GBSLEP
Coronavirus Outbreak

We know that the fast pace and volume of information isn’t easy for businesses to contend with - events are moving very quickly, and information is constantly being updated in relation to the UK Government’s funding response to COVID-19 – we will do our best to provide you with the most up to date guidance.

For all the latest Government information on COVID-19 and the measures the Government are taking and to ensure we are viewing the most up to date information, you can visit the UK Government website.

There are still several areas where we are expecting further clarification in relation to the process of delivery for funding support schemes. If we are unable to answer your question today, please do get back in touch with us. We are here to help you navigate through the information, there is no limit to the amount of times you can contact us as the situation evolves. We can keep a record of your details and alert you when we have further information.

There are many initiatives being established to help support businesses and employers who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Below we have collated signposts to a range of resources and guidance which offer support and information particular to helping businesses through this challenging time, which we hope will be helpful.

One-to-one Support from the Growth Hub

If your business is, or will be, affected by the current outbreak of COVID-19 please get in touch by emailing info@gbslepgrowthhub.co.uk, or call us on 0800 032 3488. Our advisers will listen and discuss with you how our services may be able to help your business throughout this period.

Share your experience to influence planning and policy making

Please can you spare a few moments to answer our short survey on how COVID-19 has affected your business so far and what measures you are taking?

Click here to complete our survey.

Your responses will give us a clearer picture of how businesses in our region are being impacted, helping us to provide the best possible support.

If you'd like an email or a callback from a Business Adviser in relation to your answers, or to talk in general about the support that's available, you can request this within the survey.

Thank you in advance for your time, and as always you can contact the team between 9 and 5, Monday to Friday, for support in all areas of your business:

Helpline 0800 032 3488

Email info@gbslepgrowthhub.co.uk

Steps you can take today

Webinars, virtual drop in sessions and helplines

GBSLEP Growth Hub Business Support Q&A

If you’ve been impacted by Covid-19 we can help you with any questions on business support & packages available to you.

Follow the Growth Hub on Twitter (@GBSLEPGrowthHub) for updates on available support, and tweet us using #AskGBSLEPGrowthHub to put your questions to our expert advisers.

Coming soon: Virtual drop-in sessions with guest industry experts, covering a range of COVID-19 related support and information.


HM Revenue & Customs webinars

HM Revenue & Customs are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. You can watch a video of the first recorded webinar and register for future webinars by clicking here.


Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) webinars

FSB are hosting free coronavirus webinars to discuss financial help for SMEs and the self-employed. Click here to access these webinars on demand.


Aston Business School podcasts

Check out this new podcast series where Aston's top academics provide essential advice to business leaders and entrepreneurs (on a range of topics including COVID-19). Guests are interviewed by Steve Dyson, a business journalist and former daily newspaper editor who has presented dozens of regional programmes for BBC’s HARDtalk series. Click here for all the episodes so far.


KPMG webinars

KPMG will be hosting a series of weekly webinars to provide updates and discuss immediate, medium and long-term actions that can help you manage the challenges ahead. Click here to register.

When: every Wednesday, 12.30 - 13.30


Enterprise Nation 'lunch and learn' webinar

Enterprise Nation is hosting a daily 'lunch and learn' webinar to give you a boost, offer some advice, and hopefully become part of your daily business schedule during the coronavirus crisis. Enterprise Nation Founder, Emma Jones, will interview guests from the worlds of enterprise and policy and you can get your questions answered by the experts. Click here to join in.

When: every weekday, 12.00 - 12.30


Birmingham Mind support helplines

Mental Health and counselling support service for people struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call 0121 262 3555 (9am to 11pm) for a one-off chat or longer-term support with free counselling/talking therapies.

There is also a Keyworker Counselling service. The service is ready to work with keyworkers who need support with their Mental Health at this difficult time. Call 0121 633 1217 (9am to 5pm) to book in.

Both services are free and staffed by experienced/qualified counsellors. 


Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands daily Twitter forum

Innovation Alliance will be hosting a #IAWMhour on Twitter (@InnovationWM), a forum to see how the power of people can tackle challenges in these unprecedented times, with varying focuses daily.

