Coronavirus Support for Retailers

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Overview.
Retail businesses across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire have been some of the hardest hit as a consequence of the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
The Government has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support retail, hospitality and leisure business with the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.
This Factsheet sets out the range of support currently available. *

Financial Support for Retailers.
• A temporary business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to your local authority.
• A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to your local authority.
• Additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR) has been announced. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to your local authority.
• Small businesses should consider the Crowdfunder PAY IT FORWARD scheme. In this time of crisis, Crowdfunder is offering 100% FREE fundraising for your business along with support from Enterprise Nation. This support can be accessed through the PAY IT FORWARD website.
• A new loan scheme, called the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, will launch on the week commencing 23rd March 2020. This will cover loans and overdrafts. To access the scheme you should contact your bank or finance provide. A list of all 40 accredited providers will be available on the British Business Bank website in due course.

Tax Support for Retailers.
• HMRC have set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about people not being able to pay their tax. You call this helpline on 0800 0159 559
Insurance Support for Retailers.
• Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and Government-ordered closure should be covered, as the Government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim.
• Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.
Employment Support for Retailers.
• Statutory Sick Pay will now be available for eligible individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or those who are unable to work as they are self-isolating in line with Government advice. More information regarding this can be found on Gov.UK website.
• You can always contact the Chamber’s HR Expert, who will be able to answer any questions or provide further support on these areas. Contact joseph.gill@staffordshirechambers.co.uk to arrange a conversation.
Support for Business Crime.
• If you are facing any incidences of business crime, including online fraud, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce currently offer a Business Crime Helpline number which can provide free, independent advice and support. We can also link you to a register of support organizations who are able to provide expert advice over the phone. You call this helpline on 01782 900239.
For the latest information and advice, UK employers and business owners should visit the official guidance for employers and businesses.
* Further fiscal measures are expected in coming days. There may be some variations to the above measures announced among devolved nations.

Key Contacts.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council – 01782 234234
Staffordshire County Council – 0300 111 8000
Stafford Borough Council – 01785 619000
Newcastle Borough Council – 01782 717717
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council – 0345 605 3010
South Staffordshire District Council – 01902 696000
Lichfield District Council – 01543 308000
Cannock Chase District Council – 01543 462621
Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce – 01782 202222
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Business Helpline – 0300 111 8002
HMRC Helpline – 0800 0159 559

Useful Links

Gov.uk (Coronavirus Support for Employers) – www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

British Business Bank – www.british-business-bank.co.uk/

PAY IT FORWARD – www.crowdfunder.co.uk/pay-it-forward

Late Payment Information – www.smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk

Paying HMRC – www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc

ACAS – https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

Staffordshire Prepared – https://www.staffordshireprepared.gov.uk/Preparing-your-business/Is-your-business-prepared.aspx

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