Advice and support for businesses
Advice for businesses
Last updated 28 August at 09:49
For business advice you can also call the Kent and Medway Growth Hub coronavirus business support hotline on 03333 602 300. Lines are open Monday - Friday 8.30am - 6.30pm.
A pavement licence allows businesses to place removable furniture on the pavement. This could be to:
- sell or serve food or drink
- provide an area for consuming food or drink purchased from the premises
We have written some guidance on how to safely reopen your business.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will pay no business rates for the financial year 2020 to 2021, no matter what their rateable value is.
To support nurseries during this time, the Chancellor has decided that providers of childcare will also pay no business rates for 2020 to 2021.
We understand that many businesses are trying to reduce their costs at this difficult time, and that some have stopped paying rent to help this.
This could mean you're in breach of your lease. Please check the support available to you before taking any action.
Make sure you have accessed all the government support you might be able to get before speaking to your landlord about rent.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme
- Deferring your VAT and income tax payments
Some of the government schemes above may also be available to support you.
Not every business can stop trading and may need extra help with their costs. You could do this, if you're able to, by:
- deferring rent payments for a fixed time, with any arrears paid by the end of the financial year (March 2021)
- accepting rent in arrears, not in advance, for a fixed time
- putting a rent reduction in place
Heritage Emergency Fund
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 £50m Heritage Emergency Fund will be available for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000. It is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage, including:
- historic sites
- industrial and maritime heritage
- libraries and archives
- parks and gardens
- landscapes and nature
Organisations which have received funding in the past and are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant, can apply. Priority will be given where:
- there is limited or no access to other sources of support
- where heritage is most at risk
- where an organisation is at risk of severe financial crisis due to COVID-19
Arts Council England (ACE) emergency funding
ACE will offer individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support during the crisis, totalling £160 million.
They've re-purposed all investment strands to be able to offer this support for the following types of organisations.
- £50 million funding for organisations not in receipt of regular funding from the Arts Council but with a track record of delivering publicly funded culture. You can apply for up to £35,000 in one of two rounds. First round applications will open on 9th April and will close on 16th April. The second round will open on 16th April and close on 30th April.
- £20 million funding for individuals working in the cultural sector. You can apply for up to £2,500 in one of two rounds. First round applications will open on 9th April and will close on 16th April. The second round will open on 16th April and close on 30th April.
- £90 million funding for National Portfolio Organisations to reboot their creative work and alleviate financial pressures.
Sport England funding
Sport England have announced up to £195 million of funding to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.
The package, which is a combination of National Lottery and government funding, is made up of the following:
- Community Emergency Funding to support community organisations suffering financial hardship.
- Sector Partner Fund for active partners of Sport England and National Governing bodies.
- £55 million Sector Stimulation to support and stimulate the sector by adapting to changes while restrictions are being lifted.