Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are publishing frequent updates about the impact the Coronavirus outbreak is having on council services, along with health guidance and other key information for residents and businesses.

swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus

COVID-19 - Government support for businesses

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) the Government announced there would be support for small businesses, businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, and nurseries.

Full information on all the Government business support schemes and the eligibility criteria can be found on the GOV.UK Business Support website.

Swindon Borough Council is responsible for administering the following grant funding in Swindon Borough:

  • Small business grant funding
  • Cash grant for retail, hospitality, and leisure
  • Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure
  • Business rates holiday for nurseries

The government has provided full guidance to local authorities in the following documents:

GOV.UK website - Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on business support grant funding

GOV.UK website - Business rates: expanded retail discount - guidance

GOV.UK website - Business rates: nursery (childcare) discount 2020 to 2021: coronavirus response – local authority guidance

Accessing the grant funding

Swindon Borough Council has sent letters to all businesses that are entitled to this support under current Government guidance. The list of eligible businesses is updated regularly, so as new businesses are added they will be contacted by us via letter.

The letter contains instructions on how to access the funding, so please respond as soon as possible.

Any business that has not received a letter from us by 31 March 2020 but believe they fit the eligibility criteria should e-mail support@swindon.gov.uk for advice. The e-mail should include their:

  • full name
  • business name
  • business address
  • business rates account number 

If the business rates bill is not in the company's name, we recommend that the business owner speak to their landlord. We also ask that landlords be as understanding and lenient as possible. 

You should read the privacy notice before making an application to access funding.

Important: Any business/person caught falsifying their application may face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to clawback.

Small business grant funding

The Government is providing additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility

You will be eligible if all the following criteria apply:

  1. Your business is based in Swindon borough
  2. You are a small business and already receive SBRR and/or RRR
  3. You are a business that occupies property and that you have occupied the property on or before 11 March 2020

Businesses will need to confirm they have not permanently ceased trading. If the business has ceased trading due to COVID-19, they will need to confirm that trading will recommence when Government states they are able to.

Cash grant for retail, hospitality, and leisure

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,001 and £50,999 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.

Eligibility

You will be eligible if all the following criteria apply:

  1. Your business is based in Swindon Borough
  2. Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  3. The property that will benefit from the relief will be occupied and wholly or mainly being used:
    • as a shop, restaurant, cafe, drinking establishment, cinema or live music venues
    • for assembly and leisure
    • as a hotel, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure and nurseries

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled as soon as possible.

Eligibility - retail, hospitality and leisure

You will be eligible if all the following criteria apply:

  1. Your business is based in Swindon Borough
  2. Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  3. The property that will benefit from the relief will be occupied and wholly or mainly being used:
    • as a shop, restaurant, cafe, drinking establishment, cinema or live music venues
    • for assembly and leisure
    • as a hotel, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

Eligibility for nurseries

Properties that will benefit from the nurseries relief will be those occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Distribution

We will be send out revised rates letters early in the new financial year. These letters will show that these businesses have nothing due from them for the period from April 2020 until March 2021.

Other support available

If you are a business that does not qualify for the above grant there are other Government schemes available. More information: GOV.UK Business Support website - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

For additional advice and support for local businesses, not relating to these grants or business rates, please visit the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub website

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