Home Information for Business Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Support for businesses inc. Business Rates and Grants

Last Updated: 1 December

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Nottingham City Council understands the ongoing and cumulative impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on you as a member of the business community

Our collective response to COVID-19 continues to be a priority for us across all departments but especially within Economic Development. That is why we have formed the Nottingham Economic Recovery Unit (NERU) to provide you with the latest information and local business support. We continue to have an increased number of staff working with NERU and are working hard to support you during these uncertain times.

You can contact us at NERU@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Read more on the Gov.UK website.

 

The government will provide two taxable SEISS grants to support those experiencing reduced demand due to COVID-19 but are continuing to trade, or temporarily cannot trade.

It will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS grant one and grant two and meets the eligibility criteria. Read more on the Gov.UK website.

Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more on the Gov.UK website.

Support to businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

The government will bring forward legislation to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  1. this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  2. employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  3. employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  4. employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
  5. eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to self-isolators comes into force
  6. the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible. Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP.

The new Scheme supports SMEs with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value and for up to 6 years.

The government will pay to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will not face any upfront costs and will benefit from lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.

This scheme is being delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the British Business Bank.

The scheme is now open for applications. You can find out the latest on the British Business Bank website.

Read the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme FAQs on the British Business Bank webpage.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will support large businesses, with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million, to access loans of up to £25 million.

This scheme will help large businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access loans of up to £25 million. Find more information on the Gov.UK website.

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Find out more on the Gov.uk website.

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

The D2N2 Growth Hub is available to support businesses with recovery, growth, productivity and sustainability. If you would like to speak to a business adviser about any other query not answered on this page, contact the D2N2 Growth Hub enquiry line on 0333 0069178 (lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday) or complete an online enquiry form

 

Nottingham Jobs is the city council’s one stop service for people who are unemployed or looking for work. In partnership with the local Department for Works & Pensions (DWP) Job Centres, we can offer you one-to-one support over the phone or by email. During the Coronavirus outbreak, we are focused on recruitment to the following vital sectors; Health and Social Care, Retail, Logistics and Driving.

To find out more or speak to one of the team, contact 0115 876 4508 (lines are open 9am to 5pm daily) or email jobs.hub@nottinghamjobs.com

More information about employment support can be found here.

Advice Nottingham groups (CAB, Law Centre, St Ann’s Advice, Bestwood Advice, Meadows Advice, and Clifton Advice) are all still providing support with benefits, debt, housing and other difficulties. For the time being it is not provided face to face but by phone and email only. Full contact details can be found here.

Nottingham Jobs also provide group workshops and one to one support on a range of subjects to assist employees to develop their skills and understand their employment options. These can be delivered over the phone, by Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Our partners the National Careers Service and Department for Work & Pensions can also provide support on all aspects of employability.
We specialise in

  • Career planning
  • Helping to understand the local labour market
  • Providing advice on developing new skills
  • Supporting people to find employment
  • Application form advice
  • Interview skills and mock interviews
  • Advising on covering letters
  • CV support

Read the full support document here.

D2N2 Redundancy redeployment info for employers.

Nottingham City Council understands the impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having on our commercial tenants and this link is here to provide whatever support we can for our commercial tenants.

In seeking to address the challenges that the pandemic is causing for our commercial tenants, we have established a process to provide as much direct support, advice and guidance as we are able. Within the main webpage, there are also extensive details about wider support that is available for businesses, and we would encourage you to ensure that you are accessing the full range of support available.

If you are a commercial tenant of Nottingham City Council and currently pay quarterly, we can assist you immediately by moving you to monthly payment terms, and we will not be charging any interest on arrears for the duration of this pandemic.

To change your payment terms or for any other enquiries or requests, please email our dedicated team on property.plus@nottinghamcity.gov.uk where one of the team will seek to respond to you at the earliest opportunity. Please note all requests and enquiries will be treated on a case by case basis.

Understandably, charities are concerned about what to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, so we have set out our response to the most commonly asked questions.

We want to assure charities that our approach to regulation during this uncertain period will be as flexible and pragmatic as possible in the public interest, whilst helping trustees to be aware of and think about the wider or longer impact of their decisions on their charity.

More information can be found on this Gov.UK webpage.

With the exception of non-essential shops and some public venues such as cinemas, beauty premises and leisure premises, businesses are permitted to open. Your employer should prioritise working from home and ensure people showing symptoms of coronavirus are kept away from work in accordance with PHE guidance.

Should you go to work, you should follow the PHE guidelines on social distancing (maintaining a distance of 2 metres from others where possible) and washing hands for at least 20 seconds.

