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.

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

The Government has announced some extra funding to be allocated by councils, on a discretionary basis, to businesses that were excluded from the previous grant scheme. It's called the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund.

To be able to allocate this funding we are working on a discretionary scheme that councillors are expected to consider in early June. We know this is a very challenging time, and we are working hard to develop this scheme that will help support businesses in the district.

Details of how to apply for this will be published here once the scheme is agreed.

The Government expects us to gain more assurance in terms of conditions that companies need to meet to be allocated this money. As such, any payments would be expected to be released from mid-June.

We are awaiting further clarification from the Government but their initial guidance states the following overarching criteria for the grants to be allocated to:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces e.g. units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
  • Businesses that have fixed property-related costs either through a rental agreement or license to occupy the premises

The grants will not be allocated to businesses that have received previous grants or support through the self-employed support scheme.

The total amount the Government is making available to Bromsgrove District businesses in this way is £1m.

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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) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

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Cultural sector emergency Covid-19 funding package

Arts Council England is to offer individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis, totalling £160 million.

Arts Council England says these emergency funding streams will be open to applications very soon.

As well as support for organisations inside the National Portfolio, organisations outside the National Portfolio will be able to apply for up to £35,000, and individuals in certain roles will be able to apply for up to £2,500.

Eligibility criteria will apply.

For more information at this time please visit the Arts Council England Covid-19 page.

We'll update this information as we know more.

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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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