covid-19 adviceCoronavirus (COVID-19)
Check out the latest information and advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Coronavirus information for businesses

Retail Reopening

The Government has set out a timeline for retail to reopen. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be allowed to reopen from June 1, as long as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines (below) to protect shoppers and workers.

All other non-essential retail, including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studious and indoor markets, will be able to reopen from June 15 - if the Government's five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.

Businesses will only be able to reopen if they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with current Health and Safety legislation.

COVID SECURE: The Government has published new ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines to UK employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible. They have also published eight guides which provide more tailored advice on different types of workplace.

Specific guidance for shops and retail branches has also been published.

Funding

The Chancellor has set out a package of support for businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. All the various packages and help available is detailed on a new Government Business Support website. Relevant teams at Tamworth Borough Council are busy working through the elements of the measures that will be administered by local authorities. Members of the Economic Development team will then be able to advise further. They can be contacted via business@tamworth.gov.uk.

Coronavirus Discretionary Grant scheme

The Government is making additional funding available to allow the Council to further support Small Businesses.  This money is in addition to the Small Business Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants announced in March. The funding will be used to support the following prioritised businesses:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces, e.g. business centres and science parks etc. which do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Regular Market Traders who do not have their own business rates assessment
  •  Bed and Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

The Government has also given us the discretion to make support payments to businesses outside of the above list. These grants can only be awarded to businesses that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Businesses with ongoing fixed building related costs (i.e. rent/lease/mortgage on a commercial property) that are incurred within the Tamworth Borough Council boundary area
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees
  • Businesses that were trading on or before 11th March 2020.

The Discretionary grants will be capped up to a maximum of £25,000, although the majority of the grants will be for less than £10,000.
At this time we are currently finalising guidance from Government on how the Council should award the grants. Once the application process is finalised this page will be updated.  Businesses which are eligible for the existing grant schemes, e.g. the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants will not be eligible for a Discretionary grant. 

Small business grants

There will be a £10,000 cash grant available to our smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be contacted by their local authority regarding the grant.

  • Small business grant fund criteria
  • Check if you are entitled to the grant by using the GOV UK checker tool

Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses

The Government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. For more information, see the Government's retail discount guidance.

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

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now available for applications from small and medium sized businesses. This will help businesses affected by coronavirus to access bank lending and overdrafts. For loans up to £5million, the Government is providing a guarantee of 80% for each loan. To access the Scheme, you should talk to your bank or finance provider as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
The lending decision is taken by each individual provider, not by Government. To find the full rules of the Scheme and list of accredited lenders, visit the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.

Statutory Sick Pay

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. This will provide two million businesses with up to £2billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

Advice for food businesses

General Coronavirus Advice for Food Businesses can be viewed and downloaded here
Social Distancing Advice for Takeaways and other food businesses wanting to offer takeaway services during the COVID-19 Emergency - pdf download link

Other useful links:

FAQs for Tamworth businesses

Q: Can I get a business rates grant?

A: If your latest 2020/21 bill shows you are receiving small business rates relief we will contact you as soon as we can regarding the one off grant of £10,000.

If your premises are used for retail, hospitality or leisure and have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, please monitor these FAQs which we will update as more information becomes available.

Q: Should I keep paying business rates or can I defer payment of business rates?

A: We are awaiting guidance on who will qualify for further reductions to their bills and how to administer this. We are expecting further information from the Government.

If your latest 2020/21 bill shows you are receiving retail relief your bill is likely to reduce to zero, but please monitor this page for updates.

You will not be sent reminders in respect of these accounts for the time being, however if you are struggling to make payments as requested please call us on 01827 709530 or email businessrates@tamworth.gov.uk where alternative arrangements can be discussed.

Q: Can I defer payment of council tax?    

A: You are automatically entitled to pay by extended instalments should you request this (12 instalments April to March).

You can also apply for council tax reduction if you are currently on a low income, working or unemployed and own your own home or rent. The amount you will receive will depend on your circumstances, for example, if you have children, savings, benefits and pensions.

If you are struggling to make payments as requested please call us on 01827 709530 or email counciltax@tamworth.gov.uk where alternative arrangements can be discussed.

For more information on support with paying your Tax visit the following link: https://www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc

HMRC’s Helpline for help and advice: 0800 0159 559.

Q: Can I defer payment of commercial rent?

A: If you are struggling to make payments as requested please call us on 01827 709555 or email sundryincome@tamworth.gov.uk where alternative arrangements can be discussed.

For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is gov.uk. However, businesses in England, of all sizes, can pick up the phone and speak directly to an advisor at the Staffordshire Business Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or the National Business Support Helpline on 0300 456 3565

Self-Employed Government Support

Grants are now available for those who work for themselves with the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.