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See the latest news and get more information regarding coronavirus (Covid-19). Find out more about help for affected businesses and individuals. Please use our online forms, webchat, app and phone number to contact us. Our offices are closed to the public. We have suspended garden waste collections to free up resource for the other collections.

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Help for business and the self-employed

Businesses can get advice and assistance from Cumbria Tourism , the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce , and the Local Enterprise Partnership .

The government has outlined guidance on the schemes available to business and there is more information in this clear guide for business..

Government help

The Chancellor announced in the Budget on March 11 and later on March 17, a range of measures related to Covid-19. This package is intended to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses to ensure the impact of the disease is minimised. Further measures were announced on March 20.

Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief will be available. The maximum rateable value limit is £15,000.

In addition, for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, grant funding of:

  • £10,000 for businesses with property with a rateable value of up to £15,000 (which do not receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief)
  • £25,000 for businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999. 

Only one grant is payable per hereditament.

Apply for a business grant

We very much appreciate the major challenges being faced by businesses and our staff will be making every effort to get your grant paid out to you as soon as possible.

Business rates holiday

The government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Following government guidance we are in the process of issuing revised bills. 

You do not need to do anything

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, has been set up to support primarily SMEs to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80 per cent on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee and the scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first six months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first six months of interest payments. 

Help for the self-employed

The government announced a scheme to help the self-employed on March 26, 2020. This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months from the date of the announcement. This may be extended if needed.

More details and how applications will be made is available on the goverment website.

More information on these schemes

More information on the schemes above, and others, can be found at the government dedicated website.

Also included in the measures, is additional funding of £500 million (nationwide) for Council Tax relief through existing Local Council Tax Support schemes. 

We do not have the details of how this money will be allocated, however, more information on Council Tax support can be found at https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/council-tax/council-tax-discounts/ 

Other help

  • HM Revenue & Customs has launched a Tax Helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to Coronavirus. The number is 0800 0159 559.
  • Companies House has produced guidance if Coronavirus has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts.  
  • ACAS has published information for employees and employers, including simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff.
  • Go to the British Chambers of Commerce’s site  for advice on preparing for and responding to Coronavirus.
  • The Business Growth Hub has a suite of resources including 10 steps to take now, a series of webinars, and guidance on keeping your business operating and managing cashflow.
  • Cumbria Chamber of Commerce has created a range of resources (toolkits, webinars, links, one-to-one professional advice) that's being constantly updated. It can be found at its Coronavirus: What businesses need to know page
  • The Chamber has also set up a scheme called Chamber Connect , which brings together those available for work in the current sitaution with those businesses looking for staff.

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