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Coronavirus Business Support and Advice

Summary of business support available

General advice and support

The Government continue to update their web page on employer and business support please keep your eye on Government pages for updates. This business support page also provides useful information on coronavirus business support.

Advice for licensed premises holders can be found on the COVID-19 licensed premises advice page.

The Stoke and Staffordshire Growth Hub has provided a summary and overview of what measures are to be put in place by central Government.

In the meantime, if you have any concerns about paying tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 0159 559.

The Council has published a list of business types that are required to close or remain closed until otherwise directed. For businesses that wish to amend their service so that they can continue to trade, for example a restaurant may wish to offer takeaway or food delivery, they will need to inform the planning department and ensure that they comply with their premises licence conditions.

Business Rates

Retail Discount Relief

The Government confirmed its intention to increase the value of Retail Discount from one third of the liability to 100% in 2020/21 only. This has been awarded to eligible businesses.

Ratepayers who pay by Direct Debit and who are awarded this relief will not have payments requested from their bank for their 2020/21 liability.

Please download the retail discount guidance.

Nursery Scheme

A business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year has been introduced. This relief will apply to hereditaments occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage and which are subject to business rates in the year 2020-21. 

(new) Discretionary Grant Fund

A £5,000 Discretionary Grant is available to certain types of businesses who are trading in East Staffordshire and, with the exception of Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, not eligible for other support schemes.

Small Business Grant Funding

A grant of £10,000 for businesses receiving Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief. The reliefs are shown on your business rates bill.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funding

Eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors can apply for a retail, hospitality and leisure grant of £10,000 for businesses with a rateable value of up to £15,000 and a grant of £25,000 for businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £50,999. The rateable value is shown on your business rates bill.

Business Support Grants

The Government announced on 2nd May 2020 that they will be providing further funding to Local Authorities to provide grants to:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces, eg industrial parks, science parks, incubators, etc, which do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

The list set out above is not intended to be exhaustive but it is intended to guide Local Authorities as to the types of uses that the Government considers should be a priority for the scheme. The Local Authority will determine whether particular situations not listed are broadly similar in nature to those above and, if so, whether they should be eligible for grants from this discretionary fund.

We are waiting for further guidance from the Government as to how businesses will meet the criteria for a Discretionary grant but we do know that grants can only go to:

  • Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs;
  • Businesses which can demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis;
  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees; and
  • Businesses that were trading on or before 11th March 2020.

Businesses will be required to apply for this grant and further details will be added here once confirmed.’

Self-employment income support scheme

On Thursday 26th March 2020, the Chancellor announced a support package for the self-employed whereby self-employed people with trading profits of up to £50,000 will be able to access a taxable grant based on 80% of their average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 per month. The scheme will be implemented no later than the beginning of June and HMRC will be contacting eligible people directly in due course. For more information please see the government guidance.

Bounce Back Loan

From Monday 4th May 2020, small and medium sized enterprises will be able to access further loan funding through the Government’s Bounce Back Loan scheme. The loan will provide up to £50,000 in funding for up to 6 years, with no repayments during the first 12 months, and Government will guarantee 100% of the loan value. More information on this is expected shortly, however please take a look at the Government guidance. 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The CBILS is now open and is being provided by commercial lenders, backed by the British Business Bank. The scheme launched on 23rd March 2020 but is being expanded from 6th April 2020 along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. The changes mean even more smaller businesses across the UK impacted by the coronavirus crisis can access the funding they need. Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS.

Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme. This significantly increases the number of businesses eligible for the scheme. In order to enquire about this loan, please contact your bank or one of the accredited lenders on this list. For more information please go to https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) 

The CLBILS is available from Monday 20th April 2020 and is being provided by commercial lenders, backed by the British Business Bank. This new loan facility will be available to viable businesses with a turnover of more than £45m who will be able to access a loan facility of up to £25m. Businesses with a turnover of over £250m will be able to access up to £50m.

These loan facilities can be backed by a Government guarantee of up to 80% however unlike CBILS, borrowers will be 100% responsible for interest and lender levied fees. The maximum loan term is 3 years, as opposed to the 6 years available through CBILS. For more information, please go to https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/clbils/.

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction for at least three months.

Emergency Grant Scheme for Staffordshire’s Micro Businesses

Staffordshire County Council’s £500,000 micro-businesses grant fund has now closed.