  • Date: Every weekday
  • Time: 10am – 11am


British Business Bank: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) webinar

CBILS can provide finance of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK experiencing lost or deferred revenues causing disruptions to cashflow. Piers Linney is a non-executive director at the British Business Bank and he’ll explain how businesses can apply for the Business Loan Interruption Scheme during the Covid-19 crisis and answer any questions that you may have surrounding the scheme.

This event was hosted on the 25th March but a replay is available here.


Culture Central Zoom call

Culture Central are running another Cultural Sector Zoom call covering:

  • Q&A with employment law specialists from Irwin Mitchell LLP
  • Arts Council England Grant Programme update
  • Discussion on what Culture Central are doing to support
  • Opportunity & information sharing

Spaces are limited, further information and registration can be found here.

When: Thursday 2nd April, 2pm – 4pm


Latest government guidance

With the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, up to date Government guidance is always available on the Government website.

Government are currently enforcing the following guidelines:

Stay at home

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

Check the NHS website if you have symptoms

Further help and guidance is also available on the Gov website for the following:

  • How to protect yourself and others
  • Employment and financial support
  • School closures, education and childcare
  • Businesses and other organisations
  • Healthcare workers and carers
  • Travel
  • How coronavirus is affecting public services
  • How you can help
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the UK 

Government funding support for businesses

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. This page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply. See the list of schemes below, and click the titles to read the full information:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This will provide payroll support for all firms and enterprises in the UK. It covers up to 80% of the salary (up to £2,500 per month) of anyone not working (but retaining job) as a result of Covid-19. The monies will be in the form of a grant (not a loan).

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Business Interruption Loan. This lending scheme through the British Business Bank offers loans from £1,000 up to £5m per company with government meeting interest costs for the first 12 months.

3 April update: The Chancellor is extending the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time. The government is stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals.

Coming soon: Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS): The new CLBILS will ensure that more firms are able to benefit from government-backed support during this difficult time. It will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

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. Funding will be provided via local authorities.

Business rates holiday for retail, leisure and hospitality

100% business rates discount for all retail, leisure and hospitality venues with no limit to rateable values.

Small business grant funding

The Government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Coming soon: 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.

Support for business paying tax

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.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

The new Covid-19 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.

VAT Deferral

The Government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.

Deferral of Self-Assessment payment

The Self- Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020 may now be deferred until January 2021.

Support for self-employed

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The scheme will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

  • The 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.
  • HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant.
  • Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
  • Open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000.
  • The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:

  • Be self-employed or a member of partnership;
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
  • File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership.
  • Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment.

How/when can I access the scheme:

  • Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.
  • HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account
  • Grants are expected to start to be paid by the beginning of June 2020

More information available here: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/


Other support that may be helpful

Deferral of Tax and VAT Payments:

  • All UK VAT registered businesses can defer VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until the end of the tax year
  • The Government has deferred the Income Tax Self-Assessment payments for the self-employed due on 31 July 2020 to 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC Time to Pay:

  • HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.
  • HMRC’s dedicated Covid-19 helpline to get practical help and advice can be reached by calling 0800 0159 559.

Extra support for the welfare system:

  • Increasing the Universal Credit standard allowance, for the next 12 months, by £1,000 per year
  • Increasing the Working Tax Credit basic element, for the next 12 months, by £1,000 per year
  • Suspending the minimum income floor for all self-employed affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus

Supporting my employees

Current guidance clearly states that businesses and workplaces should allow their employees to work at home wherever possible. Employees will need your support to adhere to the recommendation to stay at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to others.

If an employer and employee agree to working from home, the employer should:

  • pay the employee as usual
  • keep in regular contact
  • check on the employee’s health and wellbeing

Social distancing and vulnerable people

Current government advice is for everyone to stop unnecessary contact with other people – 'social distancing'. This means:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Employers should support their workforce to take these steps.

