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Coronavirus support

Coronavirus business support

This page features the latest advice and links for businesses in light of the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic.

The Government has announced a range of measures designed to help businesses while the UK and countries around the world are affected by Coronavirus.

Here at SSDC, we are constantly updating our Business Support pages with the latest information related to Coronavirus support you can receive. 

Visit our 'My Business' section of the website for all the latest, or read below about some of the Government schemes that are available to you such as the Business Support Grant. 

Government support

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants.

Visit the Government website to see what you are eligible for

View the Working safely during Coronavirus guidance

Government guidance on businesses reopening from 4 July onwards

We will regularly update this page with the latest information, so please use the dropdowns below for further advice. Keep up to date with Government advice here

  1. Tier 2 Business Support Grants

    Central Government has confirmed that further Business Grants will be available for some businesses now that South Somerset has been placed in Tier 2 of the new Tiered system.

    As yet, we do not know what this will involve and are awaiting further details from Central Government.

    We ask that if you are looking for information on the availability of grants now that the Tiered system is in place, to check back here on our website for further information the week commencing 7th December.

    You can also keep up to date on our social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter and we will post details once we have further clarification from Central Government.

  2. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Business Support Grant)

    Please note, our web forms are not compatible with many web-browsers and therefore we strongly suggest using Chrome to complete our forms.

    << Apply for either the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Business Support Grant) or the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (Additional Restrictions Grant) Apply for the Government Business Support Grant here. You cannot apply for both >>

    Is my business eligible for a Business Support Grant?

    Funding support is available for those businesses that are legally required to close and are business rate payers. Businesses that have been required to close by Government include:

    • Non-essential retail
    • Leisure
    • Personal Care
    • Sports Facilities
    • Hospitality

    If you are a pub or restaurant and have changed your business model during the lockdown period to operate as a takeaway, click and collect or online with delivery services, you will still be counted as closed because your substantive business has had to close.’

    For the full list of businesses required to close please see:  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/pdfs/uksi_20201200_en.pdf

    How much can I apply for if I am eligible?

    Local Restrictions Support Grant (Business Support Grant) payments are dependent on the Rateable Value of your business and the amount you can apply for is set out in the below table:

    Rateable Value

    Business Support Grant total

    £15,000 or under

    £1,334 per 28 day qualifying restriction period

    £15,001 - £50,999

    £2,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period

    £51,000 or above

    £3,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period

    How do I apply?

    APPLY ONLINE HERE

    I applied for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Business Support Grant) during the first lockdown. Can I apply again this time?

    Yes you can. This is a support grant that covers the 28 day national lockdown period between Thursday 5th November and Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

    How long does it take to process an application and how do I find out if and when I will receive the grant support?

    We are expecting a high volume of applications during this short period of time. We have reassigned some staff to help deal with the expected extra workload and we are ready to process applications as soon as we receive them.  We will work through them as quickly as possible. In addition, the Government may still make changes to the grant scheme and we may have to get back to you for more information.

    Once we have all of the information we need to process your application, you will receive a decision and/or a notification of when to expect the grant support payment. During this time, we ask that you are patient and give our team 14 clear days before you follow up your application.

    Are there any exclusions?

    There are some exclusions to businesses who cannot claim the Business Support Grant. These include:

    • Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely (e.g. accountants, solicitors)
    • Businesses that are not mandated to close any part of their service
    • Businesses that have chosen to close but have not be required to
    • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de Minimis and Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework
    • Businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made.

    What other support is available for my business?

    In line with other Local Authorities, South Somerset District Council has also been awarded an ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’. This fund has been provided to offer additional business support activities in the local area. See the next tab below this for information.

  3. Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (Additional Restrictions Grant)

    Please note, our web forms are not compatible with many web-browsers and therefore we strongly suggest using Chrome to complete our forms.

    << Apply for either the Government Business Support Grant or the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (Additional Restrictions Grant) Apply for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund here. You cannot apply for both >>

    Is my business eligible for a Business Support Grant?

    Funding support under the Additional Restrictions Grant – Discretionary Scheme is available to:

    • Businesses who have lost 25% or more of their normal operating income during the current lockdown period
    • Businesses that are required to close but do not have a business rates valuation
    • Businesses that mainly supply or trade with businesses required to close, or have experienced significantly reduced customer levels

    You are not eligible for this grant scheme if you have received funding through the Local Restriction Support Grant

    South Somerset District Council have limited funding available for this scheme and encourage businesses to apply as quickly as possible. Should demand outweigh the amount of funding available, we will be required to operate on a first come first served basis and reserve the right to review the scheme should we feel absolutely necessary. Applications will be reviewed on a scoring mechanism developed by the Council.

    Please read the Council’s Policy Document for further information and eligibility requirements.

