On Wednesday 25 March we held a Business Rates / Business Support Webinar which included a presentation from the Business Rates team at Canterbury City Council on the COVID-19 business rates relief and grants and some important information on how and when you can access financial support during this crisis. We are also monitoring the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) webinars which have really valuable information for you (details below), and liaising with the Association of Town and City Management and The BID Foundation to ensure that your concerns are represented at national government level, so please do keep contacting us with your questions and concerns.
Business Rates / COVID-19 Business Support Webinar
We held a Webinar on how local businesses can access information on COVID-19 business rates relief and grants with Sadie Furner, the Business Rates Team Manager at CIVICA (who work with Canterbury City Council). The webinar link and presentation are both available below and the key dates for you to note are listed below
BUSINESS RATES RELIEF:
Canterbury City Council will contact all those eligible for COVID-19 Business Rates Relief on Thursday 26 March (where they have email addresses) and on Friday 27 March (where they only have postal addresses by 2nd class post), so all those eligible for whom they have contact information will be contacted by early next week. If you have not heard from them by Thursday 9 April, there will be a form for you to fill in on Canterbury City Council’s website. We appreciate that every day is crucial and that you all need financial support as soon as possible. The Business Rates team have asked you not to contact them unless it is urgent or the answer to your question is not available online – this is to give them the time they need to process the business support details and contact you as soon as possible.
Local authorities are awaiting further details from central government, but are expecting the grant money to reach them by 1 April. In the meantime, CIVICA are preparing a new solution in order to process the grants and communicate that information to you. If you are eligible for a grant, the money will be given to you automatically.
There is a list of businesses eligible for business rates relief, regardless of your rateable value, and a list of those eligible for grants. This might change and any updates received from central government will be applied.
The grants and business rates relief is tied to your rateable value and is available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, so if you are a business in these categories who pays business rates, no matter whether you are a sole trader or self-employed for tax purpose, you will receive this financial support.
Please make sure to keep checking the following websites:
- Canterbury City Council Business Support Hub
- Kent and Medway Growth Hub
- UK Government Business Support Website
Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Coronavirus Hub. The CBI are hosting daily webinars from 10-10:45am for everyone, no need to be a member and the webinars are recorded (details below). They also have a coronavirus support email and will endeavour to answer every question they are asked – 900 questions answered so far and their view is that every businesses’ views matter.
For the tourism and hospitality sector we would also recommend checking: Visit Kent’s Support Page which features transport information, sector representation and monitoring, financial support, consumer messaging and the Kent Big Weekend.
ACAS have also published information for employees and employers including information on simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff, sick pay and absence from work.