Employers must be especially careful and take extra steps for anyone in their workforce who is in a vulnerable group. They include, but are not limited to, those who:

  • have a long-term health condition, for example asthma, diabetes or heart disease, or a weakened immune system as the result of medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • are pregnant
  • are aged 70 or over
  • care for someone with a health condition that might put them at a greater risk

Self-isolation and sick pay

  • People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is payable to qualifying employees and is now payable from day 1 for those who self-isolate or are unwell because of COVID-19 (the first 3 days are normally unpaid). The current rate of SSP is £94.25 per week.
  • HM Treasury has announced that small and medium sized employers (those with fewer than 250 employees) may recover this cost where SSP has been paid as a result of COVID-19 from 13 March for a maximum of two weeks’ sickness per employee.
  • There is currently no existing mechanism for the recovery of SSP by employers (unlike other statutory payments such as Statutory Maternity Pay) - The government has committed to working with employers in the coming months to work out a mechanism for this recovery
  • Qualifying businesses will need to keep records of sickness and sick pay because of COVID-19 and days of sickness for future recovery.
  • Employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note as above.

Employers who need to close the workplace

  • Many employers have been instructed to close by the government. This will be a difficult time for both employers and staff. It’s a good idea to make sure staff have a way to communicate with the employer and other people they work with.
  • In some situations, an employer might need to close their business for a short time (lay-offs) or ask staff to reduce their contracted hours (short time working). If the employer thinks they'll need to do this, it's important to talk with staff as early as possible and throughout the closure. Unless it says in the contract or is agreed otherwise, they still need to pay their employees for this time.
  • Further guidance on lay-offs and short-time working is available here. The coronavirus job retention scheme (details above) is also in place to help companies avoid making redundancies.

If an employee needs time off work to look after someone

  • Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a 'dependant') in an unexpected event or emergency. This could apply to situations to do with coronavirus.
  • A dependant does not necessarily live with the person, for example they could be an elderly neighbour or relative who relies on the person for help.
  • There's no statutory right to pay for this time off, but some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or workplace policy.
  • The amount of time off an employee takes to look after someone must be reasonable for the situation. For example, they might take 2 days off to start with, and if more time is needed, they can book holiday.
  • If a dependant such as a partner, child or relative in the same household gets coronavirus symptoms, they should receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as a minimum for this time. They’ll also need to follow self-isolation guidance on GOV.UK.

Innovation grants and Government calls for equipment/services

Tell the government how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business

The support needed includes things like:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • social care or childcare

You’ll be asked some questions about the type of support you can give. You’ll then be contacted as soon as possible if your support is needed. You’ll need your company number if you have one. Click here for more information or to offer your services.


Innovation grants

Innovate UK will invest up to £20 million in innovation projects. Applications must demonstrate both realistic and significant benefits for society (including communities, families and individuals) or an industry that has been severely impacted and/or permanently disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Closes on 17 April.

Click here to find out more and to apply.


Requests for medical supplies:

Call for businesses to help make NHS ventilators

The government is looking for businesses who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the UK as part of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you think your business can help, further details and the specification of the minimally clinically acceptable ventilator, along with some preferred options, to be used in UK hospitals during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here.

Appeal for the supply of COVID-19 Antigen Testing Kit

The BIA is helping the UK Government (Office for Life Sciences) to raise awareness of an urgent call out to the life sciences sector to help increase the supply of antigen testing kits for COVID-19.

The requirement is for commercial supply of the following:

  • Full testing packages
  • Any of the separate components within the testing package
  • Any alternative tests government should be considering

Any organisations that can supply for sale any of the above can find further details and a full specification here.

The University of Birmingham puts a call out for PPE equipment for local NHS trusts in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

The University of Birmingham is working with is research staff and local partners to identify suitable surplus PPE which could be shared with our local NHS trusts in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Any face, eye and body protection is gratefully received including gloves, goggles, face masks (particularly FFP2/3 and 3M), face shields etc. Ideally this would be sterile medical quality, but such is the dire need all donations are welcome. Oxygen is also needed but this must be surgical quality. If you are able to support please contact Joe McDowell at the University at J.M.Mcdowell@bham.ac.uk or on 07843175332.

Sector specific support

Many Sector Representative Bodies have put together supportive and practical guidance, utlising their expertise, on a range of specific topics. The below is not a comprehensive, but you may find it a helpful starting point for further advice.

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

ICAEW are offering UK practical business advice on their dedicated coronavirus hub. Detailed advice is available for the following:

  • Employers
  • All businesses
  • Self-employed
  • Small businesses
  • Small & Medium businesses • Large businesses
  • Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
  • Nursery businesses

Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

Companies should consider whether to refer to the possible impact of COVID-19 on their business in their reporting of principal risks and uncertainties. Where mitigating actions can be taken, these should also be reported alongside the description of the risk itself. As well as possible inclusion within a company’s disclosures of principal risks and uncertainties, the carrying value of assets and liabilities might also be affected with a need to perform additional impairment tests and to assess whether leases have become onerous.

