Covid-19: Support for businesses
Business rates support
If you own a business you may be eligible for help in one the following ways:
- If you don't already pay over 12 monthly instalments then you can apply to have your monthly instalments extended to finish paying them in March 2021. If there is not enough time to make a payment in April, then your instalments can be extended over the remaining 11 months. To request this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting your Business Rates account reference number
- Central Government have announced business grants to support businesses affected by the current situation if they meet a certain criteria. We are currently identifying these businesses and contacting them regarding payment. If you have not been contacted and believe you are eligible, you can email email@example.com quoting your Business Rates property reference number
- Central Government have also announced a Business Rates discount called 'Expanded Retail Relief' to businesses fulfilling the criteria. We have awarded this discount to eligible businesses and revised bills have been issued. If you have not received notification of a nil balance and believe you should be entitled to this discount, please email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting your Business Rates account reference and stating why you should be eligible for the discount
- If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are not entitled to any of the above options, you may be eligible for hardship relief. Find further information, including an application form on our business rates hardship relief page
Herefordshire Council is working with the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (Marches LEP) to support the business community throughout the coronavirus outbreak through our joint business support service, the Marches Growth Hub. You can contact the growth hub at email@example.com
Coronavirus Business Support Survey
The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership are keen to know what effect coronavirus is having on your business and what support you need now and in the coming weeks. Please complete this survey to have your say.
Local business funding and grants
For information on other grants and funding available for businesses in Herefordshire please visit our Covid-19: Grants and funding for businesses page.
Business support and advice
All of us in Herefordshire Council understand that this is a difficult time for you, your business, and your employees. Government measures and advice are being updated as the situation develops so we encourage you to visit these pages and links regularly for the latest position.
We urge all Herefordshire businesses to do everything they can to limit the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus). Please ensure you and your staff follow government guidance to ensure social distancing.
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by Covid-19, including:
Business rates relief
- No business rates payable for 12 months extended to retail, leisure and hospitality businesses of all sizes
- Business rates relief for nurseries for 12 month period
- Cash grants for up to £25,000 for smaller retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with rateable values between £15,000 to £51,000
- Cash grants of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief and have a rateable value of less than £15,000
- The Government has set up a discretionary fund to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the small business grants scheme. Herefordshire Council are urgently developing the Discretionary Grant Fund following the publication of government guidance on 14 May. The guidance asks that local authorities look to prioritise small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment, Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates, and charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief. Further guidance will be set out shortly
- Grant funding guidance
- Any business paid a grant through fraud or error will be subject to claw back. Deliberate misleading will lead to prosecution
- 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
- Bounce Back Loans Scheme a new 100% government-backed loan scheme for small businesses
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, to support small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance
- Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) to support larger businesses
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month
- Deferral of Self-Assessment Payment the Self- Assessment payment on account that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020 may now be deferred until January 2021
- A dedicated helpline has been set up to help self-employed individuals receive support with their tax affairs and discuss bespoke Time to Pay arrangements. Call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559
- Further information for the self-employed including increased tax credits and Employment Support Allowance
- Claiming Universal Credit
- Check your eligibility using the self-employed checker tool
Other business support
- 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. Find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- A mortgage holiday of three months for people struggling to make mortgage payments as a result of Coronavirus
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - HMRC will reimburse 80% of wages, up to £2,500 per month to safeguard workers from being made redundant, backdated from 1 March 2020 for at least three months
- People receiving tax credits will continue to receive payments even if working fewer hours or furloughed due to Covid-19. For further details see the tax credits news story on GOV.UK
- Government have also granted permission for pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways as part of their coronavirus response
- Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of Covid-19 will be protected from eviction. Further details for commercial tenants are now available
- Government guidance and eligibility criteria on the schemes listed above
- FAQs for businesses and employers on the schemes listed above
For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is the Government Coronavirus Business Support Portal.
The Business Support Helpline 0800 998 1098 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) is for businesses in England, of all sizes, to speak directly to an advisor.
Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.
We are running a four-part webinar series each week in May to bring Herefordshire's business community together to share ideas and help each other to make the most of this period of lockdown. Select the links below to register via eventbrite:
- Thursday 7 May 11.30am to 12pm - Strategy and planning
- Thursday 14 May 11.30am - Branding and marketing
- Thursday 21 May 11.30am - Talk Community business wellbeing and future developments
- Thursday 28 May 11.30am - Planning your finances
The Marches Growth Hub calendar has a list of training and events to help support your business.
Fastershire - New FREE courses to help get your business online.
Other useful links include:
- Herefordshire Council Coronavirus - Latest updates
- Marches Growth Hub
- Fastershire delivering broadband and business support in Herefordshire in partnership with Herefordshire Council
- Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce
- Federation of Small Businesses
- Support for businesses from outside government
We recognise that aside from financial and business support you, your employees or people in your supply chain, may want to access mental health and wellbeing advice. Please visit WISH mental health and wellbeing for details of the local advice and services.