A package of measures to provide support for businesses was announced by Government last week, including not only the grants but also a business rates holiday for qualifying businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
It is estimated that this overall support package for Richmond businesses is worth around £80m.
Small businesses who receive Small Business Rate Relief and have a rateable value of under £15,000 are eligible for a £10,000 grant, with a few exclusions such as properties occupied for personal uses and car parking spaces.
In Richmond, this will provide £15m of support for small businesses. The Council is writing today to around 1,500 eligible businesses for this grant (23 March) outlining how they can claim this funding.
A second grant scheme focuses on the retail, leisure and hospitality sector for businesses that do not receive Small Business Rate Relief, but instead are eligible for the expanded Retail Discount scheme.
This second scheme will pay a grant of £25,000 to qualifying businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
The Council is writing to around 1,200 local businesses that could be eligible, providing a further £30m of support.
Further information about support for local businesses is available: www.richmond.gov.uk/covid19_support_for_businesses
Cllr Robin Brown, Lead Member for Finance at Richmond Council, said:
“We know that this is a crucial time for many local businesses, particularly those pubs, restaurants, gyms, theatres and others that have had to close to help prevent the spread of this terrible virus.
“This is a fast moving and dynamic situation, with more information coming through all of the time. I want to offer assurances to businesses in Richmond upon Thames that the local response to national plans will be ready.
“Businesses of all sizes – from sole traders to multinational companies – are being affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. We are working with our partners across the borough to maintain a suite of resources and support local businesses and employers.
“In addition to the Business Rate freeze for those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, there will be two grant schemes to support small businesses that will be administered by the Council. We will be contacting eligible businesses from today to let them know what they must do to make a claim.
“We know this is a very worrying time for everyone and that it is having an impact on businesses, employers and employees. I would like to thank all businesses for what they are doing to protect the health of our communities.
“To find out more advice and support, such as business loans, sick pay and universal credit, please go to the guidance for employees, employers and businesses on the government’s website .”