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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, September 4

The ongoing coronavirus situation is changing by the hour with announcements being made about businesses and services that are being forced to adapt and change.

Punchline is committed to trying to keep you up to date with all the news that matters to you and your business.

Our team will update this story throughout the day, to ensure that the latest important developments can be found in one - clickbait free - place.

If you or your business has any news, views or advice to share with the Gloucestershire business community, get in touch with Punchline team at news@moosemarketingandpr.co.uk.

Friday, September 4

Update #1391 - 17.10 Update on coronavirus cases in the UK

The Government's Department of Health and Social Care has released the latest figures on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

It has been said that a further 10 people have sadly passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus, as of 16.00 today (September 4).

The latest total COVID death toll for the UK now sits at 41,537 - which specifically includes those that have died within 28 days of a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test.

Across the UK, 1,940 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 342,351 since the outbreak began. 

Update #1390 - 17.04 Lidl launches new app

Discount supermarket chain Lidl has launched Lidl Plus, a new digital rewards app, offering shoppers rewards and discounts every time they shop.

The app is now available to download on iOS and Android in England, Scotland and Wales, after being piloted in stores in Ireland earlier in the summer, as reported by Charged Retail.

SEE MORE 

Update #1389 - 15.58 More jobs to go as Jigsaw loses more pieces

Fashion retailer Jigsaw is to cut more than 100 staff as it closes 13 shops following creditors' approval of a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

A company spokesman said: "The arrangement puts the company on solid footing moving forwards.

"It allows us to execute our turnaround strategy by refocusing the company on its core business as a women's British heritage brand."

The company, which has branches in Cheltenham and Tetbury, employs 900 people having shut four shops earlier this year.

Update #1388 - 15.56 Virgin cutting more jobs as aviation problems continue

Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to cut another 1,150 jobs, just weeks after completing a £1.2billion rescue plan.

The airline, which has already cut 3,500 of its 10,000 workforce this year, has said it will introduce a company-financed furlough scheme for 600 crew members from the end of October.

A company statement said: "Until travel returns in greater numbers, survival is predicted on reducing costs further and continuing to preserve cash.

"The outlook for transatlantic flying, which is core to Virgin Atlantic's business, remains uncertain with US-UK travel curtailed."

The company said the rescue deal agreed last month had secured its future for at least 18 months.

Update #1387 - 15.19 Priory's reopening is elementary after seal of approval

Llanthony Secunda Priory has been awarded We're Good To Go status ahead of its reopening this weekend after the coronavirus lockdown.

The priory, near Gloucester Docks, is returning with a weekend of events which includes an outdoor performance of Sherlock Holmes tonight.

More than 100 people are expected to see the ticketed show by theatre company The Pantaloons on the Inner Court Lawns.

And on Sunday the priory, which has been shut for more than five months, will host an open day when visitors can explore the grounds and buildings, together with an Illustrated Fragments exhibition curated by local artist Jacqui Grange.

READ THE FULL STORY 

Update #1386 - 15.17 Tewkesbury plan looks to refocus, recover and rebuild

Tewkesbury Borough Council has published a plan designed to refocus, recover and rebuild in the the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The council's recovery plan is aimed at supporting people and businesses as they move onto the next stage after lockdown.

It is split into priority areas - finance and resources, economic growth, housing and communities, customer first, garden communities and sustainable environment - with each focused on refocusing, recovering and rebuilding.

Council leader Councillor Rob Bird said: "Supporting our residents and communities sits at the very heart of our Recovery Plan, which is why it is shaped around our existing Council Plan priorities.

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Update #1385 - 13.32 Covid-19 causes business debt to drop by £189million

The impact of Covid-19 has seen a sharp fall in insolvent business debt during the last quarter, according to corporate distress data analysts Red Flag Alert .

The firm's 'Write Off Report' shows that total levels of insolvent business debt at June 30 were £1.577billion, down 10.7 per cent from £1.766billion at the end of March.

The decline is due to the Government's Covid-19 support measures, creditors flexing payment terms and less formal action being taken against companies in serious financial distress.

The quarterly figures are in complete contrast to trends this time last year, which saw total insolvent debt grow by £161million from April to June 2019.

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Update #1383 - 12.47 Gloucester welcomes back museum and tourist centre

The Museum of Gloucester and the city's Tourist Information Centre have reopened after lockdown.

