Coronavirus guidance for businesses
The government have outlined an extensive package available to support businesses affected by Covid-19
Grants and funding schemes
Business Rates Relief
All 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.
We have issued amended Business Rates bills to those businesses that will qualify for 100% Business Rate Retail Relief. If you have not received an amended bill and you think you qualify, please contact us If you have not received anything by 1 April.
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value over £15,000 and under £51,000 will also receive a cash grant of £25,000.
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable of £15,000 or under will receive a cash payment of £10,000
All businesses in receipt of small business rates relief and rural rate relief – regardless of sector – will be eligible for a cash payment of £10,000.
We have issued a letter to all businesses who qualify for the grants with instructions on what you need to do to receive the grant. If you have not received a letter by 5 April please email us.
The Business Interruption Loan Scheme is in place to help SME’s and larger businesses by offering loans up to £5 million.
Information and guidance on this scheme can be found here
Paying your staff's wages
A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place to assist employers who need support paying their staff through this time. The government will help to pay employee salaries (at 80% of current pay up to £2,500 a month) for employees not working and would otherwise become redundant.
Information on how to access this scheme is here
There is also a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs.
Help with Tax
VAT payments have been deferred until June 2020 and self-assessment tax payments are being delayed until January 2021.
You can find out more about VAT deferral here
If you are struggling to pay your tax you can call HMRC helpline on: 0800 024 1222.
Operating as a hot food takeaway
In order to support restaurants, cafes and pubs affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government have allowed such establishments to become takeaway restaurants.
More information can be found here
There is also guidance for food businesses on Coronavirus about food hygiene, social distancing in the workplace and employee sickness.
Support for self-employed
The chancellor has announced support for people that are self-employed.
The SEISS (Self-employment Income Support Scheme) will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
The HMRC will use the average profits from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the grant.
More information can be found here
FAQs regarding the scheme can be found here
Information on how to apply
Letter to all businesses
Cllr Martin Cox wrote a letter to all business outlining the support available to Maidstone businesses. Read it here
Kent County Council Business Survey
Kent County Council are asking businesses to complete a questionaire. Any data collected will inform them on future (financial) business support and recovery schemes
To complete the questionnaire go here
Further advice and guidance
Please call 03333 602 300 to speak to someone on the Coronavirus Support Helpline provided by The Kent and Medway Growth Hub
You may also use the live Covid-19 Business Support Hotline Chat provided in the bottom right of this website from 9:00 - 17:00.
Our Let’s Do Business Advisor Roger Keech is also on hand to help. If you would like to speak to Roger, please contact Covid19Business@maidstone.gov.uk
To keep up to date with the latest information, please sign up to our newsletter, which we are using to communicate guidance and updates as and when they happen.
You can also visit the Government's Business Support site for more information
You can contact our Covid-19 Business Support Team by emailing: Covid19Business@maidstone.gov.uk