FAQs

Business Doncaster

Government Advice and FAQs

Below are some of the FAQs regarding business support during the coronavirus outbreak.

You can download two toolkits to help you amplify important messages about the current situation to your colleagues and networks.

The toolkit focussed on business support can be found here.

The toolkit focussed on protecting against the spread of the virus can be found here.

 

What is CBILS?

CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME (CBILS) is a Government Backed Loan to support SME businesses that will be available through banks and other finance providers from now. Details are available via the British Business Bank.

 

How will the Wage subsidy be paid?

The government will pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It will pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.

It is understood that the wage subsidy will apply to firms where bosses have already had to lay off workers due to the Coronavirus, as long as they are brought back into the workforce and instead granted a leave of absence.

The wages cover, which relates to gross pay, will be backdated to the start of March and last for three months, but Mr Sunak said he would extend the scheme for longer "if necessary".

The scheme, which will be run by HMRC and is expected to make the first grants to businesses "within weeks".

 

What happens while I am on furlough?

Once you are on furlough you will not be able to work for your employer. You can undertake training or volunteer subject to public health guidance, as long as you’re not:

  • making money for your employer or a company linked or associated to your employer
  • providing services to your employer or a company linked or associated to your employer

If workers are required to, for example, complete training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least their appropriate minimum wage (NLW, NMW or AMW) for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.

Whilst furloughed your employer cannot ask you to do work for another linked or associated company.

If your contract allows, you may undertake other employment while your current employer has placed you on furlough, and this will not affect the grant that they can claim under the scheme. You will need to be able to return to work for the employer that has placed you on furlough if they decide to stop furloughing you, and you must be able to undertake any training they require while on furlough. If you take on new employment, you should make sure you complete the starter checklist form with your new employer correctly. If you are furloughed from another employment, you should complete Statement C. Any activities undertaken while on furlough must be in line with the latest Public Health guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Your employer can still make you redundant while you’re on furlough or afterwards.

Your rights as an employee are not affected by being on furlough, including redundancy rights.

If your employer chooses to place you on furlough, you will need to remain on furlough for a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks. However, your employer can place you on furlough more than once, and one period can follow straight after an existing furlough period, while the scheme is open. The scheme will be open for at least 3 months.

 

I don’t pay business rates; will I automatically receive the £10,000 grant?

The one-off grant of £10,000 will be paid to businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief via the Small Business Grant Fund. The cut-off date to be in receipt of SBRR or rural rate relief is 11/3/2020.

If your business is not registered, then you will not be eligible for the grant.

**Requests are now open** please complete the online form here to check your eligibility.

When submitting their requests companies should use their postcode and select the address from there in the first instance rather than trying to manually input the address. If you encounter any issues please email localtaxation@doncaster.gov.uk with all of your details including business rates reference number and bank account details and their team will pick these up.

If you receive a message to say your submission is closed, please note this is not the case and the Business Rates team will contact you.

 

We are a Leisure, Retail, Hospitality business but our rateable value is less than £15,000, will we be able to get a grant?

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 and under will receive a grant of £10,000 via the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

**Requests are now open** please complete the online form here to check your eligibility. 

When submitting their request companies should use their postcode and select the address from there in the first instance rather than trying to manually input the address. If you encounter any issues please email localtaxation@doncaster.gov.uk with all of your details including business rates reference number and bank account details and their team will pick these up.

If you receive a message to say your submission is closed, please note this is not the case and the Business Rates team will contact you.

 

We are a Leisure, Retail, Hospitality business and our rateable value is more than £15,000, will be able to get a grant?

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a property that has a rateable value up to £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000 via the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

**Requests are now open** please complete the online form here to check your eligibility.

When submitting their request companies should use their postcode and select the address from there in the first instance rather than trying to manually input the address. If you encounter any issues please email localtaxation@doncaster.gov.uk with all of your details including business rates reference number and bank account details and their team will pick these up.

If you receive a message to say your submission is closed, please note this is not the case and the Business Rates team will contact you.

 

When will I receive payment from the grant schemes?

Payments are due to start circulating from the 3rd April 2020 for both the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and the Small Business Grant Fund.

We recommend that businesses track their submission via their My Doncaster account.

 

What happens if I am eligible and have submitted a request for a grant?

The Business Rates team will send you a text message when you have been paid. This will be followed up by a letter about eligibility and state aid and a remittance advice. 

 

Are there any conditions attached to this grant funding?

Any business who accepts this funding must confirm they comply with all the applicable State aid requirements. Businesses who accept this funding must also provide information requested by the Local Authority to support monitoring and assurance.

 

Is this funding taxable?

The default position is that these grants would be liable for tax, as are the business costs this grant is supporting.

 

Do I need a third party to process my submission?

No, submissions are via Local Authority websites at no cost to the business.

 

Can businesses with multiple properties claim multiple grants? (e.g. Can a hairdresser with three shops, each with less than a £15k rateable value, claim three £10k grants?)

Businesses can only get one grant under the Small Business Grant Scheme.
Businesses eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme can claim one grant per eligible property.

 

Will businesses be able to claim support from both the grant scheme for retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors and the Small Business Grants fund?

No. If a business receives a Small Business Grant, they will not be eligible for a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant on the same property.

 

It is not clear for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses that receive Small Business Retail Relief whether they fall into the ‘Small Business Grants’ category or the ‘Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme’.

Any properties falling within both the Small Business Rate Relief and Expanded Retail eligibility should be awarded one 10k grant. Businesses cannot be awarded both grants on the same property.

 

Can businesses who are eligible but don’t want or need funding opt out?

A business may decline the grant.

 

We are a large company; what financial support is there for us?

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

Find out more about eligibility and accessing the scheme here.

 

We are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund and are not in the Retail, Leisure or Hospitality industry, but are struggling with our rates payments, what help is there for us?

Doncaster Council is here to support you through this difficult period, please contact our Business Rates team on phone: 01302 734454 Option 2 or email: LocalTaxation@doncaster.gov.uk and we will offer you advice.

 

Am I eligible for a 100% Business Rates discount?

Most businesses in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector are eligible for the 100% business rates discount. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. We may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge.

 

Do businesses need to register/have additional building control measures for a change of use to takeaway/delivery during the Coronavirus outbreak?

The planning laws have been relaxed for the duration of the this pandemic & any premises that wishes to change to a takeaway then there will be no enforcement.

You can find out more on the Government website here.

 

Is there anything that businesses need to do to move from retail to delivery during the CoVid-19 period? In particular around vehicle specs and insurance for drivers as well as hygiene issues?

Food Hygiene will be taken from the Food Safety and Standards team's last visit to businesses and the hygiene number will remain BUT businesses cannot change premises (e.g. moving the cooking to home), it must be the same premises the inspection was taken.

Check with your insurance company for advice around delivery for Car (delivery) & liability insurance.

 

Should my business close?

For further guidance on which businesses are to close as part of further social distancing measures please visit the government's website here.

 

Additional guidance on social distancing in the workplace

To support businesses that remain open during this period in England, the government has published additional guidance to assist employers, businesses and their staff in staying open safely during coronavirus (COVID-19). For specific settings please refer to sector specific guidance. Guidance has been published for:

These guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive or to represent every business’s situation, but are illustrative examples. Businesses should also look at the advice being published by trade associations and similar groups on how to apply government guidance in their sector. Read the general guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus

 

Where can I find out more?

Keep up to date with the latest news and advice by visiting our web page and sign up to receive our e-newsletter here.