The museum is initially opening from Thursdays to Saturdays as part of a phased reopening to allow for cleaning and ongoing behind-the-scenes work.

And with a limited of number of visitors, booking is advised from 01452 396131 or 01452 396572.

The information centre will continue to open from Monday to Saturday but will close at 3pm for allow for deep cleaning.

SEE MORE 

Update #1382 - 11.45 Co-op to create 1,000 new jobs

While many sectors of retail are struggling to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the Co-op is the latest supermarket to expand.

The supermarket and convenience store chain, which has stores across the county, will create 1,000 new jobs as it opens 50 new stores, as reported by The Guardian.

It is also set to expand 15 stores as part of a £130m investment. The new jobs will be spread across the new and expanded stores.

A further 12 franchised stores, with Co-op branding but owned by others, are also set to open in 2020.

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Update #1381 - 11.22 Gloucestershire diners save £2.9m eating out

Diners in the Cotswolds made the best use of the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme across Gloucestershire.

But customers in the Forest of Dean picked up the biggest average discount across the county.

Official figures from the Treasury show more than 100 million meals were served before Monday's final day of the scheme, which saw half-price meals and soft drinks (up to £10 per person) at participating venues from Mondays-Wednesdays during August.

Around 84,700 restaurants signed up for the scheme and have claimed £522million back from the Government - a figure which is set to rise ahead of the deadline by the end of the month.

Excluding chains with more than 25 outlets, 702 venues across Gloucestershire signed up for the scheme and served up 563,000 meals as diners saved more than £2.9million.

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Update #1380 - 11.19 Debenhams healthier than expected insists chairman

The chairman of Debenhams insists the troubled retailer is in a better position than expected and there is no rush to secure a sale from administration by the end of the month.

Mark Gifford told the BBC: "We are sitting with over £95million in the bank, more than £50million higher than we expected to have when we went into administration.

"Because we've been able to build this amount of cash within the company, the administrator can work with the management team to continue to trade the business."

He expects the company to remain in administration until the new year and admitted more branches were likely to close.

"Maybe there's another 30 to close," he said. "Nobody knows the answer. We're looking at this every day now - which stores are viable and which are not."

Update #1379 - 11.17 Pret launches subscription service to lure in customers

Coffee and sandwich chain Pret a Manger has launched a monthly subscription service as it works to attract customers back into shops.

Pret, which has a branch in Cheltenham and announced 2,900 jobs were to go last week, said the YouPret Barista service would allow customers to buy up to five drinks a day for a monthly £20 subscription.

Chief executive Pano Christou said: "There's no doubt that workers will come into the office less often than beforehand.

"Pret needs to adapt itself to the changes of customer patterns and that's where we've been very focused."

Sales remain around 50 per cent down on last year at the 367 Pret outlets in the UK which have reopened since last month.

Update #1378 - 11.14 Quiet month on road to recovery

Registrations of new cars during August have fallen on the previous year after a post-lockdown increase in July.

After the first monthly rise of the year in July, when registrations were up 11 per cent, the traditionally quiet August market fell by six per cent according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

SMMT chef executive Mike Hawes said: "The decline is disappointing, following some brief optimism in July.

"Given August is typically one of the new car market's quietest months, it is important not to draw too many conclusions from these figures alone."

Update #1377 - 08.40 Latest coronavirus figures for Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

In Gloucestershire, confirmed coronavirus deaths remain at 230 according to figures released by NHS England - no increase since August 19.

It has been reported that of those who have died, 195 were being cared for at Gloucestershire Hospitals while 35 were being treated through Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest Government figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 2,030 as of Wednesday afternoon - an increase of 10 on the day before.

These cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 580 cases (increase of two)

Cheltenham - 472 cases (increase of one)

Stroud - 292 cases (increase of one)

Tewkesbury - 282 cases (increase of one)

Cotswolds - 229 cases (increase of two)

Forest of Dean - 175 cases (increase of three)

Update #1376 - 08.35 Sales are showing organic growth

Sales of organic food and drink soared during lockdown having already been rising faster than other products.

Figures from the Soil Association, released at the start of Organic September, showed sales of organic products were up 6.1 per cent in the 12 months up to the end of May.

That compares to a 3.2 per cent growth for non-organic food and drink across the same period.

