Monday, March 23, 2020

News: Support for Rotherham businesses through Coronavirus crisis


RiDO, the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council, says that it is committed to helping local businesses receive the Government support announced in response to the Coronavirus crisis as soon as possible.

On March 17, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a further package of support to businesses including a range of measures relating to business rates which will be administered by councils:

- All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will be given 100% business rates relief for the period 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021.
- Small businesses who are currently eligible for Small Business Rates Relief will receive a cash grant of £10,000.
- Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses which operate from smaller premises with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000 will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000.
- The previous announcement in the Chancellor's Budget that pub relief is increased from £1,000 to a maximum of £5,000 for 2020/21 is not changed in the latest announcement.
- All non-local authority providers of childcare will be given 100% business rates relief for the period 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021
Advice for business

Rotherham Council said that it is currently awaiting Government guidance on these measures in order to implement the proposals. A statement made clear: "We are committed to introducing the measures as soon as possible once this guidance is received."

Pending the issue of further guidance, all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and all businesses who currently receive Small Business Rates Relief are being advised not to make any payment of their 2020/21 bills. The Council won't send out reminders or summonses during this period pending all the bills being re-issued.

The Council is set to recalculate and reissue the relevant business rates bills.

RiDO is keen to make the new grants to businesses as soon as possible once Government guidance is issued. All businesses who are likely to be eligible for the grants will be asked to complete their details requested on an e-form.


On March 20, the Chancellor outlined an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people's jobs and incomes. The package means:

- UK workers of any employer who is placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can keep their job, with the government paying up to 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month. These will be backdated to 1st March and will be initially open for 3 months, to be extended if necessary.
- VAT payments due between now and the end of June will be deferred. No VAT registered business will have to make a VAT payment normally due with their VAT return to HMRC in that period. Income tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021, benefitting up to 5.7m self-employed businesses.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, launched at Budget, will now be interest free for twelve months.
- The standard rate in Universal credit and Tax Credits will be increased by £20 a week for one year from April 6th, meaning claimants will be up to £1040 better off.

As it stands, self-employed people will be able to claim Universal Credit, providing they meet the usual eligibility criteria. From April 6 the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. This change will apply to all Universal Credit claimants and will last for the duration of the outbreak. New claimants will not need to attend the jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment.

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber has also setup a dedicated COVID-19 webspage offering guidance of Government support and general advice for working from home.

Government website
RiDO website
BR Chamber website

Images: NHS


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