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Additional business support info

Here is some additional information regarding support for businesses impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19):

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. The first 12 months of these loans will be interest free, as the Government will cover these payments.

Businesses will be able to get finance under the scheme from a large number of providers, including the main high street banks, as of this week.

Find out more 


Are you a large business with cashflow issues?

If you are a large business facing cashflow issues as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the following information may be of use:

  • Companies commonly sell short term debt (‘commercial paper’) to the market. This is a quick and cost effective to raise working capital.
  • The new Coronavirus (COVID-19) Corporate Financing Facility means that the Bank of England will buy short term debt from companies.
  • This will support companies which are fundamentally strong but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, enabling them to continue financing their short-term liabilities.
  • It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Update on Business Rates Relief

The government announced a 100% business rate relief for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in the year 2020/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief. To be eligible, your business should be used wholly or mainly for the below purposes:

  • Shops (such as: florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post offices
  • Furnishing shops/ display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • Car/caravan show rooms/ second-hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Garden centres
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)
  • Hair and beauty services (such as: hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices e.g. for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/TV/domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire
  • Food and/ or drink providers (such as: Restaurants, takeaways, sandwich shops, cafes, coffee shops)
  • Pubs, bars, live music venues
  • Sports grounds and clubs
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Nightclubs
  • Sport and leisure facilities
  • Stately homes and historic houses
  • Theatres
  • Tourist attractions
  • Gyms
  • Public halls
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions
  • Hotels, Guest and Boarding Houses
  • Holiday homes
  • Caravan parks and sites

Find out more 

Pubs and restaurants

If you own a pub that serves food or a restaurant in England, you will be able to operate a hot food takeaway to serve people staying at home, without going through the usual planning process: 

  • The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will shortly legislate to bring forward a temporary Permitted Development Right to allow for change of use from A3 (Restaurant) and A4 (Pub) to A5 (Hot Food Takeaway).
  • The intention is that once the legislation has come into force a pub or restaurant will be able to notify their Local Authority that they are now operating as a takeaway without any prior approval.

Further information

To keep updated with the latest government announcements on business support throughout the coronavirus situation, please check the central government website or subscribe to receive email alerts.

It is important to note that BCP Council is awaiting further guidance on the award mechanism of financial support from central government.

As soon as this information is known, we will inform you via our email newsletters, on our @Business_BCP Twitter feed, the @BCPCouncil Twitter feed and on this website. At this time businesses do not need to take any further action.

Funding for the Grant Scheme will be provided to local authorities by the government in early April.

Further information and support for the local area can also be accessed through the Dorset Growth Hub, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and the Dorset LEP.

We’ll provide further briefings over the coming days/weeks.