Coronavirus information for businesses

This is an unprecedented and extremely challenging time for our businesses and employers as the impact of COVID-19 coronavirus continues to have an effect on our communities.

  • The Government has announced a series of measures for businesses and workers during coronavirus. These include unlimited loans and guarantees to support firms and help them manage staff wages and cashflow through this period. If you would like to know which of the coronavirus support schemes you are eligible for, you can use the business support finder tool. For more information about the Government coronavirus measures available visit the national business support website.

  • You can also speak to a member of the business support team on the following single contact line 01952 383838 - Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or you can also complete this form and a member of the business support team will contact you with the information you need.

  • You can also sign up to our newsletter to receive updates.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT PACKAGES ANNOUNCED TO DATE:

Grants

Discretionary Business Grants

Telford & Wrekin Council is launching the Discretionary Business Grants Fund to continue to support businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic on Monday 25 May 2020.

The Council has received £1.47m from the Government for this fund, compared with an allocation of more than £35m for the first scheme.

Small and micro businesses who have fallen through the net of the Government’s initial business support scheme will be able to apply for this fund. Other eligible small and micro businesses will be able to apply, if they meet the criteria as directed by the government.

The application process will open at 9am, Monday 25 May 2020 and will close promptly at 5pm, Friday 29 May 2020.

Small Business Rate Relief Grant – Grant of £10,000

All businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) as at 11.03.20 will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.

Certain exclusions apply to the Small Business Grant Fund:

  • Properties occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.
  • Properties that were not eligible for percentage SBRR relief (including those eligible for the Small Business Rate Multiplier) are excluded.
  • Car parks and parking spaces.
  • Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquidation or were dissolved.

Apply online here.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Properties which on the 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than £51,000 and qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount Scheme are eligible.

This includes charities which would otherwise have met this criteria without any local discretionary award.

  • Properties with an RV up to £15,000 will qualify for a grant of £10,000.
  • Properties with an RV over £15,000 and up to £51,000 will qualify for a grant of £25,000.

Certain exclusions apply to the Retail Grant:

  • Properties occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.
  • Car parks and parking spaces.
  • Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved.
  • Hereditaments with a rateable value of over £51,000.

Apply online here.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – latest info here including how to apply

  • To support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19
  • It will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
  • HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant.
  • Open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000.
  • It will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

Other Self-Employed Support Information more info here

  • Increased tax credits to help with hardship
  • Employment Support Allowance at the rate of statutory sick pay
  • Self-assessment payments for the self-employed deferred until 2021
  • All self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. Call 0800 0159 559

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – latest info here:

LATEST: Extended until the end of October click here for more information on the announcement.

  • all UK employers with a PAYE scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020 will be eligible
  • Grants via HMRC to cover most of the wages (80% of a wage up to £2,500 a month) of staff who are not working but kept on payroll otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’
  • Backdated to 1st March and measure open for at least 3 months – no time limit on the scheme
  • Guidance for employers can be found here
  • Guidance for employees can be found here

 

Business Rates Relief

  • 12 month business rates free period for all occupied retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery / childcare provider businesses – latest info here
  • Business rates relief for pubs of £5,000 where the pub does not qualify for the 12 month rate free period above

Loans:

  • NEW: The Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan - This scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access loans of up to £50,000.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - Offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs managed by the British Business Bank and delivered through 40 accredited finance providers.
  • The Coronavirus Future Fund - This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Other:

  • Small and medium-sized businesses can reclaim up to 2 weeks Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. Latest info here
  • All businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. Call 0800 0159 559
  • Commercial tenants unable to pay rent will be protected from eviction – latest info here
  • VAT Deferral - Next quarter of VAT payment has been deferred – no business will pay VAT until end of June 2020 and will have until the end of the financial year to pay those bills, visit the Business Support website for more information about VAT Deferral.
  • The existing New Style Jobseeker's Allowance may provide additional support depending on your national insurance record – more info here

FAQs on the Government Business Support can be found here

ADDITIONAL LOCAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY TELFORD & WREKIN COUNCIL

  • Advice to businesses on redundancy support, distance learning, upskilling and reskilling, recruitment and promotion of job vacancies and an alternative employment matching service. Call 01952 567589 or email enterprisetelford@telford.gov.uk
  • Advice to individuals on redundancy, jobsearch support, distance learning, promotion of job vacancies. Call 01952 382888 or for more information visit the Council’s Job Box website here
  • We are also offering SMEs (not entitled to the 12 month rate free period) a two month business rate holiday in April and May; so you can spread your instalments over June 2020– March 2021. If business owners want to take up this opportunity they can access the business rates delayed payments form here.
  • In recognition of these challenging circumstances, we are also suspending most legal and enforcement action to help our businesses deal with the consequences of the coronavirus. Until further notice, except for matters related to the protection of the public, no new legal summonses will be issued and there will be no new action or contact by enforcement agents relating to business rates and all other debts to the local authority.  Where court action has already commenced, we will try and seek agreement from the court to suspend matters where it is appropriate to do so.
  • If you are a business tenant that pays rent to the Council you can contact us to discuss any implications of the coronavirus for your business and we will tailor a package of support. We will be encouraging other landlords to follow suit.

 

OTHER USEFUL LINKS

 

  • Business Continuity
  • ACAS has also produced a workplace specific guide for employers on policies and procedures relating to COVID-19, available here.
  • Advice for travelling overseas on business or otherwise is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 
  • For advice relating to the coronavirus illness, symptoms and information about when to self-isolate, you should visit the NHS information website
  • The Department for Health and Social Care publish up to date information on their web pages.