And those figures soared to an 18.7 per cent rise over the last 12 weeks of the year - which included the first 10 weeks of lockdown - with non-organic equivalents growing by 14.2 per cent.

READ MORE 

Thursday, September 3

Update #1375 - 16.56 Update on coronavirus cases in the UK

The Government's Department of Health and Social Care has released the latest figures on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

It has been said that a further 13 people have sadly passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus, as of 16.00 today (September 3).

The latest total COVID death toll for the UK now sits at 41,514 - which specifically includes those that have died within 28 days of a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test.

Across the UK, 1,735 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 340,411 since the outbreak began.

Update #1374 - 16.38 Event unveiling proposals for special school

Plans for a proposed special school in Brockworth will go on display to the public next week.

A community drop-in event at Brockworth Community Centre on Tuesday, September 8 (4-7pm) will reveal the proposed designs before a planning application is submitted.

If planning approval is granted, the the school in Mill Lane will provide 75 places for young people aged 11-16 with social, emotional and mental health needs.

The school will also support children with autism and speech, language and communication needs.

SEE MORE 

Update #1373 - 16.01 Job ad falls foul in pursuit of happiness

The owner of a hair salon has been left far from happy after being told she could not run a job advert for a new stylist - because the word happy is discriminatory.

Alison Birch, who runs AJ's Unisex hair salon in Stroud, was amazed when a JobCentre official told her she could not stipulate happiness as a required quality for a new stylist.

The advert for a part-time hairdresser ended: "This is a busy, friendly small salon, so only happy, friendly stylist need apply."

Mother of three Alison, 54, who has run her salon for 20 years, said: "It was less than an hour after I'd gone online and placed the ad with the local job centre that I got a call saying there was a problem."

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Update #1372 - 14.49 Green Gloucester cracks national charts

Gloucester has been named as one of the greenest urban areas in the UK according to new research.

The city was ranked 20 in the list - one place ahead of Bristol - compiled by holiday rental company Holidu.

The list ranked the top 30 towns and cities based on the density of parks and green spaces.

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Update #1371 - 14.47 Council teams up with the FSB to offer discounted memberships

Forest of Dean District Council has announced a new partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The partnership aims to help smaller businesses - particularly those based in the district's town centres and larger villages - access the resources and support they need to get firmly back on their feet post-covid.

The council is encouraging businesses to take advantage of discounted FSB membership, and encouraging them to boost their digital presence, as shopping habits continue to evolve as a result of the crisis.

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Update #1370 - 13.31 Aviation industry hit by further blows

GKN Aerospace, which has bases in Bristol, reported a £685million pre-tax loss for the first six months as it warned of the job losses in its global business.

It comes as Heathrow airport has announced it is looking for engineering, air-side operations and security staff take pay cuts with bosses throughout the sector coming together to criticise the Government's handling of COVID-19 testing at airports.

Melrose, who bought GKN in a hostile takeover two years ago, follows the likes of Rolls-Royce and Airbus in announcing job cuts.

READ MORE 

Update #1369 - 12.52 Costa warns of more than 1,600 job losses

Up to 1,650 jobs are at risk as Costa Coffee becomes the latest high street name forced into changes by the coronavirus pandemic.

Describing the decision as "extremely difficult", the firm said it is consultation with staff over finding roles elsewhere in the business.

It said the role of assistant store manager could be removed due to uncertainty over when sales will return to pre-pandemic levels.

Costa's UK and Ireland managing director Neil Lake said: "Our baristas are the heart of the Costa business and I am truly sorry that many now face uncertainty following today's news."

Update #1368 - 12.49 Debenhams rescue talks continue

Debenhams' deadline for takeover bids has been and gone, but rescue talks are still continuing.

The department store chain, which has a branch in Gloucester, was put up for sale in July. Interested buyers were asked to submit their offers by 5pm on Tuesday (1st September), as reported by Retail Gazette.

Debenhams is looking for a deal by the end of September, or it will look into other options which could put more than 12,000 jobs at risk. But it has said that liquidation will be a last resort.

READ MORE 

Update #1367 - 11.40 Empty shops continue to rise

The number of vacant shops on UK high streets has risen to its highest level in six years, as city centres were hit by a dramatic fall in visitor numbers.