Businesses staying open have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to protect their staff and should update risk assessments to take account of the changes to working practices as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Further advice is available from the Health and Safety Executive at www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.

If you have concerns or questions about whether your premises should be open/working during the coronavirus pandemic, contact us at safety.enforcement@nottinghamcity.gov.uk.

Trading Standards have seen an increase in reports of scams and fake goods circulating in recent weeks.  Beware of people offering to sell:

  • Virus testing kits
  • Vaccines or miracle cures
  • Claims of refunds from HMRC
  • Hand sanitisers and personal protective equipment
  • Help with shopping or collecting medicines from people you don’t know

It is now even more important to be vigilant against potential scams.  Never give your personal or banking details to anyone you are not certain of.  Do not open links in unexpected emails.  Banks and the police will never, ever, ask you to give your details over the phone.  More information can be found on https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/shopimages/coronavirus.png

To report anything that you are suspicious of, call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133

During the better weather, more traders call door to door offering their services such as work doing in the home, garden or garden waste removal. They may take your money without doing any work and if work is carried out, it maybe substandard and overpriced.  Never open your door to cold callers.  If you need work doing, get quotes from three reputable traders – they can be found on trader sites such as Checkatrade.com.  For more information and advice, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

Offers to shop for food and/or collecting groceries

Beware of individuals knocking on your door offering to help with food shopping or collecting medicines. They may take your money and not return or they may charge you for their services. Do not let them into your home as they may distract you to steal your belongings. They may also use your personal information for other criminal activity. Only accept help from people you know (neighbours, friends or family).  If you do not have help, call 0115 9155555

Support for our contracted suppliers

We appreciate the commitment and support from our contracted suppliers to maintain services and supplies to the Council during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

During this period we want to work with our suppliers to provide support where we can to those struggling to meet their contractual obligations or those who may have been adversely affected by the need to suspend services or change ways of working.

We want to work together to support our contracted suppliers so that we can all be in a positive position to resume normal contract service delivery as soon as possible once the COVID-19 guidance allows.

The Government has issued 2 Procurement Policy Notes to support this:

  1. PPN 01/20 Responding to Covid-19 which provides information and guidance on public procurement regulations and responding to the coronavirus 
  2. PPN 02/20 Supplier Relief Due to Covid-19 which sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the current coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak.

Supplier Relief

Every contract has its own unique characteristics and the support needed will vary case by case, however, we may be able to offer support such as:

  • Accelerated invoice payment
  • Increased frequency of invoicing
  • Forward ordering of goods/services
  • Payments in advance
  • Change to delivery locations, frequency and timing of delivery
  • Extension of time for contract performance
  • Revised milestones or delivery dates

Requesting Relief

To discuss how we can help, please get in touch with your usual client contact at the Council.


Please note: there are commitments and conditions applied to the relief being provided, including the need to agree to open book accounting.  More details of this may be found in the PPN02/20 document.

With the current situation in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID 19), it is vital that as a local authority, we are doing the right thing by our suppliers, and paying you as quickly as possible.

This means that we have amended our invoice payment terms to immediate and ensured that our processes are as streamlined as possible to enable invoices to be processed quickly.

We would remind you that following the points below when you submit invoices for payment will assist us in processing your invoices without unnecessary delay.

Do:

  • Always quote a purchase order number if you have one, or the contact name of your customer at Nottingham City Council
  • Note the Purchase Order number/contact name in the top third of the invoice, preferably above/below the customer address (see below).
  • Where possible, send invoices by email - to NCCinvoices@emss.org.uk.  Please note that every invoice should be attached to a separate email.
  • For invoices by post, the postal address is:

Nottingham City Council
PO Box 1475
Northampton
NN2 1EQ

Please note: this address should be quoted on all invoices, whether sent by post or by email

Do not:

  • Note the purchase order in the body of the invoice as this will be more difficult for our scanning solution to identify. It needs to be in the invoice header, preferably in its own field.
  • Send an invoice without a PO number or contact name, as this will delay payment
  • Send a second copy of your invoice, as this will be identified as a duplicate and may cause processing delays. If you are unsure if an invoice has been received, please contact financeservicedesk@emss.org.uk or call 0300 303 0222
  • Send invoices to your contact at Nottingham City Council – this may delay processing and payment.
  • Attach more than one invoice to an email, as this will cause problems for our scanning solution. Please remember, one invoice per email

 

In response to COVID-19, the Federation of Small Businesses has written a range of online articles to support your business during the outbreak. Read the latest advice and guidance on the Federation of Small Businesses website.