Advice and support for businesses
Advice for businesses
Last updated 3 July at 13:53
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.
We have written some guidance on how to safely reopen your business.
Applications for the discretionary grant scheme closed on Monday 15 June.
We have now contacted all applicants. You may want to see the scheme guidelines.
Small business grant funding of £10,000 will be available for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
Grant funding of £25,000 is available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
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.
You should have had a new business rates bill from us showing that you will pay no rates. If you haven't had a letter by 10 April and you think you should get the discount, contact our business rates team.
To support nurseries during this time, the Chancellor has decided that providers of childcare will also pay no business rates for 2020 to 2021. New business rates bills have now been sent out.
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
Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.
You should check the terms and conditions of your business interruption policy and contact your insurance provider.
Food businesses that are starting to supply their customers with hot and cold food deliveries or takeaways must follow the government coronavirus guidance for food businesses.
If you are setting up a new food business in the district you must register your food business online at least 28 days before you begin trading.
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.