COVID-19 guidance for businesses

Last updated: 5 May 2020 at 2.50pm

We understand that many of you are worried and might be confused about what help is available, how you access it and how you should conduct your day-to-day business going forward. This page provides you with the latest information on business support being offered through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Government support

The Chancellor has set out a package of measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This support includes:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • a Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs

  • 12-month business rates relief for all retail, hospitality, leisure, estate agents, lettings agencies, bingo halls and nursery businesses in England

  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and less than (but not including) £51,000

  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance

  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans

  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

  • protection from eviction for commercial tenants who miss rent payments

  • businesses can get a three month extension to file accounts with Companies House

On Friday 1 May, the UK Government announced further funding and flexibility for local authorities to provide additional reliefs to some smaller businesses that are experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and have not benefitted from support measures currently in place.

We are currently waiting for further guidance and clarification, along with allocations of funding. Once these are received, the council will be able to provide further information on the additional support measures that will be put in place, including how they will be administered.

You can find out more by visiting the Government’s guidance page.

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to COVID-19, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222.

The council has now received guidance from the government and will be contacting all eligible businesses in regards to how they will receive the grants. For further information on the grants for businesses, visit our business support and grants page or see the frequently asked questions (FAQs) document prepared by the government.

Council support

As the owner of a number of properties across the borough, the council will also be introducing measures to support small businesses. Businesses renting council-owned properties with annual rents at or below £50,000 are able to access a three-month rent and service charge holiday. Tenants can still make payments during this period if they wish.

To access the three-month rent and service charge holiday, eligible businesses will need to an complete an application form and submit it to rent.holiday@basingstoke.gov.uk Further information is available in this explanatory letter.

For tenants paying rent above £50,000

Please apply in writing/by email to rent.holiday@basingstoke.gov.uk as per the explanatory letter.

Business advice

To make it easier for you to find quick answers to the key questions you may have, the Government has provided answers to some frequently asked questions and help on business closures.

Eligibility tool

The government has launched a new online tool to help businesses and self-employed people to find out what financial support is available to them during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Other sources of support

Other support can be found via The Federation of Small Businesses, Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and IncuHive.

Connect with the council's Economic Development team

Receive business related updated by:

If you have any urgent or specific questions or concerns, please get in touch via business@basingstoke.gov.uk.

Frequently asked questions

My business rents a building from the council. Does the three-month rent and service charge holiday mean the rent payments for my business will increase when payments restart?

Yes. As your business will be paying rent over a 9-month period (rather than over 12 months), your business’ monthly payments will increase as payments are being made over a shorter period of time.

Tenants are able to continue to make payments online or over the phone during this time if they wish. This would mean that their monthly business rent payments would remain the same.

Are there any plans to reduce rent for council-owned properties?

There are currently no plans to reduce the rent for council-owned properties as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. If your business is struggling financially as a result of COVID-19, please contact us at business@basingstoke.gov.uk to talk through what support might be available to you.

Which businesses are grants available for?

Grants are available for all businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value of up to (but not including) £51,000.

Grants are also available for businesses that received small business rates relief and rural rate relief as of 11 March 2020.

These grants will be issued subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.

How much is the grant worth?

Grants of £10,000 are available for businesses with a rateable value below £15,000 that are eligible for small business rates relief and rural rates relief.

Grants of £10,000 will be available for retail leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value at or below £15,000.

Grants of £25,000 are available for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than (but not including) £51,000.

How do I claim the grant?

Further information will be sent to individual businesses shortly on how to access the grant, with a simple form to complete via our website to clarify eligibility and confirm payment details.

When will the grants be paid?

We are currently setting up the process to administer the grants, following latest government guidance. Further information will be sent to individual businesses shortly on how to access the grant, with a simple form to complete via our website to clarify eligibility and confirm payment details. Upon completion, we would expect payment to be made within two to three working days.

How will the council contact me about whether my business is eligible for a grant?

The council will contact you about whether your business is eligible for an available grant by email or post (the same method as the business rates bill is sent).

If you would prefer information to be sent to you by email, please sign up at https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/self-serve-rates

If you would prefer information to be sent to you by post but will not be able to collect the post from the address to which we send your business rates bill, please let us know by emailing revenues@basingstoke.gov.uk

Alternatively, further information will be published on the council’s website in the next couple of weeks.

Do I need to do anything now?

If you have registered for e-billing or are happy for us to post further information to you at the address to which we send your business rates bill, then no. We will be in touch once we have assessed the grants to see if your business could be eligible.

If you have not registered for e-billing, to ensure we have an email address to send information about grants for business please register at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/self-serve-rates

If you would prefer to receive information by post and are not able to collect the post from the address to which we send your business rates bill, please let us know by emailing rates@basingstoke.gov.uk

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    Basingstoke
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    Fridays
    8.30am to 4.30pm
Close feedback form