Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses

The latest Government information on healthcare advice for employers and support for businesses can be found here:

Guidance for employees, employers and businesses

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a discretionary grants fund scheme to be administered by local authorities. The scheme guidance has now been received by the Council and work is underway to put in place an appropriate scheme for Rotherham, which is both within the criteria set by Government and which best supports Rotherham businesses.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund (see below).

These grant are predominantly and primarily aimed at:

  • Small and micro businesses, as defined in Section 33, Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006
  • Businesses with relatively high, ongoing fixed property-related cost
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in oncome due to the Covid-19 crisis
  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000

The Council will need to define a scheme and application process to enable businesses to apply for this grant.

The scheme will not provide support to those businesses which have received grant through the Small Business Grant Fund, the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund or Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Additional business rates & grant support to local businesses

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:

  1. All retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses, and non-local authority providers of childcare will be given 100% business rates relief for the period 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021. This will include pubs.
  2. Small businesses who are currently eligible for Small Business Rates Relief will receive a cash grant of £10,000. It is only available to businesses eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme as at 11th March 2020. The following exclusions apply.
    • Properties occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.
    • Car parks and parking spaces.
    • Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.
  3. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses which operate from smaller premises with a rateable value below £51,000 will receive a cash grant, a grant of £10,000 for those with a rateable value below £15,000, a grant of £25,000 for those with a rateable value greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000. The following exclusions apply.
    • Properties occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.
    • Car parks and parking spaces.
    • Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.

These measures do not cover businesses that are not liable for business rates at their premise.

The Council now has the Government guidance on these measures in order to implement the proposals. The guidance includes the requirement for an assessment of potential State Aid implications. It clarifies the criteria for the grant scheme, that will enable the Council to introduce the measure as soon as possible.

Businesses will already have received their business rates bills for 2020/21. Pending the processing of the further guidance, all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and all businesses who currently receive Small Business Rates Relief are 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.

Now we have the Government guidance on the new reliefs, we will recalculate and reissue the relevant business rates bills. We will do this automatically for those businesses already getting retail relief, therefore, these businesses don’t need to do anything. Businesses who are not currently in receipt of any retail relief, will need to fill out the claim form below, to allow us to process their new retail relief application.

In order to assist us in awarding additional reliefs and making the new grants to businesses as soon as possible, all businesses who meet the eligibility criteria for the reliefs or grants are asked to complete the claim form below.

Claim a business support grant or relief

To complete your claim, you will need:

  • VAT Registration Number (As registered with HMRC - if you are VAT registered)
  • Company Number (As registered with Companies House - if you are registered on Companies House)
  • Business Rates Number

You will need your business rates account number to complete the form. If you don't know your account number, please call 01709 336055.

In the meantime any questions on the additional reliefs or the grants can be directed to: [email protected]. Please use “business rates support enquiry” as your message subject.

Please note, the Council is due to receive the grant funding in early April, at this point any approved, processed claims will begin to be paid.

If you have submitted an application we will be processing it, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Please bear with us during this period to allow us to progress applications as quickly as possible.

If you have an enquiry not about the grant, you can contact the NNDR Team via the line below or via email.

Support for businesses through job retention scheme and wider support for business

Support through job retention scheme:

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. For further details about the scheme please visit;

Financial Support for business

Wider support for business:

This page also covers other support packages for businesses that are not being provided through the Council, such as;

  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

If you require advice relating to the wider support for businesses (i.e not the reliefs or grant above), then please contact us at: [email protected]

Payment for supplies and services

The Council is putting in place business continuity plans, to ensure it continues to pay for its supplies and services as normal, under the Council’s normal terms and conditions for payment.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor has outlined measures to support self-employed people during the coronavirus pandemic. They will be paid 80% of profits, up to £2,500 a month, if affected by the coronavirus outbreak. HM Treasury has produced full guidance on the support availabe, click the button below.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Help for Self Employed and Others

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Self-employment Income Support Scheme FAQs

Businesses and self-employed support finder tool

The government has launched a new ‘support finder’ tool which will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. This new business support finder tool can be used to see what assistance is available for you and your business.

Go to the business support finder tool

Guidelines for businesses to protect staff and customers

Social distancing guidance in retail stores

A guide for non-food retail stores has been produced by the British Retail Consortium and the Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers on how to implement Government advice on social distancing when stores in the non-food retail sector reopen for business.

Guide on implementing social distancing in non-food stores

Risk assessements

HSE has a number of example risk assessments which show the kind of approach they expect a small business or workplace to take.

The examples show how other small and medium-sized businesses have approached risk assessment.

View example risk assesments

Working safely during coronavirus

The Government has guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

View the guidance

Reporting business concerns relating to social distancing and COVID-19

Reports of any concerns relating to the COVID 19 restrictions on business closures and social distancing can be made to the Council using the following telephone numbers:

  • Daytime between 8.30am and 6pm: 01709 823118, or where the issue relates to a food business, 01709 823164
  • Out of hours, between 6pm and 12am (midnight): 01709 823140

Officers are operating seven days each week between 8.30am and 12am (midnight). Where appropriate advice, guidance, direction and where necessary enforcement action will be taken to encourage compliance with the restrictions.

Officers are following Government guidance in relation precautions around COVID 19 when conducting operations and will advice callers appropriately based upon individual circumstances.