• Information for Businesses

Please see below for the latest advice and information for residents during the coronavirus outbreak.

Updates are being issued regularly, so please do check back.

This page was last updated on 4th August 2020

Government Assistance for Businesses

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, irrespective of Rateable Value, will receive 100% retail relief for 2020/21. So every shop, pub, theatre, music venue, restaurant and any other business in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will pay no business rates for a year.

This has been extended to cover all premises, regardless of their Rateable Value.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues, for assembly and leisure, or as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

For more information, follow the link below.

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

Cash Grants for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property (subject to the information below).

Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues, for assembly and leisure, or as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

Got your letter? Apply Now

Small Business Grant Funding

The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Please note that properties which are occupied for personal use, e.g. private stables, beach huts, moorings etc. will not qualify for these grants.

For more information, click on the links below.

Small Business Grant Funding

Got your letter? Apply Now

Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries

Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Year Register and are wholly or mainly used for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage.

For more information, please follow the link below.

Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the payroll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’.

HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1st March and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary. All UK wide employers with a PAYE scheme will be eligible – this includes the public sector, Local Authorities and charities.

UK employers will need to designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify their employees of this change.

Once the new online portal is live, employers need to submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings.

HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. HMRC expect the first grants to be paid within weeks and they are aiming to get this done before the end of April. If your business needs short term cashflow support, you maybe eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

For more information, please follow the link below

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. For loans up to £5 million, the Government is providing a guarantee of 80% for each loan. This will give lenders the confidence to continue to provide finance to businesses. The Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee.

You will be eligible your business is UK based with a turnover of no more than £45m per annum and your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

Talk to your bank or finance provider as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cashflow.

For more information, please follow the link below

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

COVID - 19 Corporate Financing Facility

The new Covid-10 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short term funding squeeze. It will operate for at least 12 months.

For more information, please follow the link below.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Time to Pay (HRMC)

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Call the HMRC Helpline for advice on 0800 0159 559

VAT Deferral

The Government will support businesses by deferring Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. UK Registered businesses will not need to make VAT payments normally due with VAT returns during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the Government as normal.

The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

For more information, please follow the link below.

VAT Deferral

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.

A rebate scheme is being developed: further details will be provided in due course.

For more information, please follow the link below.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

Income Tax Deferral for the Self Employed

If you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to 31 January 2021. If you are self-employed, you are eligible.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme

If you are self employed and struggling during the coronavirus outbreak, the Government has announced a new support package for you. You can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 for the next three months.

The scheme will be open for applications soon.

For more information, please follow the link below.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme

Trading Standards - Free advice to help businesses to diversify and operate during lockdown

All businesses in Devon and Somerset can now access regulatory advice free of charge until the end of July.

Devon Somerset & Torbay Trading Standards offers an award-winning regulatory advice and support service, and to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic that advice is now free.

The service’s specialist team of officers can provide advice on all aspects of trading standards law.

This includes helping businesses to diversify into different areas and develop a different business model that could operate during the government’s current lockdown restrictions.

An example would be a restaurant wanting to develop an online takeaway or delivery service.

The joint service, hosted by Devon County Council, will waive fees until the end of July.

To access this support, please follow this link.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

Follow this link to the GOV information page.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.

The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

There is other support available if you’re not eligible for the grant.

HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get. But you can follow these steps to help you understand how we will do this and what you can do now.

Follow this link to the GOV information page.

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

Small and micro businesses with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Scheme.

What you can get

You can get a grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000.

The Discretionary Grant Fund supports small and micro-businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes.

Follow this link to the GOV information page.

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