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COVID-19 help for businesses and self-employed

A number of initiatives to support business during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have been put in place by the Government and other agencies. We are working to to be able to provide you with this new funding and support locally. This page will be updated with local information when Government policy develops.

For information and updates on government support please see the Coronavirus Business Support page from the government.

Contents


Help for businesses previously excluded (the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund)

This is a discretionary grant scheme intended to assist businesses in the Bromsgrove District whose income has been significantly affected by the coronavirus outbreak and have not received funding from certain other Government support schemes.

The discretionary scheme describes businesses that will not be eligible for support, those that are potentially eligible, the amount of grant that Bromsgrove District Council will pay, and a summary of the information that we will require in order to assess your eligibility.

The deadline for applications to this scheme has passed and the scheme is closed.

Your business will not be eligible for discretionary grant funding if:

  1. It has received or is eligible for cash grants from any of the following central government schemes:
    1. Small Business Grant Fund
    2. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
    3. The Fisheries Response Fund
    4. Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme
    5. The Zoos Support Fund
    6. The Dairy Hardship Fund.
  2. It ceased trading before 11 March 2020 or began trading only after 11 March 2020. The business must have been trading on 11 March 2020
  3. It is a company in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
  4. The business occupies premises wholly or mainly for political purposes
  5. The application is made in respect of a car park or car parking spaces
  6. The property for which the application is made is used wholly or mainly for personal use.

Payments under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self Employment Income Support Scheme do not affect eligibility for discretionary grants.

Bromsgrove Council has been provided with funding of £1,013,500 for the discretionary grant scheme. Government has asked that councils prioritise support to certain businesses and these are listed in the table below in the priority one group. Local authorities are able to prioritise grants to other businesses which in their view are most relevant to the local economy.

When we determine applications for grant we will first make awards to businesses in the priority one group; if sufficient funding remains available we will then make awards to businesses in the priority two grouping as listed in the table below. When all priority one and two applications have been determined we will determine applications for priority three groups as listed, at which point if funding remains available grants to other businesses will be determined.

If there is insufficient funding to provide support to all applicants within a priority group then we will determine applications based on the impact coronavirus restrictions have had on the business, and the businesses importance to the economy of the Bromsgrove District.

To receive support in the priority one, two, or three groups the business must be:

  1. Trading on 11th March 2020
  2. Not have received support from existing Covid-19 grant schemes
  3. Demonstrate a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  4. Not be in administration, insolvent or have had a striking off notice made
  5. Categorised as a small or micro business.

Small Businesses must meet two or more of the following criteria:

  1. Turnover: Not more than £10.2m
  2. Balance Sheet Total: Not more than £5.1m
  3. Number of employees: a headcount of staff fewer than 50.

Micro Businesses must meet two or more of the following criteria:

  1. Turnover: Not more than £632,000
  2. Balance Sheet Total: Not more than £316,000
  3. Number of employees: a headcount of staff less than 10.

Market traders:

  1. Must operate within the Bromsgrove District on each market operating day to receive the maximum grant of £5,000. Where regular traders are not operating on every trading day the grant will be apportioned accordingly
  2. Will be entitled to one grant only irrespective of the number of pitches from which they operate.
Priority group (press to sort) Type of Business Grant amount per business (£)
1 Shared Offices: Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces which do not have their own business rates assessment, examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators. 5,000
1 Charities that receive mandatory charitable rate relief and who occupy only one property in England. 10,000
1 Bed and Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates. The bed and breakfast must provide accommodation to fewer than 7 people at any one time, the owner must have their sole or main residence within the property, and both accommodation and breakfast should be available. 5,000
1 Regular market traders who occupy a pitch which is not entered into the Non-Domestic Rating list 5,000
2 Events and Exhibitions: Businesses in occupation of a hereditament with an RV of less than £51,000 and used wholly or mainly for the planning, management or organisation of concerts, exhibitions or public events. RV is below £15,001. 10,000
2 Events and Exhibitions: Businesses in occupation of a hereditament with an RV of less than £51,000 and used wholly or mainly for the planning, management or organisation of concerts, exhibitions or public events. RV is between £15,001 and £50,099 25,000
2 Travel and Leisure: Business in occupation of a hereditament used wholly or mainly for the distance selling of travel, leisure and holiday packages or for the organisation, management or delivery of travel excursions, leisure breaks and vacation services. RV is below £15,001. 10,000
2 Travel and Leisure: Business in occupation of a hereditament used wholly or mainly for the distance selling of travel, leisure and holiday packages or for the organisation, management or delivery of travel excursions, leisure breaks and vacation services. RV is between £15,001 and £50,099 25,000
3 Pubs, Gyms and Children’s activity Centres: businesses in occupation of a hereditament with a rateable value between £51,000 and £100,000 and used wholly or mainly as a public house, gym, or children’s activity centre. 25,000
3 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Supply Chain: Business in occupation of a hereditament with a rateable value of less than £51,000 which is used wholly or mainly for the wholesale provision of goods to businesses within the retail, hospitality or leisure sector. RV is below 15,001 10,000
3 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Supply Chain: Business in occupation of a hereditament with a rateable value of less than £51,000 which is used wholly or mainly for the wholesale provision of goods to businesses within the retail, hospitality or leisure sector. RV is between £15,001 and £50,099 25,000

