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Posted On: 16-04-2020
Posted In: Business and economy

In the difficult and uncertain times resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic, with the UK in lockdown, businesses need a central place to find up-to-date relevant advice.

The Council is regularly updating its website with information for businesses about support, guidance and rates relief. Information about Business Grants and Nursery Discount Business Rates is also provided at middevon.gov.uk/COVID19BusinessRatesSupport.

The Government will provide 100% business rates retail relief for the current 2020/21 year, for the following occupied premises:

  • Shops, restaurants, cafés, drinking establishments, cinemas, and live music venues
  • Sports, assembly and leisure premises
  • Hotels, guest and boarding houses, holiday accommodation, caravan parks

This is in addition to businesses that already receive 100% small business rate relief (SBRR).

Further to the rate relief, the Government has previously announced two Business Grants:

  • a business support grant fund, and;
  • a retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund.

Eligible businesses can watch the Council's video to find out how to complete a claim form for the grant funding:

 

 

They are also encouraged to sign-up to the Council’s Business Rates online portal in order to expedite payment.

Chris Shears, Lead for Business Advice at Mid Devon District Council, said:

“Our economy team is working with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, identifying businesses not covered by the current guidance, and lobbying government for support packages. There’s several useful resources available to the business community to help guide them to the support they’re eligible to receive, to make them more resilient and to survive the disruption they’re likely to be facing over the coming months.”

Although the Government increased restrictions on people and businesses, including enforcing “non-essential premises” to close, there are a number of exceptions, allowed to remain open, including:

  •  Takeaway and food delivery facilities (including mobile caterers) in line with Public Health England guidance.
  • A number of food and essential service outlets such as supermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, bicycle shops, home and hardware shops, laundrettes and dry cleaners, garages, car rentals, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents, post offices, and banks. Market stalls offering essential retail may also continue to operate although all other stalls must close.
  • Some use of business premises for essential community functions as outlined in the guidance.
  • Other critical businesses not included in the list of enforced closures. For the full guidance, see GOV.UK - Closing certain businesses and venues

While remaining open, all businesses must:

  • ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants;
  • let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded, and;
  • establish queue control outside of their premises.

The Government will continue to review these measures and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

More information on support and advice for businesses during the Coronavirus Pandemic can be found at middevon.gov.uk/COVID19BusinessSupport.

Any businesses eligible for business grants should sign up to the Council’s Business Rates online portal to receive automatic payment. If businesses are experiencing any issues relating to COVID-19, which are not being addressed through other support channels, they are advised to contact Economic Development via email at econdev@middevon.gov.uk, so that the information can be shared confidentially to help shape future activities responding to the outbreak.

For more information

Please contact:

Chris Shears
Economic Development Officer
Email: econdev@middevon.gov.uk

For businesses with premises in other local authority areas, information for neighbouring authorities can be found at:

Area Local Authority Website
East Devon eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/
Exeter City  exeter.gov.uk/clean-safe-city/community-safety/coronavirus/
North Devon northdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus/
Somerset West and Taunton somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-information/
Teignbridge teignbridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/
Torridge torridge.gov.uk/coronavirusadvice
West Devon  westdevon.gov.uk/article/6652/Coronavirus-latest-information-and-advice