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Coronavirus

Published on 20 March 2020

Coronavirus

Coronavirus Support for businesses

UPDATE - Wednesday 1 April 

Our staff are working hard to support our residents, businesses and local communities.

We have followed government guidance regarding the business grants and to ensure that all eligible businesses access the grants as quickly as possible, we are targeting our approach rather than asking businesses to apply. The government has made it clear that this is not an application process and that councils should be proactively contacting businesses that could access the funding. Within their guidance, updated and reissued today (Wednesday 1 April), they state that ‘Local Authorities will contact eligible businesses to arrange payment of the grants’.

We will be sending letters to around 3,275 businesses on Wednesday 1 April within the Carlisle area and will process the grants within five working days of receiving the necessary information. We expect to be awarding over £30million in grants through this process.

Withi the letter we’ll be asking for some company details and for some businesses, their bank details. We need this information to process the payment and to ensure that the funding goes to the right place and that all eligible businesses get access to the grants, we don’t want any business to miss out.

We’ll be asking for the bank details from some businesses because they have cancelled their direct debit meaning that we will no longer have access to their details.

We’ll ask businesses to send the information to us electronically to speed up the process. This could be a scan or a photo using your phone of the completed form.

If any business is struggling to get to their business address to get hold of their mail, we’re asking them to please contact us by calling 01228 817234 or emailing [email protected]

Any eligible business that has any concerns or does not receive a letter by Monday 6 April, is asked to us contact us by calling 01228 817234 or emailing [email protected]

We will be sending nil balance bills to businesses that are eligible for business rate relief.

We are also promoting other grant and funding opportunities. We are also searching out other funding opportunities which we are also promoting to partners. Our website provides up-to-date information on the government funding and is regularly updated when new schemes or guidance is provided.

We are working closely with Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Cumbria Tourism and Carlisle Ambassadors to support local businesses.

 

We have put in place a series of financial measures to help residents and businesses impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak.

We have postponed debt recovery action for anyone in council tax or business rates arrears, as part of the support we are offering people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are also supporting access to government support.

The UK Government has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

An online guide is available at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

Businesses can also get advice and assistance from Cumbria Tourism, the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

Carlisle City Council is working closely with Carlisle Ambassadors to support businesses. Carlisle Ambassadors will be reaching out to businesses with regular updates and virtual business advice meetings via Zoom for their members.  Any business can sign up for the newsletter via this link https://www.carlisleambassadors.co.uk/the-ambassadors/newsletter-signup

A mentoring programme is also being started up through the Carlisle Ambassador network, for access to support or become a mentor for this programme, follow this link https://www.carlisleambassadors.co.uk/projects/business-support-programme/mentor-application

 

We can support you with the following schemes:

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure 

All retail businesses will not have to pay rates for 12 months. The categories were expanded and have been revised to include more eligible Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses.

Amended bills will be sent to confirm nil balances for all qualifying businesses for 2020/21.These will be sent to the business’s billing address.

 

Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries

100% Nursery business relief has been announced.

Amended bills will be sent to confirm nil balances for all qualifying businesses for 2020/21. These will be sent to the business’s billing address.

 

If you qualify for the business rate conditions, you may also be eligible for grant funding:

 

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (£10,000 or £25,000)

This is open to businesses that would have been eligible for a discount under the Expanded Retail Relief Scheme on 11 March 2020, with a rateable value below £51,000.

  • £10,000 grant available for a Rateable Value up to £15,000.
  • £25,000 for a Rateable Value from £15,001 and below £51,000.

Exclusions are:

  • Hereditaments occupied for personal use.
  • Car Parks and parking spaces.
  • Business which were in liquidation or dissolved on 11 March 2020.

Eligible business will receive one grant, per hereditament. We will contact the eligible business that may qualify for payments from the grant funding. We will contact businesses via their business rates billing address.

 

Small Business Grant Funding (£10,000)

This is open to businesses receiving Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) on 11 March 2020, with a rateable value up to £15,000 or receiving Rural Rate Relief on 11 March 2020.

Exclusions are:

  • Hereditaments occupied for personal use.
  • Car Parks and parking spaces.
  • Business which were in liquidation or dissolved on 11 March 2020.

Eligible business will receive one grant, per hereditament. We will contact the eligible business that may qualify for payments from the grant funding. We will contact businesses via their business rates billing address.

 

The following government funding schemes are also in place. The criteria and who to contact is included in each scheme:

The government has also compiled some FAQs for businesses:

 

Other sources of support:

If you want to talk to someone about how these schemes apply to your business you can contact the Government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice: 0300 456 3565 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

HMRC have additional helplines, including one set up to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus on 0800 0159 559. You can find more details about contacting HMRC online.

  • HM Revenue & Customs has launched a Tax Helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to Coronavirus. The number is 0800 0159 559.
  • Companies House has produced guidance if Coronavirus has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts.  
  • ACAS has published information for employees and employers, including simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff. 
  • Go to the British Chambers of Commerce’s site  for advice on preparing for and responding to Coronavirus.
  • The Business Growth Hub has a suite of resources  including 10 steps to take now, a series of webinars, and guidance on keeping your business operating and managing cashflow.
  • Cumbria Chamber of Commerce has created a range of resources (toolkits, webinars, links, one-to-one professional advice) that's being constantly updated. It can be found at its Coronavirus: What businesses need to know page 
  • The Chamber has also set up a scheme called Chamber Connect, which brings together those available for work in the current situation with those businesses looking for staff.

 

There is also support for businesses from other organisations. Find out more here at https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/support-for-businesses-from-outside-of-government/

For information on other funding opportunities, please visit our funding webpage.

 

Many businesses have been asking how they can support with the response to Coronavirus. You can find more information and a form to get in touch here: https://bit.ly/3bzOfcD

 

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