All updates issued by the FRC with regards to the COVID-19 Virus response can be found here.

This includes further guidance on:

  • Government Business support
  • Guidance for companies & auditors
  • Stay Home – Stay Safe
  • Corporate Reporting Moratorium
  • Extended Filing Guidance
  • AGM’s & COVID-19
  • FRC Update
  • Guidance for Auditors
  • Guidance on Audit issues
  • Advice to Companies & Auditors

Culture Central: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Arts & Cultural Organisations

The Culture Central team are working hard to support and be the voice of the cultural sector in Birmingham and the wider region during the Coronavirus pandemic, (see a statement from their Director Erica Love about our immediate response here) and as part of this activity Culture Central have put together a list of online resources available to support organisations throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England have put forward emergency measures and funding to ensure the people and organisations that make up their arts, museums and libraries are protected during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Emergency Funding package will offer individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis, totalling £160 million. Arts Council England have re-purposed all their investment strands to be able to offer this support. These emergency funding streams will be open to applications shortly.

Support for funded organisations and individuals is also available, with an update on all current live funds, including information about whether a fund is temporarily on pause, or if application deadlines have changed. There is also further information for organisations and individuals already in receipt of Arts Council funding, and any changes we've made to them.

Full details and contact details can be found at: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19

Make UK:

Make UK is working to ensure manufacturers have the correct and update to information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Make UK have a dedicated hub on their website dedicated to the Coronavirus outbreak and its impact on manufacturing. The latest expert advice on pay, absence and travel can be found here.

FAQs are available for; people matters, issues at the workplace, COVID-19 and childcare issues for employees, lay-off and short-time working and financial support for Business.

Silicon Canal

In response to growing concerns about social distancing across the local tech community, Silicon Canal have released a video titled ‘Surviving self-isolation during the COVID-19 crisis’, it can be viewed here.

UK Bio Industry Association (BIA)

BIA have provided key information on the COVID-19 outbreak for BIA member companies and the life sciences sector. Resources aim to help businesses during this time and highlight important work across our sector that is helping to tackle the outbreak.

Find out more on:

Register for BIA’s weekly Coronavirus webinar here.

Business advice: external resources and guidance

Many Business Representative Organisations have put together supportive and practical guidance, utlising their expertise, on a range of specific topics. The below is not a comprehensive, but you may find it a helpful starting point for further advice.

Updates from local authorities – how can I access a grant and rates relief?

In response to the Coronavirus the Chancellor announced small businesses who receive Small Business Rate Relief are eligible for a grant of £10,000. A further grant of up to £25,000 will be available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value for business rates purposes of between £15,000 and £51,000.

Grants will be administered by Local Authorities. Further details and eligibility criteria can be found above in the ‘funding support for businesses’ section.

We are in contact communication with partners to ascertain the latest on process for administering grants and rates relief. Further information will be coming soon.

Birmingham City Council

2 April update Business rates grants form now live here: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/xfp/form/714

Birmingham City Council have already sent out the annual 2020/21 business rates bills with the previous discount amounts (Retail Relief at 50% and Pub Relief at £1,000.00). They will be issuing amended bills at the new higher-level amounts as soon as possible.

Birmingham City Council will also be identifying properties that now qualify for Retail Relief due to the expansion of the qualification criteria. These businesses will have already been sent out the annual 2020/21 business rates bills without any discount. They will be issuing amended bills with the discount awarded as soon as possible. Please be patient as they are still awaiting some further details and have a lot of accounts to respond to.

The council is trying to prevent any Direct Debit payments from being requested on 1 April 2020 for businesses who will have nothing to pay for 2020/21. If a payment is taken on 1 April and you believe that you shouldn’t have anything to pay, then please contact your bank directly who will arrange for the payment to be returned to your account.

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50231/coronavirus_covid-19/2077/support_for_businesses_due_to_covid_19_coronavirus

Bromsgrove District Council

Grants will be paid to businesses by the borough council without the need for businesses to apply or to contact the council, unless we contact you. We have been advised that Government will make the funding available to us in early April to enable us to pass this on to businesses.

