Guidance, support and the answers to the questions businesses are asking us most frequently since the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) outbreak.

If you are unable to find the answers you are looking for in relation to your business and the effects of coronavirus, please contact us for further details by either of the following methods:

Email: coronavirusbusiness@basildon.gov.uk  - (recommended for an early response)

Phone: 01268 533333 (select option 1)

COVID-19 - Shop Local Stay Safe brand logoShop Local Shop Safe as businesses reopen

Basildon Council's 'Shop Local Shop Safe' campaign will continue to support all our high street and town centre businesses as they reopen after lockdown.

Please be patient whilst venues reopen and adjust.

From Monday 13 July, beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo studios, physical therapy businesses and spas will be allowed to reopen so long as they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.

For further information and downloadable COVID-19 safety notices and posters, see:

 

The following grants and rates discounts have been established to help support businesses through the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

In line with the government roadmap, on 15 June 2020 significant changes were made to the regulations to ease restrictions on business closures. These changes mean that further businesses and venues can open, in particular non-essential retail.

 

To reduce social contact, some businesses and venues, including many of those in the leisure and hospitality sectors must remain closed. To see the full list of business and venues that must remain closed visit:

 

Failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the business being issued a prohibition notice or the individual responsible for the business being issued a fixed penalty notice or being prosecuted.

 

On Thursday 26 March, the government announced the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). 

The scheme provides help for individuals, sole-traders or a member of a partnership who: 
•    Submitted an income tax self-assessment for 2018 - 2019 
•    Have lost trading profits because of COVID-19
•    Traded in 2019 - 2020
•    At the time of an application, are trading (or would be, if it wasn't for COVID-19)  and plan to continue trading in 2020-2021 
•    Total trading profits are less than £50, 000 

Self-employed individuals or partnerships will be given a grant covering 80% of their profits, up to £2, 500 a month. 

Guidance on how to access the grant is available here: Business Support - Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

On Thursday 26 March, the government announced the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). This scheme is also available to sole traders and members of partnerships. 

The scheme provides help for sole traders, or a member of a partnership who: 

  • Earn more than half of their income from self-employment 
  • Submitted a tax return for 2018 - 2019
  • Total trading profits are less than £50, 000 for 2018 - 2019 
  • OR have an average total trading profits of less than £50 , 000 for 2016 - 2017, 2017 - 2018 and 2018 - 2019 

Sole-traders or partnerships will be given a grant covering 80% of their profits, up to £2, 500 a month for three months. 

Guidance on eligibility and how to access the grant is available here:  Business Support - Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you do not meet the government's conditions for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme, you can access other help, including: 

•    If you are a council tenant, you can apply for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction. Then, we will make efforts to get your claim paid within 7 days. If you qualify for Council Tax Reduction, you will automatically receive £150 council tax credit as part of the Hardship Fund provided by the government. 

For further advice on additional benefits available, including Discretionary Housing Payments and Exception Hardship Payment, please phone 01268 533 333.

•    For private tenants, the government is providing enhanced Local Housing Allowance rates of up to an additional £1, 000 per year. This will support residents who receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing element. 

•    If you're not eligible for self-employed income support, submit a Universal Credit application online. 

•    Speak to any creditors about your situation. Payment holidays may be available from certain lenders, especially around mortgages. 

•    Food bank support is available if you are unable to pay for food.

If you are concerned about your ability to pay tax due to financial insecurity caused by COVID-19, call HMRC's dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559

 

 

 

Since 13th March, SMEs 'may' be entitled to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for sickness or absence caused by COVID-19. This refund will cover up to two weeks SSP (per employee) for employees who are ill or advised to self-isolate.  Please apply directly to HMRC.

Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible to apply.

Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP because of COVID-19.

If an employer cannot cover staff costs because of COVID-19, support is available to help continue paying part of the employee wages. This support aims to avoid redundancies.

If the employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, their employees will be considered as a furloughed worker. 

This means that the employee stays on the employer's payroll, not made redundant. While classified as a furloughed worker, the employee cannot work otherwise they do not qualify for the scheme. 

With the scheme, employers can claim a grant of up to 80% of the employees' wages, up to a cap of £2, 500 per month per employee. 

A full range of measures have been made available to support businesses, public services and individuals during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Businesses can find out here what support is available to them and where and how they can access it.

The measures available to business announced by the Chancellor are:

  1. A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers' salaries up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be backdated to March 1 and available for at least three months, with first grants to be paid within weeks.
  2. A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be delivered by the British Business Bank. It will enable businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Businesses can access the first six months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first six months of interest payments.
  3. For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. This will provide two million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.
  4. A dedicated helpline to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to coronavirus, call HMRC's dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
  5. A £10,000 cash grant to for the smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be contacted by their local authority - you do not need to apply. The funding will be provided to local authorities in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.
  6. A business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020/21 tax year A £25,000 grant will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  7. For further information and updates on these schemes, please visit the dedicated business support website.

Business support helpline

You can contact the government's Business Support Helpline for free advice on 0300 456 3565. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

Alternatively, visit: HM Government Business Support - Coronavirus Business Support

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced extra help for some businesses, see COVID-19 - Business rates retail discount.

You can contact the government's Business Support Helpline for free advice on 0300 456 3565. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

For more information about the support available to businesses impacted by COVID-19, you can view the government's guidance at GOV.UK - COVID-19: support for businesses.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced extra help for some businesses, see COVID-19 - Business rates retail discount.

You can contact the government's Business Support Helpline for free advice on 0300 456 3565. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

For more information about the support available to businesses impacted by COVID-19, you can view the government's guidance at GOV.UK - COVID-19: support for businesses.

 

 

If your business is about to cease trading and you need to make your staff redundant, information on support the council can offer to staff who are facing redundancy can be viewed at COVID-19 - Guidance, support and FAQs for residents.

 

 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced extra help for some businesses, see COVID-19 - Business rates retail discount.

You can contact the government's Business Support Helpline for free advice on 0300 456 3565. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

For more information about the support available to businesses impacted by COVID-19, you can view the government's guidance at GOV.UK - COVID-19: support for businesses.

The Chancellor has announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses to ensure the impact of COVID-19 is minimised.

Business support measures include:

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs. This is available from day one rather than day four and includes a refund for the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee. This is for businesses with fewer than 250 employees. The refund is from the government and covers the full cost.
  • a dedicated helpline to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC's dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

We are still awaiting further detail and guidance from the Government on how they will administer these business support initiatives.

Join Essex Coronavirus Action - Volunteer Sign-up

Essex Coronavirus Action is a collaboration between Essex County Council, The Essex Public Health Team, and local Facebook groups. Its aim is to ensure that support and assistance reaches the people who need it the most during the Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak. We are looking for people and businesses who will volunteer to provide this much needed help to vulnerable or self-isolating people in their local community.

Business volunteering - If you're a business owner/manager who would like to volunteer to help the vulnerable and those self-isolating in our local community please register here:

Depending on the business property rateable value, community halls may be eligible for a grant of up to £25, 000. 

•    Properties with a rateable value of up to £15, 000 will receive £10, 000 
•    Properties with a rateable value of £15, 001 - £51, 000 will receive £25, 000

Even if you pay no business rates, you are still eligible to receive the grant. 

Within the borough, there are 10 community halls in the name of Basildon Council. These accounts cannot be awarded relief due to legal restrictions. 

If you have any staff on payroll, we would advise you to contact HMRC, to see if your staff are eligible for the 80% wages scheme. There is no need to apply for the grant, Basildon Council will be writing to all rate payers, including community halls.