COVID-19 and support for our businesses
Support for Business
Dartford Borough Council understands that the changing situation unfolding around coronavirus outbreak is causing uncertainty for our business community.
We want to make sure that businesses have access to the right information
The Government has set out a package of temporary measures to support businesses through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
For more information on how the Council is supporting local businesses please visit Dartford Back in Business
The following measures have also been announced:
- a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- You can now claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This scheme will be open until October 2020. See the full details. Also, from August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff
- deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
- a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
- a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
- a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
- the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
- Self employment income support scheme
- The Cabinet Office have launched a new tool to help you find Coronavirus financial support for your business
- The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a new Billion pound support package for innovative firms hit by Coronavirus
- A Discretionary Grants Fund - was available for those businesses who were not eligible for the small business grant fund or the retail, leisure or hospitality fund. Now closed for applications
Further information about these schemes is available on the links below:
Business rates holiday and grant funding
Many of our businesses are eligible for a rate holiday and grant funding for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, and small business grant funding for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
Eligibility for the business support may be subject to certain Government criteria.
View the guidance about the implementation of the Government’s expanded retail discount Coronavirus response
View the guidance about the implementation of the Government’s nursery discount Coronavirus response
Local businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will pay no business rates in 2020-21. There will be no need for businesses to apply for the relief, but if you have any questions please do contact our business rates team
In addition, businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors benefiting from this increased support and with a rate-able value up to £51,000 will also receive a cash grant of up to £25,000.
All businesses in receipt of small business rates relief – regardless of sector – will be eligible for a cash payment of £10,000. Check if you’re entitled to a government grant Check if you’re entitled to a government grant here or call our business support line on 0333 360 2300. We have now paid over 80% of our businesses in Dartford that are eligible for this, however, there are still businesses who have not supplied their bank details so we can transfer the cash. If you’re one of them, please do contact our business rates team today.
A Discretionary Grants Fund is now available for small businesses who were not eligible for the small business grant fund or the retail, leisure or hospitality fund.
Coronavirus Bounce Back Loans
The Bounce Back Loan scheme is now open for applications. Key details:
*Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000
*The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months
*Loan terms will be up to 6 years
*The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan
*The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders
Details on how to apply
HMRC Self-employment eligibility tool
This week HMRC will start contacting customers who may be eligible for the new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. The scheme will allow customers to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500, equivalent to three months’ profits.
Customers can claim if they’re a self-employed individual, or a member of a business partnership, their business has been adversely impacted by coronavirus.
Customers can check eligibility using the self-employed checker tool
Future Fund update
Eligibility details for the Future Fund, which was set up to provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors, has been updated. Applications for the Fund are open now.
Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from £20 million of new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has today (30 July 2020) announced. Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 - £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track. Further details of the announcement can be found here.
From 1 August 2020, the level of CJRS grant will be reduced each month. In August, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will continue to be able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense if they wish. Employers will have to pay their employees for the hours worked. Full details of the scheme can be found here and the new job retention calculator can be found here.
Coronavirus advice for businesses
In partnership with the Kent and Medway Growth Hub, Dartford Borough Council are providing a dedicated support line 0333 360 2300 for businesses in Dartford Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm where they can speak to someone who will assist them with accessing support and provide advice on HMG measures (including the HMRC). Sound guidance and advice around key topics such as crisis management, cash flow / debt management and staff retention strategies is also available.
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.
Shops and retail opening up again
- The Government has announced that outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines 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 studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines
- We are working with the Town Centre Partnership and market traders to safely implement the latest guidelines
Other Key Links
- Funding schemes for sport and physical activity affected by COVID-19
- Support for those that are self-employed support scheme. In addition, the Government has pulled together FAQs relating to the scheme
- For the latest information regarding statutory support for small businesses visit the Coronavirus Business Support page on the Federation of Small Businesses’ website. The website is also updated daily and is a comprehensive guide and resource
- A new ‘support finder’ tool has been launched to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to determine what financial support is available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tool on gov.uk asks business owners and the self-employed to fill out a simple online questionnaire. Users are then directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for. Read more about the tool here.
- CBI – Coronavirus – best practice for business
- Information from our Environmental Health department regarding COVID-19
- The National Lottery Community Fund has opened two applications streams, with no income restrictions and funding to be spent within the next 6 months for both:
- 'Awards for All' for voluntary and community organisations with projects supporting people affected by the crisis. £300 - £10,000
- 'Reaching Communities' for organisations with activities supporting people affected by the crisis and those organisation who are struggling financially because of the impact of COVID-19. £10,000 - £100,000