Help is on the way to businesses

Photo of Councillor Craig Whitby

Mansfield District Council is signposting businesses in the district to the latest advice from the government on its £350bn support for the economy in light of COVID-19.

The smallest businesses, which are those who pay little or nothing in business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief, will be able to claim a cash grant of £10,000 from local authorities. 

This applies to all such businesses, regardless of sector. They do not need to apply for this and eligible businesses will be contacted by the council. 

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

This funding will be provided by the government to local authorities in early April. More information about this will be issued shortly. Businesses can sign up to the council business mailing list (opens in new window) to receive up-to date information as it evolves.

All pubs, restaurants and cafes can now offer takeaway and delivery services if they wish without going through the usual change-of-use planning process.

Finally, every retail, hospitality and leisure business in England, regardless of size, will get a business rates holiday for whole of the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

In addition, any arrears on current business rates or on the rents of council-owned commercial property will not be pursued for the next four months.

Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March. 

A dedicated HMRC helpline - 0800 0159 559 - has also been set up to help businesses and the self-employed who are in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.

More details and updates about the measures to help businesses can be found on the website (opens in new window)

The website includes information about a scheme in which businesses can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay to employees and details of the government's new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. There is also information there to help employees. 

The council is advising business owners to be on their guard to avoid falling victim to fraudulent attacks by phone, text, email or online during this Covid-19 situation and to treat any requests for personal or financial information with extreme caution. The council will publish how its payments to businesses will be made as soon as possible.

Cllr Craig Whitby, Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Finance, said: “We know this is a worrying time for business owners and we want to re-assure them that the council will be there to deliver important elements of this financial support package in the coming weeks as quickly as is possible.

“This is a very fluid situation and so business owners would be advised to keep checking the government website for the latest updates.

"In the meantime, stay safe, keep your employees safe and actively support and follow the government's social distancing advice."

Published: March 19th 2020