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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Support

This page details the support that is available for businesses.

Register for Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

Businesses looking to claim the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Grants, can now submit their information below.

Businesses are advised to read the eligibility guidance thoroughly and review the FAQs prior to starting the form (see below). If you have access to a copy of your business rates bill this will prove useful for your registration but is not compulsory.

First: Please read the eligibility guidance:

Then: Please read the FAQs relating to the grants:

Then: Once you have read the eligibility guidance and FAQs click on the button below:

Please note: Adur & Worthing Councils are anticipating a high volume of requests to access these grants. Businesses will be notified by email on the progress of their claim.

SCAM WARNING:
We have been made aware of a scam that is going out at the moment about "Action Required: Problem with rate account details" requesting that you reply to a rating @ lpsni.gov.uk email address and to use an online registration form that they provide to resubmit your details with the correct Ratepayer ID and Occupancy ID - this is a scam. Please only respond to correspondence relating to an @adur-worthing.gov.uk account. If in any doubt please contact us on business.covidsupport@adur-worthing.gov.uk

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Financial Support for Businesses

The government has introduced a range of financial measures, initially to help businesses meet their fixed costs.

Sign up for .GOV.UK Covid-19 email alerts

Businesses that experience financial difficulties are urged to talk through their situation with the following institutions and organisations BEFORE implementing redundancy and business closure:

  • Local Authority
  • HMRC
  • Local bank

Adur & Worthing Councils are actively engaging with the government and are tracking and monitoring the situation with regards to the publication of guidance and the receiving and giving of funds.

The following details the financial support available and how to access it:


Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees' salaries for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

You will need to:

  • Designate affected employees as 'furloughed workers', and notify your employees of this change. Changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

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Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

The government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for three months. If you're self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period. HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

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Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

This will be accessed through a rebate scheme; this is currently being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

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Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will receive a 12 months business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next business rates bill with effect from April 2020. However, we may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. This will happen as soon as possible.

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Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

A grant of up to £25,000 will be available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,000.01 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Any businesses that believe they are eligible for this grant can register for the claim by clicking on the link below. Adur & Worthing Councils will be completing due diligence checks to ensure compliance.

Please note: Adur & Worthing Councils are anticipating a high volume of requests to access these grants. Businesses will be notified by email on the progress of their claim.

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Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

The government will introduce a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. 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. This will apply to your next business rates bill with effect from April 2020. However, we may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. This will happen as soon as possible.

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Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

Small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR) will receive a one-off grant of £10,000 to help meet their ongoing business costs

Any businesses that believe they are eligible for this grant can register for the claim by clicking on the link below. Adur & Worthing Councils will be completing due diligence checks to ensure compliance.

Please note: Adur & Worthing Councils are anticipating a high volume of requests to access these grants. Businesses will be notified by email on the progress of their claim.

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Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value and for up to six years.

The government will pay to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will not face any upfront costs and will benefit from lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.

This scheme is being delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the British Business Bank. Full information can be found on the British Business Bank website.

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Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

More information will be available here shortly, or please review the Bank of England website.

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Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC's Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC's dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. If you're worried about a future payment, please call HMRC nearer the time.

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Support for the Self-Employed through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Self-employed people who are eligible for the new scheme will receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. The cash grant will be paid directly into your bank account. This is a taxable grant. The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering 3 months from March, April & May, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.

Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.

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Insurance

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17th March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc. is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

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UK Export Finance (UKEF)

UK Export Finance (UKEF) works with banks and insurance brokers to help companies of all sizes fulfil and get paid for export contracts. It provides guarantees, loans and insurance on behalf of the government that can protect UK exporters facing delayed payments or transit restrictions. Help from UKEF:

To find out if UKEF covers your region, email customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk

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Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants

The Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants is a £2 million fund that has been set up to provide grants to small businesses and social enterprises in our area who have been affected by COVID-19. Applications opening soon. See the Coast to Capital website for details of their Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants.

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Businesses required by Government to shut down until further notice

The following businesses are now required not to sell food or drink for consuming on the premises:

The following businesses must remain closed:

These businesses and other venues must close as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chances of infection spreading.

Takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational

This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers. Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. This will be clearly communicated by the government when in effect.

Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their license does not already permit.

Food delivery and takeaway guidance

Following new Government restrictions placed on public houses, restaurants and cafes during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may be considering diversifying your food business to provide food from your normal menu or new dishes for delivery or takeaway.

This can be a great service to the community.

After working long hours, key workers may want access to quick hot food, and those who are self-isolating may seek alternative ways to access the food they enjoy in their own homes.

This guidance will help ensure you trade safely:

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General information, advice and guidance

Got a query relating to employees? Join an ACAS Webinar:

This ACAS webinar provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace. It will cover topics such as:

  • steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus
  • effective ways of communicating with employees
  • self-isolating, time off, sickness certification and sick pay
  • altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements
  • remote working and the use of technology

Register now for webinars on the ACAS website

Businesses that trade internationally:

For businesses that trade internationally, the government has provided guidance on additional support available. This includes assistance from DIT, to help you find alternative suppliers if your supply chain has been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have questions on international trade and coronavirus (COVID-19) email COVID19@trade.gov.uk or call the Business Support Helpline 0300 456 3565.

Measures put in place by the government:

The effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact all businesses on an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future. To minimise the impact on the economy, individuals and organisations, the government has implemented a range of measures from tax relief and cash grants to increased bank lending and specialist support helplines. Businesses are advised to follow GOV.UK guidance. The information and weblinks below provide key information, advice and guidance.

The government has a dedicated web resource, providing advice to employees, employers and business.

Commercial tenants:

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction, the government has announced.This means no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months.

Other sources of information include:

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Key Helplines and Email addresses

HMRC Specialist Advice Line: 0800 024 1222 - open from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

BEIS Specialist Advice Line: 0300 456 3565

ACAS Employers Advice Line: 0300 123 1100

Questions on International Trade & Coronavirus email COVID19@trade.gov.uk

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