As the country takes steps to contain coronavirus virus with people staying at home and many small businesses closing with immediate effect, plans have been developed to help these enterprises continue to trade once the pandemic is over.
Monmouthshire County Council will be administering Welsh Government Business grants. However, only business rate payers are currently eligible – for details see https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice. To apply visit: https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/business-advice/
The Welsh Government will advise on further financial support for those businesses not covered by these grants and updates will be shared on Monmouthshire County Council’s website when they are available – the council advises it’ll be worth bookmarking the site for future reference.
In order to pay the grant the council needs to know the contact details, bank details and other relevant details of the county’s businesses. A council spokesperson said:
“To help us help you, please complete the business registration form as a matter of urgency. As soon as grants become available we will be able to pay you directly.”
A quick overview of the current grants available follows:
- A grant of £25,000 will be available to retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000.
- A grant of £10,000 will be available to all businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.
- A separate scheme and funding will be announced next week for those businesses which are home based, etc. Again the council will update its website with the information as soon as it is available.
- In addition, retail, leisure and hospitality businesses receive 100% business rates relief for the financial year 2020/21. These will have already received their 2020/21 rates bill for this year as the government’s announcement was made after the bills had been produced. The spokesperson added: “ Don’t worry, the relief will be applied by the council and your account will be credited automatically. A new rates bill will be sent to you shortly.”
- Support will also be available to enable businesses to pay 80% of their employees’ salaries based on their February payslips – further details will follow.
- A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been announced which is designed to assist qualifying businesses during these unprecedented times. The scheme is also available to support long-term viable businesses which may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance. The loan will be provided by the British Business Bank through participating providers during the Covid-19 outbreak. Search the Business Wales website for more information.
- A new £500,000 fund is available for technology companies which provide digital support solutions for people who need to stay at home because of coronavirus. Search ‘Techforce19’ challenge for more information – funding of up to £25,000 per company is available.
- Business Wales is also offering webinars aimed at Welsh SMEs (small and medium enterprises) affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The ‘Covid-19 and Your Business’ series covers key topics in aid of every business owner and sole trader, who want to minimise the impact of the virus and improve the survivability of their ventures.
Councillor Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member for enterprise said:
“We know that this is a very anxious time for everyone. I would like to thank Monmouthshire’s small businesses for supporting the country by staying safe and staying home. There are various options available to help businesses cope with the challenges ahead. Please contact us, we are here to help.” He added: “Don’t forget, there are things we can all do to help our local businesses to stay open. Where you can, buy locally on line. Many of our cafes, pubs and restaurants are also offering take away and delivery services so why not take a break from the store cupboard and treat yourself and save a local business while doing so.”