Nearly 11 per cent of shops were empty in July compared with 9.8 per cent in January. Empty premises were up in six out of 10 UK regions, with an increase of two-thirds in Greater London, as reported by The Guardian.

High streets saw nearly 40 per cent fewer visitors in August compared with the same month last year, according to retail analysis firm Springboard.

Retail parks fared better, with visitors down by just over 11 per cent in August. Market and coastal towns also performed better than cities, benefiting from the staycation trend. Visitors to seaside towns were down 24 per cent, while market towns saw a fall of almost 27 per cent.

Update #1366 - 11.14 Lego invest in bricks as lockdown sales soar

Lego is opening new shops around the world after seeing sales rise with people looking for things to do during lockdown.

The Danish toy firm saw revenues rise by seven per cent in the first half of the year to £1.8billion as operating profit grew by 11 per cent.

And the success will see them opening 120 new shops this year, 46 of which are already open.

Fourteen of the new shops will be in the UK with 80 in China.

READ MORE 

Update #1365 - 11.04 BBC commentator putting down mic after 32 years

Commentator Bob Hunt is retiring after 32 years behind the microphone for the BBC.

Since first picking up the mic for BBC Radio Gloucestershire and BBC Radio Bristol in the 1980s, he has become a fixture at Forest Green Rovers and Gloucestershire Cricket.

Rovers chairman Dale Vince said he had become "part of the club" while Gloucestershire chief executive Will Brown said he was hugely respected.

READ THE FULL STORY 

Update #1364 - 11.01 Amazon delivers 7,000 new jobs by end of year

Amazon is to create 7,000 new jobs in the UK - taking the total in 2020 to 10,000 permanent jobs.

And the online retailer said it is also recruiting for 20,000 seasonal jobs ahead of the festive period as online sales continue to grow during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new jobs will take Amazon's permanent UK workforce to more than 40,000 and the company says they will pay a minimum of £9.50 an hour at more than 50 sites across the country.

SEE MORE 

Update #1363 - 08.35 Latest coronavirus figures for Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

In Gloucestershire, confirmed coronavirus deaths remain at 230 according to figures released by NHS England - no increase since August 19.

It has been reported that of those who have died, 195 were being cared for at Gloucestershire Hospitals while 35 were being treated through Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 2,020 as of Wednesday afternoon - an increase of four on the day before.

These cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 578 cases (no change)

Cheltenham - 471 cases (increase of two)

Stroud - 291 cases (increase of one)

Tewkesbury - 281 cases (increase of one)

Cotswolds - 227 cases (no change)

Forest of Dean - 172 cases (no change)

Wednesday, September 2

Update #1362 - 17.01 Update on coronavirus cases in the UK

The Government's Department of Health and Social Care has released the latest figures on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

It has been said that a further 10 people have sadly passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus, as of 16.34 today (September 2).

The latest total COVID death toll for the UK now sits at 41,514 - which specifically includes those that have died within 28 days of a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test.

Across the UK, 1,508 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 338,676 since the outbreak began.

Update #1361 - 15.33 Eating out bill rose by more than a third

Spending in restaurants increased by more than a third on days when the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was in operation during August.

Barclaycard Payments said spending from Monday to Wednesday - when the 50 per cent discount claimed back from the Government, up to £10 per person, was in operation - saw diners spend 34.2 per cent more than in July.

Wednesdays proved the most popular day as spending increased by 39.7 per cent with almost 40 per cent of people in the UK using the scheme.

And despite the discount, the average remained pretty much the same - up by six pence on July to £11.91.

Update #1360 - 15.31 Unlocked housing market hits record high

House prices have hit a new high following the largest monthly rise for more than 16 years.

Figures from Nationwide revealed the average price of a home in the UK was £224,123 - a two per cent increase representing the largest monthly rise since February 2004.

The figure was also 3.7 per cent higher than last year after recovering from the property market virtually shutting down in the opening months of the coronavirus lockdown.

Update #1359 - 13.20 Golfers swing into action as Painswick targeted by vandals

Painswick Golf Club has been inundated with offers of help after its third hole was targeted by vandals.

The hole was badly damaged by a vehicle being driven over the course and repairs are underway to enable this weekend's annual club competition to go ahead.

Club professional Mark Cottrell said: "We got in on Monday morning and discovered the third green, third fairway and third tee had been driven over and damaged. It's horrendous.

