the details of the loan scheme being offered by any lender, extremely carefully. If directors are in any doubt then they should take immediate legal advice on the implications of the terms being offered to them.

Greater adoption of video call facilities

“Further to this, we may see a development in the way high street banks deal with legal advice. Any individual providing security or a guarantee on behalf of a third party, must obtain independent legal advice on the form, content and effect before proceeding. This absolute requirement is almost never waived, and is done to ensure that the guarantor is under no undue influence or duress to provide the guarantee.

“Previously at high street lenders this has been obliged to be done via a face-to-face meeting. However, in recent years, challenger banks and forward-thinking lenders have permitted this advice to be provided via a video conference call, something which the larger, high street banks have not yet adopted. Although I expect high street banks to miraculously now realise that this can be carried out over the telephone or on a video call and update their practices.”

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