Our businesses are vitally important to our town. The government and Middlesbrough Council are working together to support businesses through this challenging time. To help you overcome this situation we have a range of practical information below.
Middlesbrough Council supports your business
Discretionary Business Grant
To support businesses further during the pandemic crisis the government outlined on 1 May a discretionary grants fund. Phase 1 of the discretionary scheme is now closed.
We're now inviting businesses to express an interest in phase 2 of the scheme, between 22 June 2020 and 17 July 2020 (may be extended depending on demand). The funding available for phase 2 limited to £900,000.
A business must:
- be small, with under 50 employees - business with 1 to 10 employees will get £5000, businesses with 11 to 49 employees will get £10,000
- be able to demonstrate a significant drop in income brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, and must be able to provide evidence of this
- have relatively high ongoing fixed costs (such as rent)
- not be home-based
- have been trading on or before 11 March 2020
- have a rateable value under £50,999
All small businesses in any sector are now eligible as long as the business has not already received any other grant or any other allocated COVID-19 funding, such as a business rates holiday. Nurseries are an exception to this. Those nurseries supporting the schools strategy in returning children back to school and allowing parents to return to work will be able to claim a discretionary business grant as part of phase 2 while also qualifying for a rates holiday.
If you meet the above criteria, you're invited to submit your claim during the period 22 June 2020 to 17 July 2020 (may be extended depending on demand). Due to the limited funds available, there is no guarantee that every claim will get funding. Claims will be assessed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The scheme does not extend to the following businesses:
- businesses operating from a home address
- businesses which are eligible for cash grants from any government COVID-19-related schemes such as:
- Small Business Grant Fund
- Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
- The Fisheries Response Fund
- Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
- The Zoos Support Fund
- The Dairy Hardship Fund
About your application
All questions on the claim form must be completed and answered. You'll need to submit your supporting evidence - such as statements, payroll information, and proof of loss of income - with the claim as directed. Any claims which are incorrectly completed or do not have the relevant information attached will be rejected. You’ll then be advised to reclaim, with all the information and evidence.
- If your form is not completed correctly it will be rejected, and you'll be invited to re-apply and take a new place in the queue
- This phase (phase 2) is the last phase of any discretionary grants
- Completing the application form does not guarantee you'll get a payment
You can use the online form to apply.
We've written a guide to completing the Discretionary Business Grant application form in case you need help with any of the questions.
What happens next?
Any qualifying claims will be assessed after the closing date, and will be paid by 31 July 2020.
I'm a small business, can I claim?
If you've not received any COVID-19 financial support grant of rates relief, and you meet the above criteria, you can submit a claim.
I'm a nursery, can I claim?
Nurseries supporting the schools strategy in returning children back to school and allowing parents to return to work can claim. Even if you qualify for a rates holiday under the government scheme you can still claim the discretionary grant.
Small business grant funding
Any small business in any sector, already getting Small Business Rates Relief, will get a £10,000 grant.
If this applies to your business, we’ll be in touch with you soon, but in the meantime please complete and send us the online form if you think you may be eligible, as we will need to verify your business bank details and validate your application. Complete the £10,000 grant request form online.
Cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure
If you’re a retail, hospitality or leisure business operating from premises with a Rateable Value between £15,000 and £51,000, you can claim a £25,000 grant.
Please take the time to complete and send the online form if you think you may be eligible, as we will need to verify your business bank details and validate your application. Complete the £25,000 grant request form online.
Retail, hospitality, and leisure grant fund
This funding is to help retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by coronavirus.
A grant of £10,000 is available to business which have a rateable value up to and including £15,000 and are operating within the retail, leisure, and hospitality industry. Complete the retail, hospitality, and leisure grant fund form online.
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.
Support from Middlesbrough Community Learning
During this time of uncertainty and opportunity, Middlesbrough Community Learning is reaching out to local businesses throughout the Tees Valley to offer advice and support.
You can get in touch for information and advice on how they can help you to identify funding and training available for your staff. They can offer tailored resources with access to online training in many areas, and also signposting to partner organisations for additional support.
Their current offer includes:
- apprenticeships for new and current staff (including furloughed)
- Functional Skills in Maths, English, and ICT
- everyday computing, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Google Docs
- ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and Ways to Work
- a suite of free online courses, including stress management, first aid, risk assessments, mental health awareness, safeguarding, health and safety, and more
- Community Learning, for family learning and support into work
Call Kevin Sedgwick on 07825 203214 or Diane O'Connell on 07971 351854 to find out more about how Middlesbrough Community Learning can help you move forward.
