Swindon businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry who are eligible for the Government’s 12-month business rate holiday will see it reflected in their bills from next month.
Swindon Borough Council will be administering the financial help to all firms who qualify following a package of support announced by the Chancellor yesterday evening (17 March) aimed at helping businesses through the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
The Government also revealed it will make £330bn in loans available via banks, with the Treasury as guarantor, for firms of all sizes so they can keep paying employees’ wages, plus a further £20bn in funding, including grants of up to £25,000 for small firms.
The latest measures are in addition to a previously announced range of support including business interruption loans; statutory sick pay relief; time to pay arrangements; business rate retail discounts and cash grants.
Details on when the funding will be available are still being finalised, but the Council and its business support partners are working with government departments to ensure that businesses have accurate information and the most efficient methods of accessing any support for which they are eligible.
The Council’s Business and Economy Team is also liaising with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the Federation of Small Businesses and the local Chamber of Commerce to provide up-to-date information and advice for Swindon businesses.
Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “This is a challenging time for many people, not just in terms of the impact of the virus on people’s health, but also their livelihoods.
“I would like to reassure everyone in Swindon that we are doing everything we can to support people to be safe. Our officers are also working incredibly hard with our local partners and government departments to ensure local businesses, who are going through a very difficult time at present, have the support they need.
“The Chancellor’s package of measures provides significant support for local businesses and I am delighted we will be able to facilitate the 12-month business rate relief to those eligible businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry from next month.
“We will making the case to Government to make the other support available to companies as quickly as possible.”
Information on the support available to Swindon companies will be published on the Council’s website and social media channels as soon as it is available. Business can also sign up to SWLEP’s Growth Hub for the latest advice and information at: https://growthhub.swlep.co.uk.