    What will you need?

    Businesses will need to provide:

    • Latest Business Bank Statement
    • Evidence of fixed costs, for example lease / rental agreements or a bank statement highlighting outgoings relevant to this application
    • Business information including:
      • Number of employees
      • Type of business
      • Contact information
      • Information specific to the business (e.g Business Rates reference number)

    How do I apply?

    APPLY ONLINE HERE

    I applied for a Business Support Grant during the first lockdown. Can I apply again this time?

    Yes you can. This is a Business Support Grant that covers the 28 day national lockdown period between Thursday 5th November and Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

    How long does it take to process an application and how do I find out if and when I will receive the grant support?

    We are expecting a high volume of applications during this short period of time. We have reassigned some staff to help deal with the expected extra workload and we are ready to process applications as soon as we receive them.  We will work through them as quickly as possible. In addition, the Government may still make changes to the grant scheme and we may have to get back to you for more information.

    Once we have all of the information we need to process your application, you will receive a decision and/or a notification of when to expect the grant support payment. During this time, we ask that you are patient and give our team 14 clear days before you follow up your application.

    What other support is available for my business?

    Alternative Financial Support

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed. Please visit the below link, if you would like to explore what other finance options are available for your business:

    https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

    Business Support

    South Somerset District Council business support functions: https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/business/

    The Heart of the South West Growth Hub is able to offer free, impartial business support. If you feel this would benefit your business please visit: https://www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/

    The Growth Hub team are also able to provide specific support regarding the current COVID 19 crisis: https://www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/covid-19-support-for-business/

  4. National Restrictions from 5 November

    The Government has announced new national restrictions will apply in England from 5 November. We are waiting for further information from the Government about the support package that will be available to local businesses that have to close. Once we have details we will publish them here. Businesses will need to register for a basic ‘My Account’, which can be done through this link: https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/register 

    In the meantime we are unable to answer questions about grants which may be available to businesses affected by the new restrictions.

    More information can be found regarding the new national restrictions on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

  5. Track & Trace QR codes for businesses plus downloadable signs

    From 24 September, designated venues in certain sectors will be required by law to display an official NHS QR code poster at their venue. This will make it easier for customers with the app to check-in and allow NHS Test and Trace to alert users and provide them with public health advice in the event of a coronavirus outbreak linked to a venue. To find out more about QR posters or to create one for your business click here.

    Businesses and venues that are not currently expected to maintain visitor logs are encouraged to display official NHS QR codes if they have indoor areas where visitors are likely to congregate or sit-down in close contact for 15 minutes or more.  By using the NHS QR code system, businesses will be helping to protect themselves and their customers from the impact of the virus.

    Below is more information regarding the NHS COVID-19 app, you can also find out more information regarding COVID guidelines here.  

    • The app has a number of tools to protect people, including contact tracing, checking into venues through an in-built QR code scanner, risk alerts by postcode, a symptom checker and test booking.
    • The NHS COVID-19 app is now available across England and Wales, following positive trials in Newham, on the Isle of Wight and with NHS Volunteer Responders
    • The app is part of the NHS Test and Trace service and NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service. It alerts people at risk of coronavirus, asking them to isolate before they potentially pass the virus on to others.
    • The app will be a vital new pillar to enhance both the English NHS Test and Trace service, and NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.
    • Following trials and rigorous testing, the app has proven to be highly effective when used alongside traditional contact tracing to identify contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.
    • The more people that do the right thing - by using the app, and self-isolating when alerted - the more we keep each other safe and stop infection rates rising.
    • From launch, the NHS Covid-19 app will be interoperable between English and Welsh users, meaning contacts between citizens in both countries can be detected and acted upon.

    We want to do all we can to help enforce the government's social distancing measures. Therefore, we have produced downloadable signs for shopkeepers, and other business owners, to use in their shop fronts and throughout their premises

    View and download signs and resources

  6. Sport England Return to Play Fund launched

    Sport England have launched a new £16.5 million fund to provide additional help to the sport and physical activity sector during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

    The Return to Play Fund will support groups, clubs and organisations who’ve been impacted by restrictions brought in to tackle the disease, and is part of our overall response to the crisis that now includes more than £220m of government and National Lottery funding. 

    Find out more here. 

  7. Managing Legionella in building water systems and leisure facilities

    Our Environmental Health team would like to draw attention to the following guidance posted up by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease on how to best manage Legionella in building water systems during this COVID-19 outbreak.

    It is very important that while many buildings, offices and leisure facilities are shut down due to the pandemic, that water systems and leisure facilities, such as spa pools, are still well maintained to prevent future health issues like Legionella outbreaks. The procedures outlined below will help maintain water systems during this outbreak.

    View guidance for managing Legionella

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