Summary of Government support for businesses

Support General Eligibility How to access Notes
£25,000 Cash Grant Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RV £15,000 - £51,000)

Letters have been sent to all businesses who we have identified should qualify for the Small Business Grant. Businesses who receive a letter should return their information to us as soon as possible so that we can award their grant to them.

Guidance detailing which businesses qualify for this grant. 

If you haven’t received a letter and believe your business should be entitled to a Small Business Grant, please contact us by telephone on 01283 508030 or by email at nndr@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk(link sends e-mail)

£10,000 Cash Grant You are a business that occupies property. All businesses eligible for small business rate relief or rural relief. 

Letters have been sent to all businesses who we have identified should qualify for the Small Business Grant. Businesses who receive a letter should return their information to us as soon as possible so that we can award their grant to them.

Guidance detailing which businesses qualify for this grant. 

If you haven’t received a letter and believe your business should be entitled to a Small Business Grant, please contact us by telephone on 01283 508030 or by email at nndr@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk(link sends e-mail)

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme All UK businesses

More details on the scheme can be found on the Government website.

Only contact HMRC directly if it has been more than 10 working days since your claim and you haven’t received it: HMRC – 0800 0159 559

Grant covering up to 80% of retained workers, up to £2,500 a month, although the scheme was initially available for 3 months, it has been extended until October 2020.

Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.

A full list of required information is available at the link in the previous section. The employers guidance document was published on 17th April 2020.

Retail discount will increase from one third of the liability to 100% in 2020/21 only. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure This is applied automatically via business rate billing, eligible businesses will be re-billed This has been awarded to eligible businesses.
Business Rates Nursery Discount Scheme Properties occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and providing the Early Years Foundation Stage This is applied automatically via business rate billing, eligible businesses will be re-billed. This has been awarded to eligible businesses.
Self-employed Income Support Scheme 

Self-employed with trading profits up to £50,000.

Existing self-employed with a tax return for 2019 (those who have missed the filing deadline in January will get 4 weeks from 26th March 2020 to submit their tax return)

HMRC – 0800 0159 559

HMRC are working on implementing the scheme urgently with access being no later than the beginning of June. HMRC will contact eligible people directly and ask them to complete a form, after which HMRC will make a direct bank account payment. There is currently no application process as this will be implemented automatically. 

The scheme will be open for at least 3 months.

Government will pay a taxable grant worth 80% of average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 per month.

For more information please see the government guidance.

Reclaim Statutory Sick Pay Fewer than 250 employees as of 28/02/20. Via Government, process to be set up in coming months This will cover up to 2 weeks sick pay if the absence is COVID-19 related.
Bounce Back Loan

SMEs who are based in the UK, have been negatively impacted by coronavirus, and were not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31st December 2019.

You cannot apply if you are already claiming under the CBILS. You may be able to transfer your CBILS to the this scheme if your loan is under £50,000. 

The scheme will launch from 4th May 2020 via accredited lenders. More information on how to access will be available shortly.

Government guarantees 100% of loan value. Loans of between £2,000 and £50,000.

First 12 months interest and fee free (paid by Government). Loan terms of up to 6 years, no repayments will be due during first 12 months.

Government has agreed with lenders that the interest for these loans will be 2.5%.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme SMEs. Turnover of <£45m and general British Business Bank criteria.

Via British Business Bank accredited lenders from 23rd March

Expanded scheme is available as of Monday 6th April.

Government guarantees 80% of loan value. Loans of up to £5m, first 12 months interest free (paid by Government).
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme All viable businesses with a turnover of more than £45m Available from Monday 20th April 2020 via British Business Bank accredited lenders.

Loans of up to £25m for businesses with a turnover of over £45m.

Loans of up to £50m for businesses with a turnover of over £250m.

Loans can still be backed by a Government guarantee of up to 80%, however borrowers will be 100% responsible for interest payments and lender levied fees. Maximum loan term is 3 years. 

Corporate Financing All UK businesses Via Bank of England (expected) from 23rd March Bank of England able to buy short term debt from larger companies.
Tax – Time to Pay Pay Tax to UK Government, have outstanding tax liabilities HMRC – 0800 0159 559 For advice and guidance on tax payments
VAT Deferred All UK businesses HMRC – 0800 0159 559 VAT for all businesses is being deferred until the end of June 2020.
Access to Universal Credit Self-Employed Department for Work and Pensions Self-employed will have access to Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay