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For all the latest Coronavirus information including support for Copeland residents and businesses

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Coronavirus - resources for business

Business support

The Government's own page on business support related to coronavirus can be found here.

For up-to-date and detailed Government guidance on how businesses can operate safely, click here.

You can find a list of Copeland Council FAQs here.

You can find out how to claim from the Goverment for wage costs here.

You can find guidance from the following organisations, who should be updating their sites with Covid-19 related information. 

Federation of Small Businesses

Cumbria Growth Hub

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership

Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster

Cumbria Tourism

Tourism businesses can also contact our Tourism Officer, Katie Read, at katie.read@copeland.gov.uk for one-to-one advice on cancellation policies and rights, changes to business rates etc. If you haven't already, please sign up to Katie's Covid-19 Tourism Business emails, by emailing katie.read@copeland.gov.uk.

Cumbria Business Growth Hub has successfully secured additional funding to support the visitor economy and small business recovery. To be eligible for the 100 per cent grant funding, businesses need to be able to demonstrate a 40 per cent loss of income due to Covid-19 between March and June this year compared to last. Eligible businesses are asked to email info@cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk.

The Government has a 'support finder' tool to help businesses and self-employed people find financial support. 

For detailed Government guidance for food businesses click here. This includes coronavirus and food information, food hygiene guidance, employee sickness, social distancing and guidance for takeaways. Our Environmental Health team has also prepared guidance in line with Government advice.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has produced an information page and a leaflet on fire safety for businesses.

Our team has been attempting to contact trade waste customers, but has been unsuccessful in reaching a number of them. If you have not been contacted and would like to discuss your trade waste requirements, please email tradewaste@copeland.gov.uk

Business rates

 

Business Rates Relief

Who is eligible?

Exclusions

Cash grant

Exclusions to the grant payment

Expanded Retail Relief - please note this scheme closed to new applicants on August 28. 

 

Yes, irrespective of RV for eligible businesses

All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses

Banks, medical services, solicitors, accountants and post office sorting offices.

Please note we are receiving regular updates regarding excluded properties and we aim to keep this list as up to date as possible

£25k for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with rateable values greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000

  • Properties used for personal use
  • Insolvent businesses as at March 11, 2020
  • Properties not included on the Rating List as at March 11, 2020
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 and above

 

Small Business Relief or Rural Relief - please note this scheme closed to new applicants on August 28. 

Yes, 100 per cent relief for business who qualify for small business relief with rateable values up to £12,000 or rural relief

All those eligible for small business or rural rate relief

Generally people with more than one business.

£10,000 for businesses with rateable values up to £15,000

  • Properties used for personal use
  • Insolvent businesses as at March 11, 2020
  • Properties not included on the Rating List as at March 11, 2020


Expanded Retail Relief Scheme 

Relief for retail, leisure and hospitality sectors

This relief is available for businesses within the above sectors. Business rates relief will be automatically applied to eligible accounts.

For all businesses in the above sectors, 100 per cent relief is available until March 31 2021, irrespective of rateable value.

You can find detailed Government guidance on business eligibility here. 

Cash grant of £25k for retail, leisure and hospitality sectors

A cash grant of £25,000 will be made available to businesses with rateable values greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000  

Eligible businesses will receive one grant per business property

Cash grant of £10,000 for small, rural and businesses in the retail leisure and hospitality sectors

A £10,000 grant will be available for businesses who qualify for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief. The maximum rateable value limit is £15,000.

A £10,000 grant is available for businesses in the retail leisure and hospitality sectors. The maximum rateable value limit is £15,000. 

Important notes

Cash grants will be paid to eligible businesses as soon as bank and rate payer’s details are verified. If you haven’t submitted a completed bank details form to our team please do this as soon as possible. Please contact us if you think you should have received a grant, but haven’t.

If you believe your businesses didn’t have the correct rateable value on March 11, you must contact the Valuation Office Agency. You can find more information around appealing a rateable value here. Please note that we are not responsible for determining a business’s rateable value, the responsibility remains with the Valuation Office Agency. Guidance from the Valuation Office is available to customers in relation to working at home and self-catering and holiday let accommodation.

Please note this grant scheme closed to new applicants on August 28. 

FAQs

What do we need you to do?

Complete the online business bank details form here and return to business.rates@copeland.gov.uk. Please note, our preferred method of contact is via email.

What will we do as soon as we receive your completed form?

If we have received your completed bank details form, and we have been able to verify that the form has been submitted by the person who according to our records was the ratepayer in respect of the business property on March 11, 2020, we will be able to process your grant payment. We aim to make grant payments to eligible verified businesses immediately.

What if your rateable value is zero?

With a zero rateable value you do not pay business rates and are ineligible for both the retail, leisure, and hospitality grant of £25k and the small or rural business grant of £10k. These are both issued based on either rateable value thresholds or entitlement to small or rural business rate relief. If you are able to provide us evidence that your business should have a rateable value higher than zero on March 11, 20 we will consider your case further. 

Will grants be taxed?

Yes. The Small Business Grants, and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants will be subject to either corporation tax, or tax calculated through your annual self-assessment. However, businesses that make a loss this financial year will not pay tax on the grants. Only profitable businesses will be taxed, which will help support our vital public services at this time. 

The business hasn’t paid equal to, or more than, the grant amount, in business rates. Is it still entitled to the full amount?

Yes, if the business is eligible. Grants are not based on the amount of business rates paid and therefore all business who are eligible are entitled to the full amount. 

Small Business Discretionary Grant Fund

We launched the Small Business Discretionary Grant Fund on June 1. It is now closed to new applications 

The discretionary scheme is aimed at supporting small businesses who are ineligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund.

Central Government requires us to prioritise small and micro businesses with fixed property-related costs, which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis. This grant scheme widens access to support businesses who are struggling to survive due to the coronavirus shutdown but are unable to access other grant funding.

Priorities for the scheme include but are not limited to:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces that do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Regular market traders with fixed costs such as rent who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax
  • Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Rate Relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

The grant scheme is for businesses that are not eligible for other support schemes. Businesses which have received cash grants from any central Government Covid-19 related scheme are ineligible for funding from the Small Business Discretionary Grant Fund. Such grants include but are not limited to:

  • Small Business Grant Fund;
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund;
  • The Fisheries Response Fund;
  • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme;
  • The Zoo Support Fund;
  • The Dairy Hardship Fund.

Only businesses which were trading on March 11, 20 will be eligible and companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made will not be eligible for this scheme.

Due to the limited funds available for this scheme, and to ensure that we are able to support the maximum number of businesses possible through the pandemic, grant amounts will be awarded on a sliding scale between £10,000 and £2,000. How much a business receives will depend on their circumstances. We will take into consideration the following when determining the level of grant per business:

  • The level of fixed property costs faced by the business
  • The number of employees
  • The loss of income

For any questions, please contact business.rates@copeland.gov.uk. To view the Small Business Discretionary Grant Fund Policy click here