Coronavirus Advice and Support for Businesses
For more information and to register for our Virtual Business Support Sessions click here.
Please click here for the government guidance (released Monday 11 May 2020) on working safely during COVID-19 pandemic .
The government has updated its COVID-19 guidance for employers and businesses.
COVID-19 business support – new website.
Tax helpline to support businesses affected by COVID-19
Emergency rescue package for business
There is an emergency rescue package for business following the coronavirus restrictions. The guide can be found at on the government website.
As a local authority, we will be administering two elements of the rescue package. These are the changes to business rate relief and grant support which are detailed below.
Business rate relief
A business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year has been introduced. It has also been extended to non-local authority providers of childcare (nurseries). Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year have now been rebilled and will now receive 100% off their business rates. The retail discount scheme has been extended to include more business who will also receive a new bill.
You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:
- Your business is based in England.
- Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.
- Your business is a non-local authority childcare provider (nursery).
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:
- As shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues.
- For assembly and leisure.
- As hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.
- As a non-local authority childcare nursery.
How to access the scheme
All eligible businesses have now been rebilled so if you have not received an amended bill, please contact our Revenues team to apply for the discount.
Tel: 01902 696669
Businesses that do not qualify for the business rates holiday
If you are having issues paying your business rates because of COVID-19, please contact our Revenues team as soon as possible.
Tel: 01902 696669
Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme
A new temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch soon to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.
Support for employees, benefit claimants and businesses
A range of extra support and measures will be in place to help workers, benefit claimants and businesses affected by coronavirus.
Business Grant Information
Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
In response to the Coronavirus, Covid-19, the Government announced there would be support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Access to the grants will be via completion of the on-line form below.
This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
The criteria are that;
i) Businesses in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system shall be entitled to a payment of £10,000.
ii) Businesses in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for a payment of £10,000 (if rateable value less than £15,000) or £25,000 if rateable value greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000.
iii) Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more, and those not ratepayers in the business rates system are not eligible for payments under this scheme.
Full details of eligibility criteria can be found on the Public Health England web-site following the link below;
Please note that the Grant is for the ratepayer on the eligible day (11th March 2020) and Grants will be liable for recovery if the recipient was not the ratepayer on the eligible day. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back.
Grants for businesses- fraud prevention
Be aware at the current time there is an increased risk of fraud. This includes risks that someone may impersonate the Council either to commit fraud against your business or to gain information allowing them to submit an application for a business grant.
There are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself
- Check the email address of the sender. Don't click on or download anything you don't trust - for example, if you get an email from a company with a strange email address.
- You may be contacted by someone offering to fill out the form for the business rate grant on your behalf. Please don't accept any offer to do this, even if they say they work for the Council. We have designed the form to make it simple and intuitive.
If the Business Rates Team contact you regarding your grant
- They will only provide links to our own or government websites
- They may have to ask you a question regarding your account which only you would know, in order to validate the grant application. However, they will not ask you to divulge any personal information
- Do not reveal your business rates account number or bank details to anyone you are not sure of.
If you are still unsure please contact ourselves on SmallBusinessGrants@sstaffs.gov.uk
Upon receipt of a correctly completed form, South Staffordshire Council will aim to forward eligible monies to businesses within seven working days.
If you have any queries, please e-mail SmallBusinessGrants@sstaffs.gov.uk with a subject heading ‘Query'.