We have been working hard to ensure our local businesses get the help they need during the coronavirus crisis by responding as quickly as we can to the measures announced by the Government, writes a spokesman for Somerset West and Taunton Council.
We have applied the 100% Extended Retail Rates Discount, for 2020/21 and have amended approximately 1,200 rate accounts this week for the businesses concerned; awarding over £24m in discount so far. This means that these eligible businesses will have no rates to pay during 2020/21 in respect of the premises concerned. If these businesses were due to have rates payments collected by direct debit from April these will not now be taken.
We have uploaded lists of the properties that have been awarded the 100% discount to the Council tax and business rates advice tab of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and Information page of our website. We will issue notices to the affected businesses in due course for their records. Advice will also be available in the same place about what to do if you think your business should be entitled to the discount but it has not been given one.
We have also made arrangements to make the £10,000 and £25,000 Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund payments. Before we can make payments, the Government needs us to ask the businesses concerned for some basic information which should be readily to hand.
We have created a simple online form to capture this information which should take just a couple of minutes to complete. We aim for this to be available during the early part of next week (the week beginning Monday 30th March). Again, it will be available from the Council tax and business rates advice tab on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and Information page of our website. Eligibility advice is also available in the same place.
Our aim is to get payments into the bank accounts of the eligible businesses within 7 working days of us receiving the required information within the online form.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and Information page of our website also contains the latest links to wider advice, support and guidance for businesses.