"Basically they have done doughnuts on the green around the flag and then out on the fairway. They stopped at the top of the hill around the tee so they've just targeted the one hole."

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Update #1358 - 12.40 Retailers stepped up discounting in August

July might be the traditional month for sales, but British retailers discounted goods more in August than July, in an effort to get customers back following the coronavirus lockdown.

Average shop prices in August were 1.6 per cent lower than a year before, compared with a fall of 1.3 per cent in July and a record 2.4 per cent tumble in May, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

August's fall was driven by bigger price declines of 3.4 per cent for non-food prices, compared with a 2.9 per cent drop in July, as reported by Reuters.

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Update #1357 - 12.04 Return to office needs trust - not warnings

Companies fighting the economic rigours of the coronavirus pandemic do not need any lectures from the Government, according to one regional business leader.

Business West's Gloucestershire director Ian Mean said while Prime Minister Boris Johnson exhorts business to get back to offices, he cannot assume it is the right course for all companies.

And he said the Government must be wary of implying there might be pressure on employees who have chosen to work at home.

Adam Marshall, director of the British Chambers of Commerce - of which Business West is a part - said "mature conversations" were needed between employers and employees rather than government warnings.

READ THE FULL STORY 

Update #1356 - 10.40 Festival opens up voyage into the past

Historians Mary Beard, David Olusoga, Neil Gaiman and Janina Ramirez are among the star names for this year's Gloucester History Festival, which gets underway on Saturday.

The 10th anniversary event, which has the theme of voyagers and visionaries to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage to America, opens with the celebration of Gloucester Day.

The opening week is dedicated to the City Voices programme with online events or to be explored around the city.

READ MORE 

Update #1355 - 08.20 Latest coronavirus figures for Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

In Gloucestershire, confirmed coronavirus deaths remain at 230 according to figures released by NHS England - no increase since August 19.

It has been reported that of those who have died, 195 were being cared for at Gloucestershire Hospitals while 35 were being treated through Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 2,016 as of Tuesday afternoon.

These cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 578 cases

Cheltenham - 469 cases

Stroud - 290 cases

Tewkesbury - 280 cases

Cotswolds - 227 cases

Forest of Dean - 172 cases

Tuesday, September 1

Update #1354 - 17.01 Update on coronavirus cases in the UK

The Government's Department of Health and Social Care has released the latest figures on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

It has been said that a further three people have sadly passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus, as of 16.30 today (September 1).

The latest total COVID death toll for the UK now sits at 41,504 - which specifically includes those that have died within 28 days of a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test.

Across the UK, 1,295 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 337,168 since the outbreak began.

Update #1353 - 16.25 Council cabinet opens doors to new role

Two new cabinet posts have been created by Cheltenham Borough Council to help tackle the climate emergency and response to the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Councillor Steve Jordan, left, with new cabinet members Victoria Atherstone and Max Wilkinson

Councillor Max Wilkinson's climate and communities portfolio will help make sure local communities are at the forefront of the essential work on tacking climate change.

And Councillor Victoria Atherstone's economy and development portfolio will help drive forward plans for a strong economy and protect and promote the town as a place to live and work.

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Update #1352 - 16.05 Potential buyers given hours to make Debenhams bid

Prospective buyers have been given until 5pm today to table bids for Debenhams.

The troubled retailer entered administration for the second time in a year in April and administrator FRP Advisory is looking to complete the sale of the business by the end of this month.

And according to Sky News, investment bank Lazar - which is handling the sale process - has imposed the deadline for offers.

FRP has lined up specialists Hilco Capital to oversee any liquidation if a buyer is not found.

Debenhams has not commented on the reports.

READ MORE 

Update #1351 - 15.13 Shops seeing continued rise in visitors

Shopping numbers were up across the UK last week, but remained around one quarter down on the same period a year ago.

Footfall across all destinations rose six per cent on the previous week, according to researcher Springboard who said the numbers were 26.1 per cent on 2019 - compared with a drop of 30.7 per cent the previous week.

The wet weather helped shopping centres see a 9.1 per cent rise on the previous with high streets up 4.8 per cent and retail parks five per cent.

Figures for the three-day bank holiday weekend saw shopper numbers were down 11 per cent on the previous year.

