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Coronavirus - Support for businesses

The council understands that the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that this is a worrying time for businesses. We want to reassure you that we are working with the NHS, Public Health England and other partners to prepare for the local impact.

This page provides a summary of the support available to help your business through this difficult period. 

To better understand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on local businesses and our borough, and the support they need, we have developed a short monitoring form. We would be grateful if you could fill this in:

Take our survey

We are particularly keen to work with businesses in the borough, wherever we can, to prevent closures and job losses. You can contact us by emailing business.forum@lbbd.gov.uk

Government support to manage the impact of COVID-19

The government set out a package of temporary and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period.

You can find up-to-date information on who is eligible and how to access these by visiting:

COVID-19: support for businesses on Gov.uk.

Business Closures and Stay at Home FAQs.

The support measures are:

  • All businesses are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which reimburses 80% of furloughed workers wage costs up to £2,500 per month. 
  • The coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme will be available to self-employed individuals and members of partnerships.
  • Businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement with HMRC. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
  • If you are a business in the retail, hospitality, leisure or nursery sector, you do not have to pay business rates in 2020/21. Bills have been automatically re-issued by our Business Rates team.
  • Businesses within retail, leisure and hospitality sectors (including pubs) with a rateable value of over £15,000 and up to £51,000 are also eligible for a £25,000 grant in 2020/21.
  • Small businesses in any sector - defined as those already receiving small business rate relief - are eligible for grant funding of up to £10,000 on top of any other relief you are eligible for. 
  • Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) with fewer than 250 employees may also apply for a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for eligible employees - and for loans of up to £5 million to help cope with disruptions in cashflow and lost revenue through the British Business Bank’s coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
  • Larger firms may be able to access the Corporate Financing Facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.

How we are implement the Business Rate Relief schemes and grants.

We also strongly recommend you check the government’s business support webpage for further information on these and other government support packages.

Help for the self-employed

A new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme has been announced. A taxable grant will be available covering 80% of average monthly profits to help them cope with the financial implications of coronavirus. HMRC will contact eligible people directly.

Self-employment income support scheme.

Discretionary Grants Fund Scheme

The government has announced a limited additional Discretionary Grants Fund Scheme for small businesses with ongoing property-related costs that have seen a fall in income as a result of the current crisis and are not eligible for other central government COVID-related grant schemes or the Self-Employment Income Support scheme.

It is important to note that this fund is significantly smaller than the previous coronavirus grant programmes introduced by the government and will only be able to support a limited number of businesses in Barking and Dagenham.

We will confirm the local criteria and application process for this as soon as we can and anticipate that applications will open in June. Please continue to check this page for updates - we are grateful for your patience in the meantime.

Wider support available

Barking and Dagenham’s main business support provider, the Barking Enterprise Centre (BEC), has closed its buildings following the government announcement on closure of non-essential premises. However the BEC is still offering support to local businesses, with all support programmes now available online. Further information can be found on the BEC website. The BEC is also encouraging any business in need of urgent advice to contact them on 020 8227 3030.

In addition, London Growth Hub website provides a useful list of links to wider advice and support available for London-based businesses and employers to manage and mitigate the impact of COVID-19, including a list of the financial support packages available from mainstream banks.

The Federation of Small Businesses has also collated useful advice and information that may be useful for the issues facing small businesses.

Sign up for more updates

Sign up to our Business Forum newsletter for more updates by emailing businessforum@lbbd.gov.uk.