We will prefer to pay the grant by BACS transfer. If your business is eligible and we do not have bank account details for your business already (for example, because you do not pay business rates by direct debit or standing order), you can expect us to contact you over the next week to ask for the details.

https://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/business/tax,-funding-finance/business-rate-payments/covid-19-help-for-businesses.aspx

Cannock Chase District Council

If you occupy a retail, hospitality or leisure business, we will be applying the 100% discount for 12 months automatically and will write to you shortly with a revised bill. You do not need to apply for it. If we believe that you qualify, we will not be claiming your April Direct Debit payment.

http://www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/business/business-rates

Grants: You do not need to do anything. We will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

East Staffordshire Borough

With regards to business rates, the Council has announced that it intends to award the revised retail discount relief to all relevant accounts in the next few days and issue confirmation of the awards to those ratepayers, along with revised business rates bills showing no rates liability for 2020/21.

Ratepayers who pay by Direct Debit and who are awarded this relief will not have payments requested from their bank for their 2020/21 liability.

(new) Small Business Grant Funding - If either Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief are shown on your Business Rates bill and you do not pay your Business Rates by Direct Debit, we do not hold any bank details for you. We’ll need you to confirm your business’s bank details in order to make a payment to you.

(new) Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funding - A grant of £10,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value of up to £15,000 and a grant of £25,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value of between £15,001 and £50,999. If you do not pay your Business Rates by Direct Debit, we do not hold any bank details for you. We’ll need you to confirm your business’s bank details in order to make a payment to you.

Please go to the Coronavirus Business Rate Relief page for more information and to submit your business's bank details.

Download the small business grant funding form

Lichfield District Council

Rates relief

There is no action for you. We will re-issue your bill, excluding the business rate charge as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will not be taking out business rates by direct debit from any businesses that had already qualified for the business rates retail discount as shown on the original business rates bills or where we have identified more businesses under the revised scheme.

We are also advising all businesses that pay by a different method, such as online or by cash, which had also already qualified for the discount, that they do not need to pay their business rates bills this coming financial year.

If you do not receive an amended bill by 8 May 2020, please contact us to apply for the discount by emailing our revenues team or calling 01543 308900.

Grants

We will send an information request to all eligible businesses in the next few days by email and post. In it we will ask local businesses to provide further information through an online form, which will go live soon.

Please be aware the letter will be sent to your registered business address, which you may have vacated.

If you have any queries about the grants, please email our economic development team or or call 01543 308900.

Redditch Borough Council

Grants will be paid to businesses by the borough council without the need for businesses to apply or to contact the council, unless we contact you. We have been advised that Government will make the funding available to us in early April to enable us to pass this on to businesses.

We will prefer to pay the grant by BACS transfer. If your business is eligible and we do not have bank account details for your business already (for example, because you do not pay business rates by direct debit or standing order), you can expect us to contact you over the next week to ask for the details.

https://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/business/tax,-funding,-finance/business-rate-payments/covid-19-help-for-businesses.aspx

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (updated 2 April)

Following the recent Government announcements, Expanded Retail Relief will give eligible businesses 100% relief from their business rates in 2020/21. Further details can be found on our business rates page where you can also find information on cash grants for small businesses.

Details of eligibility can be found here: https://www.solihull.gov.uk/Portals/0/Business%20Rates/Business-Rates-Relief-GrantGuidancev2.pdf

If you think your businesses is eligible, you can complete the online form here: https://eservices.solihull.gov.uk/SMBCWebForms/?Form=COVID19-Emergency-Grant

Tamworth Borough Council

If you are eligible to receive the Small Business Grant Fund, you will be contacted directly by Tamworth Borough Council and do not need to do anything. If you have not heard by 3rd April, please contact business@tamworth.gov.uk. Wyre Forest District Council Wyre Forest District Council is contacting local businesses they believe are eligible for financial support.

The council’s Revenues Team is calling all businesses they think are eligible. Business owners will be asked to provide some details over the phone, or they can email them to ctax@wyreforestdc.gov.uk. They are also reminded to make sure they supply their account number as shown on their business rates bill.

It is not expected the Government will give councils the funding until early April. Once the funding has reached Wyre Forest District Council, it will be distributed to all eligible businesses in the district. 

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