The UKBCCI provided meals to NHS frontline staff at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital in London yesterday – 19th May 2020.
UKBCCI President Mr Bajloor Rashid MBE , along with Directors Mr Oli Khan, Mr Saiful Alam and Mr Siddiqur Rahman Joynal volunteered their time in delivering a selection of two hundred meals as a mark of gratitude.
The food was kindly donated by the sponsors of this initiative all based in Hertfordshire: Raj Garden in Bushey, Surma in Stevenage and the Prince of Bengal in Watford. The owners of these restaurants are all directors of the UKBCCI.
We hope you are keeping safe and well.
We are sure that many of you are following the news and are keeping up to date, but we just wanted to cover the pertinent points this week.
The government’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty has said in a recent government daily coronavirus briefing, that the UK will have to live with some disruptive social measures for the remainder of this year at least. Adding that the way forward will be a “highly effective vaccine” or drugs that will treat the disease. “So we have to accept that we are working with a disease that we are going to be with globally… for the foreseeable future”.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke at that same briefing and said relaxing ’social distancing’ too soon would potentially risk a second spike of coronavirus cases. Saying that a second lockdown would “prolong the economic pain” across the UK.
So as things stand these safety measures will stay in place with a gradual relaxing allowing schools, some businesses and public transport to be reopened in the not too distant future.
The government’s economic package is really appreciated by the UKBCCI and we feel it is unprecedented . This government is supporting UK business. The job furlough scheme for businesses is now being rolled and the launch appears to be going smoothly. So far 140,000 UK companies have applied for this government aid.
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, had said that the first million people being furloughed were at risk of losing their jobs without the government’s support. More businesses will be applying for the scheme in the coming days and weeks, but it’s reassuring to know that the scheme appears to be working. The measures were put in place to pay wages for threatened jobs due to staff not being able to work because of coronavirus. Under this programme, businesses can claim, through the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), up to 80% of employees salaries from the state, up to a maximum of £2500 per month, plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions. Loans, tax relief and cash grants are also available. Self-employed people will receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least 3 months.
Details of how to apply for the Job Retention Scheme are here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
So, of those of us in the catering industry, we will have to brace ourselves for continued disruption to restaurants, cafes, bars etc. It is pleasing to see evidence though that restaurants offering takeaway for their customers are doing brisk business.
With Covid-19 comes an increased responsibility in hygiene safety measures. The government have information online that will greatly assist us and offer increased confidence to the buying public. Details are found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19
Our President, Bajloor Rashid MBE wanted to express his sincere thanks to the British High Commissioner in Bangladesh, along with British Airways and all Foreign Office staff members in London and Bangladesh for assisting in the first flight out of Bangladesh this week for British nationals. The UKBCCI and the whole of the British Bangladeshi community is grateful for the initiative that has been shown.
At the end of the day, business must go on and life must go on, but there will be definite changes to society as a result of this pandemic.
As a footnote to this message, there are some positives to be taken from the current way we are having to live. Families, as a whole in the UK, are benefitting from better interaction between family members as a result of the pandemic, the skies seem to be clearer and there seems to be a less frantic way we seem to be living our lives, the pace surely is better for our souls. We just need to find an effective vaccine and then we can return to a better form of normal, where we can work and play.
Take care and be safe.
On Monday 23rd March Boris Johnson addressed the nation. It was an extremely vital announcement.
At the UKBCCI we wholeheartedly support all the actions that our government are taking to stem the Covid 19 tide, and we urge everybody to follow and adhere to the Prime Minister’s set of life saving rules.
The government have recently announced that they will pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic. The strategy is to help protect people’s jobs.
The plan is to pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month. The UKBCCI believe that the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, will shortly be offering help to the self-employed too.
For details of the broader business help that the government are offering, please see our previous message: https://www.ukbcci.org.uk/coronavirus-a-message-from-the-ukbcci-president/
So, please do all that you can to help our nation by following the isolation measures that are now in place.
We thank you and wish you well over this testing time.