Local businesses will receive more than £37 million in council grant payments aimed at supporting them through the COVID-19 crisis.
In the first two weeks, Chichester District Council has issued over £23 million in grants to 1,900 businesses through the Small Business Grant Scheme and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grant scheme launched by the Government.
Through the Small Business Grant Scheme, a one-off grant of £10,000 is available to businesses currently eligible for small business rate relief, rural rate relief or tapered relief to help them meet ongoing business costs, whereas the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grant provides a payment of either £10,000 or £25,000 to eligible businesses to help meet ongoing costs.
Businesses are encouraged to apply for assistance atwww.chichester.gov.uk/businessratesmarch2020
“These are unprecedented times and we want to make sure that each and every business that’s eligible for this support receives the help they are entitled to as quickly as possible”, says Councillor Peter Wilding, Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate Services and Revenues and Benefits at Chichester District Council. “We only need a few details to get payment made and so the sooner we receive these details, the sooner we can get the grants paid, so please get your forms in as soon as you can. We have been contacting eligible businesses to make them aware, but we also need people to help us spread the word. For more information and to submit your details please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/businessratesmarch2020
“A number of businesses will receive support through the increase of Expanded Retail Rate Relief, including pubs. This will assist around 1,000 businesses in our district, with a total rates reduction of £27million in this financial year. The Government has also introduced 100% business rates relief for day nurseries registered on Ofsted’s early years register. This will assist 18 nurseries in the district and reduce their combined rates bill by £250,000. There is no need for businesses to apply for these reductions and amending bills showing the full reduction have now been issued.
“In addition to this work, the council’s Economic Development team has been helping hundreds of businesses, making sure that they are aware of how to access all of the help that is available. This includes how to access grants; help under the coronavirus job retention scheme; and, assistance for the self-employed.”
All applications received before 4 April will be paid into the nominated bank accounts from Friday 17 April onwards. Businesses that applied before 4 April but haven’t heard from the council by 21 April are encouraged to get in touch with the council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Businesses are also being warned of scams, which target businesses that could be eligible for grant support. These scams may ask for account details, direct businesses to websites that are not genuine, or offer help for a small fee. These grants can only be issued by councils and so businesses are being encouraged to visitwww.chichester.gov.uk/businessratesmarch2020 or email@example.com
The council has created a range of new pages on its website with answers to frequently asked questions. For information about the range of support available for businesses, visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/businesssupport.
Businesses can also keep up to date by signing up the council’s free email newsletter, EBiz: www.chichester.gov.uk/ebizsignup. EBiz is compiled by the Economic Development Team and is a great way to receive updates on the latest Government guidance and help during the coronavirus outbreak.