Business Rates and Business Support during Coronavirus

Updated 18/05/20

We understand this is a very challenging time for Arun’s shops and businesses. We are working hard to keep you up to date and this page will be updated regularly. We also recommend you visit the Business Support Website which the Government has created. The Government has created a useful Business Support Finder tool to help you identify the financial support you may be entitled to and you can access this through the link below.

Businesses including cinemas, theatres, leisure centres, cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars have been closed by the government due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

Business Rates and Business Support COVID-19 Info

On this page:

Discretionary grants for local business
Furlough Scheme Extended
Bounce Back Loan 
Small business grant fund
Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
Backing Business Grants Fund
Support for the Self-Employed
Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates
Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Council Owned Commercial Properties
VAT Deferral
Arun Business Partnership
Sussex by the Sea Tourism Business Centre
Health and Safety advice for Businesses
Other support available for businesses

 

Discretionary grants for local business

We are aware of a number of Arun businesses and organisations who do not qualify for the Government’s financial support schemes announced to date.

We will have limited funds available to award discretionary grants to businesses who have not received any other grant support.

Our priority will be: -

  1. Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;
  2. Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  3. Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  4. Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

To apply, you must fall into all of the following categories: -

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

We are currently developing an application process and e-form. Once it is available, we will upload it to our website, so please check back regularly.

 

 Bounce Back Loan 

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

 

Furlough Scheme Extended - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme has been extended until October 2020.

The package of measures to support businesses also includes: 

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

You can read more on the government's page: guidance to support businesses

 

Small business grant fund

The Government has announced support for small businesses in the form of a Small Business Grant Scheme. Businesses will be eligible for payment of £10,000 subject to meeting eligibility criteria set out below.

  • Your business is based in England
  • Your property was in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief on 11 March 2020 (including those with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 which receive tapered relief)

The grant will be paid to the person who was responsible for paying business rates for the property on 11 March. We are currently working to contact all eligible businesses with information on how to apply for the grant. If you do not receive your letter in the next seven working days, please complete the online form. This is a great opportunity for you to register your business for online billing and to ensure that you are in receipt of all correspondence as soon as it is issued even when you are away from your business address.

 

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  • shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

The grant will be paid to the person who was responsible for paying business rates for the property on 11 March. We are currently working to contact all eligible businesses with information on how to apply for the grant. If you do not receive your letter in the next seven working days, please complete the online form.  This is a great opportunity for you to register your business for online billing and to ensure that you are in receipt of all correspondence as soon as it is issued even when you are away from your business address.

 

Backing Business Grants Fund

Backing Business Grants is a £2 million fund that has been set up by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership to provide grants to independent small businesses and social enterprises (excluding charities) in our area who have been affected by COVID-19. You can find out more and apply here: Grants available from Coast to Capital. Please note that this Grant Fund has closed but businesses can still apply via the link to be placed on a waiting list.

 

Support for the Self-Employed

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is now open for applications. The scheme is for self-employed people (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

The government has also announced that, if you’re due to pay a self-assessment payment on account by 31 July 2020 but the impact of the coronavirus causes you difficulty in making payment by that date, then you may defer payment until January 2021.

 

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

A business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year has been granted by Central Government.

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • Properties that will benefit from the relief will be hereditaments:
    • occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
    • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

There is no action for you. A revised bill will be issued during April 2020 once further guidance and funding from Central Government has been received.

 

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Government introduced a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

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
    • shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
    • for assembly and leisure
    • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

We will reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge, hopefully during April 2020 once further clarification from the Government is received.

 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45m, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to six years.

You can read more on the government's page: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

 

Council Owned Commercial Properties

If your SME retail, leisure or hospitality business rents premises from Arun District Council, we will be offering the opportunity to defer (for six months), the payment of rent for April, May and June. You must continue to pay service charges.  We will write to all our business tenants shortly to explain the eligibility criteria, how the facility will work and how you can register your interest.

 

VAT Deferral

The Government is deferring Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. You can read more at the government's page: VAT Deferral

 

Arun Business Partnership

arun business partnership Arun Business Partnership has over 2,000 member companies who generate business and employment in and around Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Arundel and the wider Arun District area.Although regular networking meetings are not currently taking place because of the Coronavirus outbreak, regular electronic newsletters are being sent out to members.

The newsletters provide advice and signposting for advice and support that can help your business – especially at this difficult time.

Sign up for the ABP Newsletter

If you would like to receive the ABP newsletter, please contact Miriam Nicholls, Arun’s Business Development Manager.

Here to help

Arun’s Economic Regeneration team is here to help and support all the businesses in Arun District.

If you have any further questions or need advice or support during this difficult time, please do get in touch and we will do our best to help. Email us at: business@arun.gov.uk.

 

Sussex by the Sea Tourism Business Centre

Alongside the Arun Business Partnership, Arun District Council provides business news and links specifically for the Tourism and Hospitality sector. Please see the regularly updated  sussexbythesea.com/tourism-business-centre on the Council’s tourism website. 

 

Health and Safety advice for Businesses

Here you will find links and resources related to health and safety for businesses. 

Find advice on decontamination for businesses, where a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case has spent time while symptomatic.

Businesses can also download and print the government’s coronavirus posters to display within their work spaces.

The government has issued guidance to assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:

  • the coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting

Government Guidance link for Food Business Sectors - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Government Guidance for Food Businesses in re-opening and adapting during Covid-19 https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/reopening-and-adapting-your-food-business-during-covid-19

Managing Legionella Risks in Buildings:
https://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/resources.htm
https://www.pwtag.org/code-of-practice/
https://www.escmid.org/fileadmin/src/media/PDFs/3Research_Projects/ESGLI/COVId_buidling_water_system_guidance_27_3_20_v4_DS.pdf

Guidance for food Businesses

Guidance for Social distancing, keeping businesses open and in-work activities

Guidance for food delivery and takeaway services

Social distancing, keeping businesses open and in-work activities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

 

 

Other support available for businesses 

  • A government-backed loan scheme for large businesses affected by coronavirus has been expanded to cover all viable firms, the Chancellor announced today (16 April).
  • The government has announced a Future Fund, a new Billion pound support package for innovative firms hit by Coronavirus. The package includes a £500 million investment fund for high-growth companies impacted by the crisis, made up of funding from the government and the private sector. SMEs focusing on research and development will also benefit from £750 million of grants and loans. More details can be found here: Future Fund.
  • Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. Projects to benefit from the funding include virtual reality training platforms for surgeons, virtual farmers’ markets and other innovations borne out of the coronavirus pandemic. Please see link for more information https://www.gov.uk/government/news/40m-boost-for-cutting-edge-start-ups