You will need to provide information to demonstrate that your business has suffered a loss in gross income as a result of COVID-19 and that it has property-related costs.

You will be asked to provide bank statements to show how gross income has fallen since the last set of audited accounts or, if no such accounts are available, bank statements covering the period during which the business has traded to show how income has been affected by COVID-19. We would expect the recent bank statements to show that income in March 2020 onwards has ceased completely or significantly reduced compared to a previous equivalent period. It does not matter if you have not been trading for more than 12 months and therefore that there are no audited accounts available. Evidence of a previous equivalent period could take the form of:

  • Accounts for the most recent 12 month period that have been audited e.g. financial year 2018-19 or calendar year 2019
  • Draft accounts that have not yet been audited e.g. for the financial year 2019-20
  • Bank account statements for the period March to May 2019
  • Bank account statements for a period before March 2020, but not earlier than March 2019.

Evidence will be required to show that the business was and continues to be liable for fixed property-related costs, such as rent, business rates, council tax or a loan in respect of the purchase of the property occupied by the business.

In the case of a business wholly or mainly in the supply chain for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, evidence will be required to demonstrate that the majority of the business’s gross income was derived from businesses that are eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant fund (or would have been so eligible if not precluded by reason of their rateable value).

If applicable, registration number of company at Companies House or charity number issued by Charity Commission.

A declaration that, for a business in a shared office or other flexible work space, the owner(s) or director(s) of the business are not among the owner(s) or director(s) of a company or business that is liable for business rates of that hereditament and has received or is eligible for cash grants from any of the following central government COVID-related schemes:

  • Small Business Grant Fund
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
  • The Fisheries Response Fund
  • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS).
  • The Zoos Support Fund
  • The Dairy Hardship Fund.

Evidence will be required that demonstrates that the business is classified as a small business or micro business. This will be evidence of the turnover of the business, evidence of the position of the balance sheet, and evidence of the number of employees.

When you make your application you will be making a declaration that, if a grant was awarded to your business, it would not exceed State Aid limits, and that you are providing correct information to the best of your knowledge and belief.

You will be acknowledging that:

  • The council reserves the right to check details (including through fraud-checking and other information services available to it) and that
  • The council may take recovery action in the event of incorrect information being provided and that
  • In cases of suspected fraud the council may refer the matter to the police.

Where grants are paid in error, or grants have been awarded as a result of fraud or a misrepresentation, then the council will take action to recover the grant.

If you need information that is not answered in this guide please contact our Business Rates team. As you can imagine we are experiencing high demand at the moment and we will respond as soon as we can.

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Help for small businesses and the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors

  1. All eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000. This will be paid depending on your Rateable Value (RV) ; RV up to £15,000 will get £10,000 and RV between £15,001 and £51,000 will get £25,000.
  2. All businesses in receipt of small business rates relief, regardless of sector, will be eligible for a cash payment of £10,000.

We have received the money from the government and it is now available.

If this applies to your business, this means:

  • If we have your business bank details already, for example because you pay business rates by direct debit, then we will now start to pay these grants automatically by BACS transfer. You do not need to do anything.
  • If we do not have your bank details, for example because you do not pay business rates by direct debit, we will be unable to automatically pay your grant to you and you will now need to supply us with essential details including bank details in order to receive your grant. Just press the button to begin.
Provide essential business details (form opens in new window)

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Help on business rates

  1. All eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors will pay no business rates in 2020-21. Please note that some of the initial exclusions for this relief, such as estate agents and letting agents, are now included. We are currently working to ensure no payments are drawn from eligible accounts.
  2. Any properties occupied by providers of Ofsted’s Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage and are subject to Business Rates in the year 2020/21 will receive a 100% discount. Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties.

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Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) supports self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

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Tax helpline

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

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More Coronavirus information

Bromsgrove District Council is working with partners and key agencies to stay up to date in receiving top-level guidance on Coronavirus, and will be taking appropriate action across its services as required. To check service updates during the outbreak please visit www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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