Coronavirus: support for business

Updated 23.11.20 09:42

The Government has confirmed a package of financial measures to support businesses.

Business grants: Coronavirus

Support Grant

The Government has announced further funding to support businesses that are required to close to due to either local or national restrictions.

Businesses that are eligible to claim the grant are those that have a business rates assessment and have been forced to close by the Government, and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses. This will also include those businesses that were required to close under the Tier 3 local restrictions, in place from the 17th October 2020.

To apply for the support grant you must be registered for business rates with Blackburn with Darwen BC and have a business rates account number

Apply

Watch a tutorial on how to create an account.

Discretionary Grant

The Council’s discretionary grant programme will deliver limited financial support for businesses required to close who do not have a Business Rates assessment (such as those in shared accommodation), as well as businesses severely impacted by the Government’s announcement of a further national lockdown from 5th November.

The Council will look to provide financial support to cover fixed property costs up to a maximum of £3,000 per month for businesses who must close and £2,100 for severely impacted open businesses, subject to eligibility and available funds. Businesses which have successfully applied for a support grant should not apply to the discretionary programme in respect of additional support, as we already hold details regarding your business.

The window for applications will be open from the 16th November until midnight on 2nd December 2020. Further calls for applications will be made subject to local business need and available funds.

How to apply

Watch a tutorial on how to create an account.

Apply

Rateable value and amount of support available

If you are successful with your application the payments will be made as soon as possible, based on the rateable value of your property:-

Rateable value and amount of support available
Rateable value of premises Grant payment per 2 weeks (Tier 3 closures) Grant payment per 4 weeks (National lockdown)
£15,000 or under £667 £1334
£15,001-£50,999 £1000 £2000
£51,000 or over £1500 £3000

State aid rules

The Local and National Restrictions Support Grant counts towards state aid. The rules are fully explained in the Government state aid guidance.

By accepting a grant you are confirming that you are not in breach of these rules.

Business rates reliefs 2020/21

100% retail discount

100% retail discount will be awarded to all retail, hospitality and leisure properties (such as museums, live music venues, theatres, gyms and hotels) for the whole of 2020/21, meaning no business rates will be charged.
The following hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services will not qualify for the relief:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers)
  • Post office sorting offices
  • Not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

*The Government has applied to the EU to waive state aid limits that currently apply.

Nursery discount

100% discount will be paid to all premises occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage and which are subject to business rates in the year 2020/21, meaning that no business rates will be charged.

Additional relief information

Where we can, we will award any relief direct to the account. If you believe you are eligible but have not had the relief awarded to your account, please email us at businessrates@blackburn.gov.uk
You do not need to employ rating agents or other organisations outside of the Council to claim the support that is available. These agents will probably take a percentage of any relief or grant they claim on your behalf. Please be extra careful with what you sign and how you respond to organisations that may contact you offering support.

Cash grant for businesses

The Government grant schemes for small businesses and the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors closed on midnight Friday 28th August 2020.

Recovery

We expect that businesses to maintain their direct debits or payment plans and keep up with their payment plan that is on the bill.
If you are having difficulties paying, you must contact us as soon as possible. To speak to an advisor call 01254 588115 between the hours of 10am and 3pm; alternatively you can email us at businessrates@blackburn.gov.uk
We can check that you are receiving all the discounts and reliefs that you may be entitled to, and discuss payment options with you. We may be able to offer alternative payment dates or extend payments to help you.

If you don't pay

Payments are due on or before the date detailed on your most recent business rates bill. If you do not pay in line with the bill, recovery action will be taken and this may incur further costs.
A reminder notice can be issued at any time after a payment becomes due.
If you fall into arrears again, a final notice will be issued and the full balance of your account will become due, following which, if the amount is not paid in full a Summons will be issued.