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local business support announced, Local Governments’ key role

18 March 2020

Please note: the information contained in this legal update is correct as of the original date of publication

This article is taken from March's public matters newsletter. Click here to view more articles from this issue.


The government has announced, in the budget and in subsequent briefings, measures to provide support to businesses during this unprecedented time. The role of local government in this has been trailed in government news release today which can be found here.

The British Business Bank will be providing loans, backed by direct government support for interest payments over the short term. Additionally, businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be able to seek cover for the first 14 days of sick pay for employees.

Government has announced a £10,000 cash grant to small businesses (those that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief). This grant will be delivered and administered by local authorities. This funding will be provided to local authorities in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

The government is also introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. A £25,000 grant will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March.

Our local government team is ready to support our clients during this time across all its work areas. We have particular expertise in grant funding and can provide support for this well needed program as and when you need. Please contact Peter Ware on 01159766242 or peter.ware@brownejacobson.com and see our Covid-19 hub here.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Peter Ware

Peter Ware

Partner and Head of Government Sector

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