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The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.

 

SCC comment on Lockdown Extention

Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has been commenting on the Scottish Government's decision to extend the lockdown in Scotland by a further three weeks:

 

“As with so many of us, businesses in Scotland are desperate to know when they can resume operations and how to do so safely.

“And while they want to see economic recovery, it must not be at the cost of a second wave of the virus causing a further clampdown. Businesses in Scotland are playing their part keeping employees and customers safe.

“We will continue to urge the Scottish and UK government to take a sensible and pragmatic approach to easing restrictions and both Governments must work hand in glove with business in a meaningful way to achieve this.”

Government Aid For Private Rental Landlords

A £5 million fund will offer interest-free loans to landlords whose tenants are having difficulty paying rent during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

 

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The Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme will offer eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for a single property.

It will support private-sector landlords who are not classified as businesses, have five or less properties to rent and have lost rental income due to tenants unable to pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Private Rent Sector Landlord (non-business) COVID-19 Loan Scheme opened for applications on 5 May. The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 already protects tenants from any eviction action for six months.

Landlords facing difficulties with repayments on a mortgage for a rental property are expected to seek a mortgage repayment holiday from their lender before they apply for a loan.

The application process requires landlords to confirm they understand the terms of the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to eviction proceedings, and that they have discussed rent issues with their tenant and reached agreement on managing arrears.

 

GET ALL THE DETAILS HERE

A £5 million fund will offer interest-free loans to landlords whose tenants are having difficulty paying rent during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

 

The Private Rent Sector Landlord COVID-19 Loan Scheme will offer eligible landlords up to 100% of lost rental income for a single property.

 

It will support private-sector landlords who are not classified as businesses, have five or less properties to rent and have lost rental income due to tenants unable to pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Private Rent Sector Landlord (non-business) COVID-19 Loan Scheme opened for applications on 5 May. The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 already protects tenants from any eviction action for six months.

 

Landlords facing difficulties with repayments on a mortgage for a rental property are expected to seek a mortgage repayment holiday from their lender before they apply for a loan.

 

The application process requires landlords to confirm they understand the terms of the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to eviction proceedings, and that they have discussed rent issues with their tenant and reached agreement on managing arrears.

Message for VE Day from Alister Jack MP

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, MP for Dumfries and Galloway has published his VE Day message:

 

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This Friday, like many people across Dumfries and Galloway constituency, my thoughts will turn to a day 75 years ago when the Second World War in Europe officially came to an end.


Like most today much of my knowledge of the emotional outpouring of that day comes from older relatives and friends who had lived through more than six years of global conflict which, together with the remaining part of the war in the Far East, helped preserve the freedom and survival of our family of nations.


For those old enough to remember the war years, the VE Day anniversary will not only be an occasion to recall the often spontaneous celebrations that broke out at what was a crucial milestone on the road to peace but will likely be tinged with sadness for those in the forces and civilians who lost their lives.


Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 emergency, communities will not be able to mark this important anniversary in quite the same way initially envisaged.


In the midst of this unprecedented battle to control coronavirus, in which NHS staff, care teams and a vast army of key workers and volunteers have gone above and beyond for the common good, I believe we can feel a greater empathy than ever with the generations who witnessed VE Day in May, 1945.


This Friday there will be a thoughtful revised programme of events in which people can safely become involved whilst social distancing in their own homes.


There will be special programming on the BBC and other networks, including an 11 am national two minutes silence, Winston Churchill's historic announcement that the war in Europe was over, a nationwide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn's 'We'll Meet Again' and a special address by Her Majesty The Queen.

I believe Friday will be a time to honour the wartime generations, be inspired by their courage and fortitude whilst not forgetting those that faced the war in the Far East, who will be commemorated on VJ Day on August 15.

 

HARPER TO MARK VE DAY 75TH ANNIVERSARY

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has welcomed the commitment from the Scottish Government to hold VE Day Commemorative events online this year, given that the current COVID-19 restrictions mean that gatherings of people are not currently possible.

The South Scotland MSP has also made her own video on social media to mark the day and people can view it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

An online service of remembrance and a two-minute silence will lead Scotland’s public commemorations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day this coming Friday (8th May).

The ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has meant that plans for the landmark anniversary – which were to include a parade, public concert and reception – will now take place online, with a video message of thanks from the First Minister and a concert in addition to the service and silence.

Several local organisations and churches are also holding their own online service to mark the landmark day – including St Michael’s Church in Dumfries.

 

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Commenting, Ms Harper said:

“As the 75th anniversary of VE Day approaches, it is only right we pay tribute to the determination and the sacrifices made by the men and women who lived through the Second World War.

“Commemorations and events like VE Day are absolutely crucial in remembering our history, and also in the promotion of international peace, tolerance and respect for one another which allows us to ensure the atrocities of war – and particularly of World War II – are not repeated in the future.

“Despite the difficult circumstances we are currently in, Legion Scotland and Poppy Scotland – as well as local churches across Dumfries and Galloway - are doing outstanding work in helping people across Scotland come together virtually on the 8 May to give thanks to our World War II generation.

“I would encourage everyone to join with me online in honouring a generation whose contribution continues to impact on us all in many ways, as well as to promote international tolerance and respect.

“I have posted a short video to mark the day which people can access on social media channels.”

Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, said:

“The 75th anniversary of VE Day is an important milestone in the nation’s history and we are excited to launch our virtual programme.

“While the lockdown restrictions have forced us to postpone the planned physical events, we are confident that our virtual events will bring people across Scotland together in a memorable, shared moment of commemoration and celebration.”

Poppyscotland Chief Executive Mark Bibbey said:

“We had just issued VE Day learning resources to every school in Scotland when the lockdown came into effect. Nevertheless, these have been amended and are now an excellent way for young people to find out more about the significance of VE Day while learning at home.

“We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from the parents who have already made use of them and would encourage anyone home schooling utilise this comprehensive digital resource.”

LOCAL MSP PRAISES DUMFRIES-BASED FIRM BERRY BPI FOR ADAPTING AND INVESTING IN NEW EQUIPMENT IN ORDER TO MAKE PPE FOR NHS WORKERS

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has praised firm Berry bpi, which has a factory in Dumfries, after it was revealed the company is adapting its existing manufacturing facilities and investing in new equipment in order to provide localised production and supply of much needed PPE (personal protective equipment) for NHS workers.

Berry bpi is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of polythene film and it hopes by early May the Dumfries site, along with three others across the UK, will be manufacturing around 200,000 special fluid-resistant, long-sleeve apron-style gowns and over six million standard disposable aprons every week.

Berry bpi is a long-standing supplier to the NHS, currently producing the majority of clinical waste sacks used in UK hospitals. 

Local MSP Colin Smyth said: “Our NHS and health and care sector are facing a completely unique situation as we continue to tackle Covid-19 and it is vitally important that those working closely with people who have, or may have, the virus are as protected as possible.

 

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“The correct PPE is just one step in keeping health care workers safe and I would like to take this opportunity to praise Berry bpi and all its staff in Dumfries and beyond, for making these changes in order to produce some of the equipment required.

“We are still in the middle of a terrible, and often very frightening situation, but it is fantastic to see some local businesses really stepping up to the mark to help do what they can to support our NHS and health and social care sector.”