Business support

This page was last updated on Friday 7 August 2020.

What to do if you hear about a coronavirus case in your business

If a member of your staff develops symptoms of coronavirus, they should request a free test as soon as their symptoms start.

Once they have ordered the test, they’ll be asked by the NHS Test and Trace service to provide details of anyone who they have been in close recent contact with.

If there is more than one case of coronavirus in your workplace, please contact the Public Health England Hampshire and Isle of Wight Health Protection Team (South East) by calling: 0344 225 3861.

There is more information on how businesses can help NHS Test and Trace on the GOV.UK website.

Discretionary grants for small businesses - phase 3

Lead: East Hampshire District Council

The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Scheme is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.

The third phase of grants is now open and will close at midnight on Sunday 16 August.

We have changed the criteria so businesses that were not eligible for the first and second phase of grants may now qualify.

For full eligibility criteria and the online application form, visit our webpage.

Small Business Grants

Lead: East Hampshire District Council

The government has provided funding to provide £10,000 grants to small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.

Further information on this scheme, including eligibility criteria, is available on the GOV.UK website.

Please complete this form to confirm your details. Once this form has been processed, you will receive the grant.

This grant scheme will close to new applications on Friday 28 August. To ensure that your claim is paid by 28 August, please confirm your details by Friday 21 August 2020.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants

Lead: East Hampshire District Council

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000. For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

The process for accessing grants is simple and subject to eligibility criteria.

Further information on grant funding is available, including the eligibility criteria, on the GOV.UK website.

Please complete this form to confirm your details. Once this form has been processed, you will receive the grant.

This grant scheme will close to new applications on Friday 28 August. To ensure that your claim is paid by 28 August, please confirm your details by Friday 21 August 2020.

Eat Out to Help Out scheme

You can use the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to offer a discount to diners and encourage them to eat at your restaurant. Businesses need to register with HMRC by 31 August.

Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

The claims service for restaurants taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme is open. Businesses must wait seven days from the date of registration to make their first claim, and can only claim for scheme discounts offered on or after the date registered.

Claims can be made weekly and when signed into the service, businesses must select the periods that they are claiming for.

More information on making a claim is available online.

Business support checker

The government has set out a range of support schemes for businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.

Find out what support is available to your business through the government's business support checker.

East Hampshire business rates

Lead: East Hampshire District Council

In response to the coronavirus, in the Budget on 11 March 2020 the government announced that it would increase the already proposed business rates retail discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors.

This relief will apply to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020-21. On 17 March, they announced there will be no rateable value limit on the relief for the retail, leisure and hospitality industries.

East Hampshire District Council sent out revised bills to 738 qualifying businesses for 2020-21 on 23 March 2020, and the amount of relief awarded is just over £13 million.

If you have not received a revised bill and believe you are entitled to retail discount, please complete and return the form below.

Further guidance for businesses can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

Lead: East Hampshire District Council

The government will be introducing a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020-21 tax year.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be rated property:

  • occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

This will apply to their next council tax bill in April 2020, however, East Hampshire District Council may have to reissue their bill to exclude the business rate charge.

They will do this as soon as possible.

Further information for nurseries can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Lead: HMRC

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.

From 1 August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month. To be eligible for the grant employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed.

For details on the changes visit the GOV.UK website.

Support for self-employed people

Lead: HMRC

The Self-Employed Income Support scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

The scheme allows you to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

HMRC will contact you if you’re eligible.

Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Lead: HMRC

The government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus.

Eligibility criteria can be found on the GOV.UK website.

HMRC Time to Pay Service

Lead: HMRC

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If businesses are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to coronavirus, then call HMRC's dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

Deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, income tax payments due in July 2020 under the self-assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

Coronavirus loans for businesses

Lead: British Business Bank

The British Business Bank, provides the following coronavirus-related loan schemes:

  • Bounce Back Loan
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan
  • Future Fund

For more information visit the British Business Bank website.

Support from Enterprise M3 LEP Growth Hub

The Enterprise M3 Growth Hub has a dedicated page to provide the latest government advice and you can also contact their Growth Hub advisers on 01483 478098.

Additional support and advice are available from the National Business Support Helpline on 0800 998 1098.

More information is available on the Enterprise M3 website.

If the schemes above don't apply to you

The schemes currently announced by the government will not apply to every business and every employee.

If you do not qualify, you may wish to consider applying for Universal Credit.

Please visit our Universal Credit page for more information.

General enquires

So far we have paid out 2,049 small business or retail, hospitality and leisure grants (a total value of £25 million) - updated 19 July 2020.

If you would like further information on the schemes detailed above, you can contact the Economic Development team by email at business@easthants.gov.uk