COVID-19

The latest on Central Government's support package for businesses

A package of measures to support businesses has been announced by the government, this is the latest guildlines. We advise that businesses continue to check the Government websites regularly for the most up to date information on the support packages available.

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

Guidance to employers and businesses

Discretionary Grant Fund

The Government is making additional funding available to allow Runnymede Borough Council to further support small businesses. This money is in addition to the Small Business Grants Funds and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund announced last month.

Discretionary Grant Fund

We will use this funding to support the following prioritised businesses:

Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces such as industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc, which do not have their own business rates assessment, and

  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment,
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates, and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

The Government has also given RBC the discretion to make support payments to businesses outside of the above list.

These grants can only go to:

  • Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs,
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis,
  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees,
  • Businesses operating from a relevant non-domestic premises with a Rateable Value below £51,000,
  • Businesses that were trading on or before 11 March 2020

In addition, businesses which are eligible for the existing grant schemes will be ineligible. Businesses which received the Small Business Grant Fund (where businesses in England who are in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system were eligible for a payment) are also ineligible for this Discretionary Grant Fund.

In Runnymede, Discretionary Grant funding will be capped to a maximum of £10,000. If the fund is oversubscribed, the Council reserves the right to amend grant levels on a pro-rata basis, based on the applications received and approved as a way of dealing fairly with the situation.

Applications and supporting evidence should be received by 23 June 2020. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

After reading our Discretionary Grant Fund Policy [704.28KB] if you meet the criteria, you can apply for a Local Authority Discretionary Grant Online here

You can get further information about the top-up to local business grant funds scheme on the Government website.

For previously announced support packages, the Council remains committed to supporting businesses across the Borough at this difficult time and is implementing the Government's plans in full so businesses will receive the support which they are entitled to.

Business Support Grant funding updates

If you are a business in Runnymede and are currently paying business rates you will find information on the relief schemes available and an application form to apply for the appropriate rebates.  Runnymede Borough Council has begun making payments to eligible businesses under the Government's Coronavirus business support grants program.

The Government has made an estimated £10-15 million available to small and medium sized businesses in Runnymede and distribution has begun by the Council.

The first payments will go to businesses which the council has the bank account details for,  please fill out the form on the Runnymede Borough Council business rates page to make sure RBC have your details. This will help speed up the process.

Please note:

  • they need your bank details in order to be able to issue a grant

  • payments can only be made into a bank account - we cannot issue cheques

  • your bank account needs to have the same details as our business rates record

  • and, to make sure your business qualifies we will need to carry out validation checks.

In the first instance we will be dealing with the government's two grants, this will be followed by the retail discounts.

The council website is the most up to date place for information about grant payments.

So they can prioritise the resources in getting funds paid to you, please only call us if your business is likely to fold in the next seven days due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

We recognise this is a really difficult time for everybody. In order that we can continue to fund essential services we will still need you to pay Business Rates, but during the Coronavirus crisis we will not take legal action against traders who are not able to pay.

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance

Grant funding schemes - FAQ's 

Latest information for the self-employed

If you are self-employed and your trading has been impacted by COVID-19, the Government has released support and help packages, see if you’re eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) :

(This sheme has now been extended, applications for the second grant will open in August 2020)

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

For more information: FAQs

Support Funding for arts and heritage

The Arts Council England are making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and we have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of our funding, to help alleviate pressure on them as best we can.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  

The UK-wide fund - money raised from The National Lottery - will address immediate pressures over the next three-six months for those organisations most in need. The funding will be open for applications within the next few days.

Preventative health measures for employers and businesses

The latest information from Public Health England on coronavirus or COVID-19 for businesses can be found on the Public Health England website.

This guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:

  • Are you an essential business? Does your business need to close.
  • How to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • What to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting
  • Advice for the certification of absence from work resulting from COVID-19

The repeated advice from experts at Public Health England is that hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing or coughing into a tissue is the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Social distancing should also be observed, at least two metres apart.