Launch of COVID-19 Blackpool Business Support Helpdesk

Blackpool Council has set up a dedicated helpdesk to support local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The helpdesk will help businesses to understand and access the £330 billion package of rescue measures announced by the Chancellor earlier this week – including temporary loans, rate relief and cash grants to help meet ongoing costs

The wide-ranging measures include:

· The Coronovirus Job Retention Scheme offering 80% wage subsidies up to a cap of £2,500 per month for ‘furloughed workers’. Applies to all UK employers.

· A business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in 2020-21; and cash grants of £10,000 (for premises with a rateable value of under £15k) and £25k (for premises between £15k and £51k rateable value).

· A one-off grant of £10,000 to all businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR).

· Business rates holiday for nursery businesses for 2020-21.

· A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) offering loans of up to £5m to companies with less than £41m turnover.

· Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing facility – aimed at companies with short term cashflow issues.

· Support for businesses with outstanding tax affairs though HMRC’s Time to Pay service

· Support for businesses to defer VAT payments for 3 months (until 30 June 2020)

· For self-employed Income tax payments due on 31st July will be deferred until 31 January 2021

· Support for business paying sick pay to employees (a rebate scheme).

Further guidance is expected shortly to local authorities on how to administer rate relief and one-off grants – businesses do not need to register with the local authority as details are already held.

HMRC is currently setting up the IT system to enable claims for wage subsidies through the Job Retention scheme.

The Council’s helpdesk will be manned by business support experts assisted by colleagues in the business rates department.

Businesses should use this link www.blackpoolunlimited.com/c19business-support to complete an enquiry form. The team will then respond with bespoke help and guidance. Regular updates on Government support for business during the pandemic will be available on the BlackpoolUnlimited.com website.