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Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support rates / grants

Financial help for small businesses to be COVID-secure

We're offering financial support to Middlesbrough-based small businesses, including self-employed mobile businesses and taxi drivers. The money is for protective equipment and other items to help the business to be COVID-secure.

There are two different ways to apply for support, depending on whether you're a small business, or a taxi driver. Please make sure you read the right information and apply in the right way.

Taxis (Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles licensed with Middlesbrough Council)

We will pay for internal screens, fitting, and face coverings. Taxi drivers will be provided with face coverings, and signposted to choose one of the four approved local businesses which can install and fit the screens. You will be asked to sign an indemnity form and leave this with your chosen screen-fitting business.

You will not be given any money directly. We will pay the company who supply / fit the screen.


Taxis and private hire vehicles licensed with Middlesbrough Council will be prioritised for support.

If funding allows, the scheme may be extended to other private hire taxis operating in Middlesbrough. If so, this will be announced at a later date.


Our Licensing department will contact taxi drivers directly.

If you have any questions, please contact our Licensing department by calling 01642 728010 or via email to

Please note, taxi screens and fitting will be available from Monday 28 September 2020.

Small businesses

The funding is to help small businesses in Middlesbrough to stay COVID-secure to protect their staff and their customers. You can buy protective equipment and apply to be reimbursed for those items.

Who is the funding for?

The grant is for small businesses with up to and including 9 employees, which:

  • trade from premises in Middlesbrough
  • are a business/self-employed person without business premises, and live in Middlesbrough

All business sectors are eligible to apply.

This grant is not intended for those businesses which have a head office.

What can I get funding for?

You can be reimbursed for items that you have bought to keep your staff and customers safe. These include COVID-19 protective measures like hand sanitiser, face coverings, screens, chair covers, etc. You should buy these items, then apply to us to be reimbursed for them.

How much can I apply for?

You can apply for up to £100.

You can only make one claim, but your claim can be made up of several receipts, as long as they do not add up to more than £100. You must upload your receipts when you make your claim. We will not pay your claim if we have not seen your receipts.

Your purchases must be items which will provide COVID-19 protection, and must be purchased on or after Wednesday 23 September 2020.

This is only available for small businesses. If you are a taxi driver, please read the 'Taxis (Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles licensed with Middlesbrough Council)' section above.

Where can I apply?

Apply now for the small business COVID-secure grant.

Applications will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications will be open from Wednesday 23 September 2020 until Wednesday 4 November 2020.

Do not use this form if you are a taxi driver looking for support. You can only claim support as explained in the 'Taxis (Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles licensed with Middlesbrough Council)' section above.

How will I get the funding?

A text message will be sent to the mobile phone number given on your application form. So please make sure the number you provide us is correct. To get your cash payment, present your device (with the text message) at a local venue offering PayPoint, and they will provide you with the amount quoted on your text message. You'll need to claim your payment within 3 working days of getting your text message.

Find your nearest PayPoint.


For more information, please email


I have already had other COVID-19 funding support. Am I eligible?

Yes. Even if you've had other emergency COVID-19 funding, you're still eligible to apply for this funding.

How quickly will I know the outcome of my application?

We'll let you know within 7 days of your application. Our decision on the grant is final.

Do I need to include VAT in my grant?

If your organisation is not VAT registered and therefore cannot claim the VAT from HRMC, you can include VAT in the grant claim. For example:

  • business not registered for VAT: can submit up to £100-worth of valid receipts – and you will be reimbursed by £100

If you are VAT registered then you must claim the net amount and claim the VAT back in the usual way. For example:

  • business registered for VAT: can submit £100-worth of receipts, you will receive a grant payment of £80 and you can claim £20 VAT back from HMRC in the usual way

How is the COVID-19 small business grant funded?

We are using our Test and Trace funding from the government.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure

Our retail, hospitality and leisure businesses are vitally important to Middlesbrough and the UK economy. The government has announced these businesses will be supported with a 100% retail rates relief discount for the next 12 months. If the scheme applies to you, you should get a letter from us. You will also get a revised bill. This means that your business will not need to make any business rates payments during the financial year 2020/2021. Please do not pay anything in the meantime.

More information

The most up to date information is available on the government's business support page.

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