Middlesbrough Community Learning also offers support for unemployed residents of all ages via the Routes to Work and Youth Employment Initiative programmes.
Volunteering schemes continue to support the work of Middlesbrough Council and its partners, offering valuable work experience while allowing residents to provide the support that makes us stronger together.
Government support available
Middlesbrough businesses have more support from government to help you. Below is a list of other support available which you can find out more about on the government’s business support website:
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for applications
Tech start-up and innovation businesses will be able to benefit from new funding from the Treasury
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (SMEs) – please note this deadline has been extended - find more about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme – find more about the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Small businesses affected by coronavirus can apply for Bounce Back Loans between £2,000 and £50,000 with a 100% guarantee
- Self Employment Income Support Scheme – if you need help now find out about Universal Credit and other support which may be available to you
- Statutory Sick Pay rebate - the online system to claim the rebate will be available from 26 May 2020
- Support for businesses paying tax
- COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
- Business Rates holiday for nurseries
- VAT deferral
- Deferral of self-assessment payment
- Guidance about precautions to take when returning to work
HMRC are contacting people who may be eligible for the government's Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to explain how to apply and what they need to prepare before they make a claim.
SEISS is a temporary scheme for self-employed people or those in a partnership whose business has been affected by coronavirus. Those eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months' profits) in a single instalment.
Customers are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in 2019-20, intend to continue trading, and they:
- Earn at least half of their income through self-employment;
- Have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year; and
- Traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year.
The claim service opens on Wednesday 13 May, with payments reaching bank accounts by 25 May, or six working days after the claim is made.
HMRC is using information that customers have provided in their 2018-19 tax return – and returns for 2016-17 and 2017-18 where needed – to determine their eligibility, and contacting customers who may be eligible via email, SMS (text), or letter. They also have an online checker so customers can check their eligibility for themselves, as well as getting a date for when they can apply.
If someone isn't eligible for the scheme, HMRC will help them understand why they are not eligible, and offer advice about other support that might be available to them such as: income tax deferrals, rental support, Universal Credit, access to mortgage holidays, and the various business support schemes the government has introduced to protect businesses.
24/7 support from the Tees Valley Business Support Line
Help for businesses is available from the Tees Valley Business Support Line which was established by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority. The support line operates 24 hours, 7 days a week and can provide specific advice to businesses across the region.
The service can signpost you other organisations and support to give your business relevant advice.
If you own a business, are an employer, or are self-employed, you can get in touch with the Tees Valley Business Support Line on 01642 662 777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working safely during coronavirus
The government has produced guidance to help employers, employees, and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. It has been updated to reflect industry feedback, as well as guidance on Test & Trace, safer travel, and managing security risks.
These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work:
- Construction and other outdoor work
- Factories, plants and warehouses
- Labs and research facilities
- Offices and contact centres
- Other people's homes
- Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
- Shops and branches
Read the government guidance now. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.
Can my business help?
If your company manufactures ventilators or if you can help in their production contact the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The secondment of skilled workers for this purpose may be helpful. If you can help please call the BEIS Business Support helpline on 0300 456 3565 or email email@example.com.
Do you have space? If you can offer manufacturing and warehouse space, are within the medical supply chain, can support deliveries, or any other sector of strategic importance to the coronavirus response please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is looking for rapid sanitising technology to speed up the time it takes to clean ambulances to help in the national effort against Coronavirus and save lives. Email Tees Valley Combined Authority if you can help email@example.com.
My employee needs to take time off during the COVID-19 outbreak to look after someone, but they are not ill. Should I support this request?
Due to government guidelines on isolation, many people are unable to use their usual childcare or caring arrangements, and in emergencies or unexpected events like this, they are entitled to time off work to care for others.
There’s no statutory right to pay for this time off, but some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or workplace policy.
I have employees on zero hours contracts, is there any support for them?
They would be entitled to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they’re diagnosed with coronavirus or are unable to work because they’re staying at home in line with government advice.
The government will repay SMEs (less than 250 employees) for up to two weeks per employee of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to coronavirus. This means employers should keep records of all staff absences and payments of Statutory Sick Pay.
I’m an employer and my staff cannot do their job from home, should I tell them to come to work?
If it’s impossible for employees to work from home and your business is still open for business, then government advice states than they can come to work while abiding by social distancing guidance.