Springboard director Diane Wehrle said: "The last full week of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme led to the most positive footfall result of any week so fare with increases in all three destination types from the week before and year-on-year declines that were the most modest since the start of the lockdown."

Update #1350 - 15.09 Call to action for jobs heads online

Gloucester MP Richard Graham has teamed up with Gloucester Rugby chief executive Lance Bradley to launch the website for the Gloucestershire Jobs, Skills & Apprenticeships LiftOff.

The event - a call to action on jobs and opportunities as the furlough scheme winds down - will be held at Kingsholm on Friday, September 11.

The website (glosliftoff.co.uk) will provide details of the schedule and allow people to register - as well as streaming it live.

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Update #1349 - 13.22 Wedding ban hits suit retailer

Men's formalwear retailer Moss Bros is going through restructuring, after its sales were hit by a ban on weddings and the cancellation of Royal Ascot.

The retailer has stores in Cheltenham and Gloucester, although the Gloucester store currently remains closed.

Moss Bros is working with advisers from KPMG to consider a CVA, which would result in the closure of some of its stores and a reduction in rent at others, as reported by Retail Gazette.

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Update #1348 - 13.04 Lockdown helps profits Zoom for video call app

The reliance on video calls during lockdown has seen Zoom profits almost treble over the second quarter.

Profits for the videoconferencing app, which has become part of the lexicon of lockdown, soared to $186million over the three months to July 31 as customers grew by 458 per cent compared with the same period a year ago.

Revenues were up by 355 per cent to $663.5million over the period, beating predictions of around $500million.

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Update #1347 - 12.12 No sign of second helping for Eat Out scheme

The Government appears no nearer to extending the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, despite calls for a longer run for the successful initiative.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "I want to say thank you to the diners who have fallen back in love with their local, to the managers who have spent weeks ensuring their restaurants were safe and to the chefs, waiters and waitresses across the country who have worked tirelessly, sometimes with more customers than they've had before - all helping to protect 1.8 million jobs.

"I urge diners to maintain the momentum to help continue our economic recovery."

Several restaurants and chains have said they will continue to offer the discount scheme, which ended yesterday after running throughout August, amid the calls for it to continue.

Federation of Small Businesses chief of external affairs Craig Beaumont said: "We really want to see an extension to the scheme, or some form of the scheme, to continue to guarantee that this continues throughout the autumn."

Update #1346 - 12.10 Takeover bid deadline for Debenhams

Prospective buyers have been given until 5pm today to table bids for Debenhams.

The troubled retailer entered administration for the second time in a year in April and administrator FRP Advisory is looking to complete the sale of the business by the end of this month.

And according to Sky News, investment bank Lazar - which is handling the sale process - has imposed the deadline for offers.

FRP has lined up specialists Hilco Capital to oversee any liquidation if a buyer is not found.

Debenhams has not commented on the reports.

READ MORE 

Update #1345 - 11.29 Sales up at Dunelm

Home furnishing retailer Dunelm saw a big rise in sales during July and August.

Dunelm's total year-on-year sales were up 59 per cent in July, due to pent-up demand following the store closures and the timing of its summer sale. Sales at the chain, which has stores in Gloucester and Cheltenham, rose by 24 per cent in August, as reported by Reuters.

Shares in the company rose by five per cent.

READ MORE 

Update #1344 - 11.26 Stroud Sub Rooms unveils fresh look

One of Stroud's major venues opened its doors over the bank holiday weekend to reveal its new look.

And Stroud Sub Rooms is looking to welcome people back on a more permanent basis when it announces its full reopening programme next week.

The historic venue opened its doors for the first time in almost six months to provide a glimpse into the work which has been carried out on the building.

SEE MORE 

Update #1343 - 08.35 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated figures released on Bank Holiday Monday show the UK death toll of people with coronavirus rose to 41,501 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of two on the previous day's figures.

In Gloucestershire, confirmed coronavirus deaths remain at 230 according to figures released by NHS England - no increase since August 19.

It has been reported that of those who have died, 195 were being cared for at Gloucestershire Hospitals while 35 were being treated through Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 2,011 as of Monday afternoon.

These cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 577 cases

Cheltenham - 467 cases

Stroud - 290 cases

Tewkesbury - 278 cases

Cotswolds - 227 cases

Forest of Dean - 172 cases

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