Businesses in west Cheshire are being offered a range of support to help them through the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
The government has made a number of announcements about business rates support, which Cheshire West and Chester Council is administering.
The Council is also working with partners across the sub-region to offer dedicated support, advice and best practice.
Cllr Carol Gahan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Legal and Finance, said: “We are keen to make sure all eligible businesses in our borough take advantage of the help available to them – financial and otherwise.
“Businesses are an essential part of our community and we want to help them through this unprecedented crisis as much as we help our residents.”
A business rates holiday is available for all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses as well as nurseries that are on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and used for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage. Businesses will not have to do anything to access this relief – the Council will identify eligible businesses and reissue bills as soon as possible.
The Council will not collect direct debits from any businesses in April, but will start collecting from May instead where business rates remain due.
Two new grant funding schemes have been announced. These include:
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- grant funding of either £10,000 or £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property where the rateable value is less than £51,000.
The Council needs businesses to provide their bank details to ensure these grants can be paid as quickly as possible from 1 April. This can be done securely using the online form available at www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/covid19grants. The Council will assess how many businesses have provided bank details by Friday, 3 April, and may then send cheques to those businesses that have not provided details.
The Council is working with partners across the sub region through the Local Enterprise Partnership and providing a co-ordinated approach for tourism and hospitality businesses through Marketing Cheshire and all businesses through the Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub.
This includes dedicated support, advice and guidance including webinars, a daily newsletter with updates on the changing situation, links to the most up-to-date advice, access to finance through the British Business Bank and sharing best practice across business.