Coronavirus - Information relating to Business Rates
Frequently asked questions
Q: As a tenant in a Council property, will I be eligible for any rent holiday or discount?
A: Given the national and international scale of the problem and the amount of Council tenants across the City, we are unable to comment on whether the City Council would be able to offer any assistance at this stage. We will update our advice in due course.
Q: Am I eligible for any grant funding support through the Council? If so, how do I access the funding?
For Small Business Rate Relief and available grants
A: If you are currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief, you will be eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000 to help meet your ongoing business costs. There is no need to apply for this grant; we will contact you. Funding for the scheme will be provided to Local Authorities by government in early April.
You can find out if you are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief from your 2020 Business Rates Bill
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For Retail Rate Relief and available grants
A. If you are currently eligible for Retail Rate Relief and your property has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 you will be eligible for a one off grant of £25,000. There is no need to apply for this grant, we will contact you. Funding for the scheme will be provided to Local Authorities by Government in early April.
We are awaiting further guidance from Government on how both these funds will be administered.
If you need further assistance please contact the Business Rates team by email email@example.com
Q: My business is not eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief, and I am not in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector. What support is available to me?
[Examples include: businesses in receipt of charitable business rate reduction; those whose business rates are wrapped up into a single rental charge payable to their landlord; those who work from home or from virtual/co-working spaces.]
A: We are awaiting further guidance from Government around what support is available for businesses in your circumstances.
Q: Do I still need to pay my business rates?
A: A business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will apply for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by us as soon as possible.
We are awaiting further guidance from Government on how to apply these new measures. Government expects to publish this guidance by 20 March.
There are exceptions. Properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public would not be eligible for the business rates holiday:
Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers), Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies), Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors), Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors), Post office sorting offices, Casinos and gambling clubs, and properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.
Q: I run a pub/restaurant and want to operate as a takeaway. What do I need to do?
A: The government will introduce a time limited permitted development right to allow the temporary change of use of a pub (A4 - drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 – restaurants and cafes) to a hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months only.
Businesses will be required to tell the local planning authority when the new use begins and ends. The contact details here Billy Browell, firstname.lastname@example.org; 0191 211 5635.
Q: Is there any other help available to support my business?
A: Information regarding the ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan’ and other forms of support can be found on The North East Growth Hub website https://www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk/toolkits/covid-19-coronavirus-toolkit
If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Q: Can I get a loan to help with my cash flow issues?
A: The Government is bringing forward a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, details of how to access this are expected 23 March. We understand each region of the UK has an existing pool of fund managers (“accredited lenders”) who will distribute the fund within their region. If the accredited lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so. Where the small business has a sound borrowing proposal but insufficient security, the lender will consider the business for support via the scheme.
Q: Can I get help with the costs of paying my staff Sick Pay?
A: For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the Government will be arranging to refund up to 2 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. Arrangements for payment of this refund will be established soon.
Q: Will my business be covered for disruption resulting from COVID-19?
A: Business owners should look at the terms of their business insurance to understand if they are covered for communicable diseases or outbreaks.
Travel insurance should provide cover so long as individuals and businesses follow the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice.
Risk assessment templates and guidance are available via the Health and Safety Executive.
Q: I am self employed and self isolating – can I get any help?
A:lf employed and receiving Universal Credit and you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate, the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. If you need to claim Universal Credit but have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, you will now be able to claim and to access advance payments upfront without needing to attend a Jobcentre Plus. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit for more information
If you need to claim Universal Credit but have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, you will now be able to claim and to access advance payments upfront without needing to attend a Jobcentre Plus. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit for more information.
If you are eligible for new style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate.
If you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week – and you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit (UC) or new style Employment and Support Allowance. For more information on how to claim, please visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance.