What Stroud businesses need to know about £26 million distributed to help them survive Covid-19

Published: Wednesday, 8 April, 2020

Stroud District Council has received £26million from the Government which it is distributing to businesses to keep them afloat during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The first payments of £6.2million to 621 businesses were paid at the start of this week and payments are expected to be made daily. Approximately £10million has been paid by today (Wednesday, April 8).

The grants are being made from two funds:

  1. Business Support Grant Fund

All businesses occupying a property and are in receipt of rural rate relief or small business rates relief on 11 March 2020 (including those who receive tapered relief) will receive a grant of £10,000.

  1. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund

Businesses in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property.

For eligible businesses occupying properties with rateable values on 11 March 2020 of:

  • £15,000 or less the grant is £10,000
  • £15,001 to £51,000 the grant is £25,000

The Government has applied criteria that the grants are only payable to businesses which have a business rates account - every business eligible for a grant payment has been identified.

If you are unsure whether your business qualifies, there is further information here: www.stroud.gov.uk/business/business-rates

In a number of cases we are able to make payments directly, for example where businesses pay their business rates by direct debit.

However in some cases we will need to take bank account details in order to make a payment. If this applies to your business, please submit your details on our online portal on this page: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/health-wellbeing/coronavirus/businesses-and-employers

If you are unable to use the portal please email the business name and address along with the account reference (if known) and a contact telephone number to business.rates@stroud.gov.uk, or call 01453 766321.

In addition, we have now been given guidance regarding a business rates discount for nurseries – this applies to properties occupied by providers of Ofsted’s Early Years Register for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

We are currently identifying businesses that fall under the scheme and will shortly issue revised bills. There is no need to contact the council if this applies to your business.

“Clearly this is a very, very difficult time for many businesses and we are acutely aware of the need to make these payments quickly,” said SDC Leader Doina Cornell (Labour) in a comment endorsed by Group Leaders Martin Whiteside (Green), Ken Tucker (Liberal Democrat) and Stephen Davies (Conservative).

“Our staff are working hard to make the payments to all eligible businesses as soon as possible.”

Stroud District Council works closely with GFirst LEP – the Local Economic Partnership for Gloucestershire.  It is leading the provision of support for businesses through the Coronavirus pandemic. Please view www.gfirstlep.com/news/coronavirus-updates for up-to-date news, advice and support that is available for businesses.

The Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund come under state aid funding. Business which exceed the associated limits will be required to repay the grant funding. More information can be found on the Governments State Aid page here www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid

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