Coronavirus Business Support – Update from Oldham Council

Update from Oldham Council as at 19/3/20

Please see below for information regarding the current support for business. Please note this is updated regularly as the situation changes and for the latest information, please visit the gov.uk website COVID-19: support for businesses .

The details around the grants aren’t available yet but we are expecting guidance over next few days.

Information on loans can be accessed on the following link https://www.finder.com/uk/business-loans-coronavirus

In relation to the £10,000 grant, the government has stated that small businesses do not need to apply for these grants and small businesses who pay little or no Business Rates and are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief will be contacted directly by the Council. The Council is currently waiting for guidance from Government about how to administer the Small Business Grant Funding Scheme (this is expected by 20 March 2020).

Coronavirus: Information and support for businesses

The Chancellor has introduced a range of measures to support businesses. These are

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month Business Rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Small Business Grant Funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. As a council we are waiting for further guidance and some new software from the Government that should enable our Business Rates team to roll out the business rates support and grants. We are hoping to get this on Friday.
  • 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. We think but its not been confirmed that the loans will be delivered by the Business Growth Hub. Again, we are waiting for the details.
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

The Government is updating the information on the gov.uk website:

How do I access this support?

Expanded Retail Discount 2020/21

Business Rates bills have already been issued in March for 2020/21.

Expanded Retail Discount (which was announced by the Govt on 17 March 2020) will be applied to 2020/21 bills as soon as possible.

You do not need to apply for the additional relief. If you qualify, we will apply it to your account automatically and send you a revised bill.

Properties that will benefit from the relief are occupied properties wholly or mainly used

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

There will be no rateable value limit on the relief and the Government has advised Local Authorities to award the discount ignoring State Aid de minimis limits.

More information and a full list of the businesses that will receive Extended Retail Discount Relief is available on the gov.uk website:

Small Business Grant Funding

There will be a £10,000 cash grant to our smallest businesses.

Small businesses do not need to apply for these grants and small businesses who pay little or no Business Rates and are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief will be contacted directly by the Council.

A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

The Council is currently waiting for guidance from Government about how to administer the Small Business Grant Funding Scheme (this is expected by 20 March 2020).

Businesses will be updated about the process for claiming this support as soon as possible.

Online resources

The Growth Hub are updating their website and are also hosting some webinars which might be of interest:

The government has updated its guidance to assist employers and businesses:

Advice is available 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 poster to display within their workspaces:

To assist with planning, it may be useful to refer to the Cabinet Office checklist for businesses (this refers to pandemic influenza, but the checklist may be useful):

If you have a query that isn’t covered by the government guidance you can contact the Business Support Helpline:

Health advice

Businesses should remind their staff to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • always carry tissues and use them to catch your cough or sneeze, then bin the tissue, and wash your hands with soap and water
  • wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell

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