Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
In line with social distancing advice and to protect residents and staff the Council has taken the decision to close the Council offices to the public until further notice.
Whilst the offices are closed to visitors, you are still able to access services and information from this website 24/7.
Information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to access Council Services during this period can be found on our Coronavirus information page
We ask that all residents #StayHomeSaveLives – see a Message from the Leader of the Council
There are two separate grant schemes - please ensure you claim under the appropriate scheme
1) Discretionary Grant Fund Scheme now open - 1 June 2020
The scheme to apply for a discretionary grant fund is now open. There is a 10-day application window for local businesses and charities to apply between 1 June 2020 and 10 June 2020
The Discretionary Grant Fund is aimed at providing financial support to businesses and charities who have suffered loss of income due to Covid-19 and have high property related costs, but who were not eligible for any of the previous Covid-19 related business rates support or grant schemes.
Priority consideration will be given to applications from;
- ‘small’ and ‘micro’ businesses/charities - including those in shared or flexible workspaces without their own business rates assessment, such as those in units in industrial parks and business centres,
- regular market traders with fixed building costs,
- small charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief,
- bed and breakfasts eligible to pay council tax rather than business rates,
- and other small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, who are deemed important to the local economy (e.g. businesses operating in the supply chain and whose operations have been curtailed by the closure of the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors).
Details of the full policy and eligibility criteria are available here: Small Business Rates Relief 2020-2021 Castle Point [pdf] 138KB
Applicants will be required to upload supporting documentation when they apply, and applications must be submitted by no later than 10th June 2020.
Once all Applications have been received the Local Authority will consider eligibility and determine the level of grant to be awarded, with awards to be paid before the end of June 2020.
2) Small Business Grants Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
Ratepayers can submit their details for the Grant payments here:
When you have succesfully submitted your details we will process and validate the grant. Payments will be made the following day, and you should receive the money in your account in two working days.
The Council's policy for determining eligibility for a grant payment is here:
Small Business Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Policy 126KB
Expanded Retail Discount - Updated 30 March 2020
The Council will today be issuing revised Business Rate Bills to all qualifying ratepayers
Under this measure, for 2020/21, the level of Retail Discount Relief for occupied retail properties is increased to 100% and the rateable value threshold limit is removed.
The qualifying criteria for this relief can be found at:
Further measures relating to the Small Business Grant Fund; the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, and Nursery Discount Relief are currently being progressed.
Business Rates Retail Discount - updated 25 March 2020
The government has today announced that the expanded Retail Discount Relief for 2020/21 will now also apply to Estate Agents, Letting Agents and Bingo Halls, all of which have been closed as a result of the Covid-19 measures.
Business Support Grants Fund - Updated 24 March 2020
The current proposal is that all properties in receipt of small business rates relief on 11th March, including those in receipt of tapered relief, will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000.
Properties that do not qualify are:
- Properties occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.
- Car parks and parking spaces.
- For the avoidance of doubt, businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.
- Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the property) after the 11 March 2020 including changes which have been backdated to this date are ignored for the purposes of eligibility.
The Council will write to those eligible ratepayers shortly with the intention to begin paying the grants in early April.
The Council is receiving numerous calls and enquiries regarding entitlement to grants. Please bear with us and refer to this website for information.
Government Announcements - 17 March 2020
The Chancellor has announced further measures to help businesses as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. These were:
- Business Rates Retail Discount - This relief will be extended to all qualifying properties in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector with a rateable value above £51,000. The Council will issue revised bills to all qualifying properties shortly which will take account of these changes.
- Business Support Grants Fund - The Chancellor has announced that the cash grant of £3,000 will be increased to £10,000 to businesses eligible for small business rate relief. Qualifying properties in receipt of retail discount will receive £25,000 where the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000. A grant of £10,000 will be payable where the rateable is below £15,000.Properties whose liability is calculated using the small business multiplier but not in receipt of small business rates relief will not qualify for Business Support Grants, and neither will properties which are occupied for personal use e.g. private stables, beach huts and morrings even if they are in receipt of relief.
- Nursery Discount 2020/21 - on 18 March the Government announced that many child care providers will pay no business rates in 2020/21. See guidance for local authorities here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-nursery-childcare-discount-2020-to-2021-coronavirus-response-local-authority-guidance
Please also see:
Budget Announcements - 11 March 2020
The Chancellor announced in the budget on 11 March 2020 a number of measures in respect of business rates. These were:
- Business Rates Retail Discount – The government had already announced that Business Rates retail discount would be increased to 50% in 2020-21. To support small businesses affected by COVID-19 the government is increasing it further to 100% for 2020-21. The relief will also be expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors.
- Business Rates Pubs Discount - The government had also already announced the introduction of a £1,000 Business Rates discount for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 in England for one year from 1 April 2020. To support pubs in response to COVID-19 the discount will be increased to £5,000.
Business Rate bills for 2020/21 have already been issued with 50% Retail Discount and Pub Discount of £1,000. The Council will endeavour to bring in the new levels of relief as soon as possible.
The Chancellor also announced that Government will also provide £2.2bn of funding for local authorities in England to provide a £3,000 cash grant to around 700,000 business currently eligible for small business rate relief or rural rate relief ‘to help meet their ongoing business costs’.
My Business Rate Bill
- Business Rates Yearly Multipliers
- OPENPortal Online Account
- How to pay your Business Rates Bill
- What if you are unable to pay your Business Rates
Information on Business Rates
- How your Business Rates bill is calculated
- How to reduce your Business Rates
- Appealing against your Rateable Value
- Who has to pay Business Rates?
- Freedom of Information (FOI)