Further financial support and grants

The government has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by the coronavirus.

If your business is affected by the current pandemic, use the online tool on GOV.uk to find out what financial support is available for you.

We are continuing with our work to support social distancing measures on high streets and also to relax planning rules where possible to ensure social distancing can continue in both construction and retail.

Find financial support available


In this section


Organisations offering advice and support

We are looking at doing everything we can to support all local businesses in Hillingdon and we are aware all business owners need as much help as possible right now to support them through these unprecedented times.

We have highlighted below some key organisations that can help you with further advice and support:

  • Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce:  A voluntary non-profit organisation that represents the interests of businesses within Hillingdon
  • West London Business: A microsite and phone line dedicated to providing answers to west London businesses' coronavirus queries has been launched by West London Business, the non-profit business leadership forum for west London. The microsite includes a knowledge base that is updated daily, as well as access to events and answers to frequently asked questions. The helpline is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 020 8607 2500 
  • Property advice service programmeLondon Business Hub is running a series of webinars for small business looking for free advice on business rates, understanding your lease, landlord negotiations and finding commercial premises in these troubling times.
  • Recover & Grow programme: A free, intensive 6-week programme for small to medium-sized business owners looking to navigate the impact of COVID-19, build confidence and technical knowledge, and set a roadmap for the future.

Read government guidance on keeping the workplace safe during the current pandemic


NNDR (Business Rates) - Expanded Retail Discount

At the Budget on 3 March 2021, the Chancellor announced that the Government will provide additional business rates support for eligible retail, hospitality, leisure, and nursery businesses in England occupying a qualifying property.

As a temporary measure for 2021-22 he announced that:

  • 100% off your business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021)
  • 100% off your business rates bills for the first 3 months of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021) 
  • 66% off your business rates bills for the rest of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022) - up to a total value of £2 million

If your business was legally allowed to open during the national lockdown starting 5 January 2021, your discount for 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 will be capped at £105,000 rather than £2 million.

You can get the retail discount on top of any other business rates relief you're eligible for.

More than £90 million of Expanded Retail Discount has been awarded in Hillingdon in 2020-2021

ACTION REQUIRED BY YOU

Please check your revised bill. You only need to notify us if any of the following 3 options are relevant:

  • National cash caps are exceeded
  • The property is empty (temporary closure due to Covid-19 restrictions are excluded)
  • You wish to refuse this relief (If you opt out of the expanded retail discount for the 2021 to 2022 tax year you cannot change your mind.)

If none of the above is relevant, no further action is needed.

Please email us at businessrates@hillingdon.gov.uk if your business does not qualify for the expanded discount from 1 July 2021 stating the reason the property does not qualify. If the property is empty, please state the date the property became completely empty (i.e. not just temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions).

Expanded Nursery Discount

There have also been announcements regarding nurseries. This affects non-local authority providers of childcare provided that:

  • the property used is occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register and
  • is wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

If your nursery is eligible, you could get:

  • 100% off your business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021)
  • 100% off your business rates bills for the first 3 months of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021) 
  • 66% off your business rates bills for the rest of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022) - up to a total value of £105,000

You can get the nurseries discount on top of any other business rates relief you're eligible for.

More than £600,000 of Nursery Relief has been applied to nursery business rates accounts for 2020-21.

ACTION REQUIRED BY YOU

Please check your revised bill. You only need to notify us if any of the following 3 options are relevant:

  • National cash caps are exceeded
  • The property is empty (temporary closure due to Covid-19 restrictions are excluded)
  • You wish to refuse this relief (If you opt out of the expanded nursery discount for the 2021 to 2022 tax year you cannot change your mind.)

If none of the above is relevant, no further action is needed.

Please email us at businessrates@hillingdon.gov.uk if your business does not qualify for the expanded discount from 1 July 2021 stating the reason the property does not qualify. If the property is empty, please state the date the property became completely empty (i.e. not just temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions).


Bounce Back loan

Thousands of small firms and sole traders, including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists, will be eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

Read further information about the Bounce Back Loan and apply


Business cash flow issues 

If your small or medium sized business (Small or Medium sized Enterprise - SME) in England is facing cash flow issues as a result of the coronavirus, please visit the British Business Bank website .


Large business cash flow issues

If you are a large business facing cash flow issues as a result of the coronavirus, you may want to read the information available on the government website.


Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees' salaries for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

Eligibility: All UK businesses are eligible and must be processed by businesses, not individuals. 

If the business needs short-term cash flow support, it may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

Find out how to claim


Assistance for the self-employed 

If you are self-employed or own a business and you are concerned about not being able to pay your tax bills because of the coronavirus, you may be eligible for support through HMRC Time to Pay service.

If you think you or your business is eligible for support through Time to Pay, you can call the following helpline number to get practical help and advice: 0800 0159 559.  For more information, please check the HMRC site.

Self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus are now able to apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits.

Read the guidance if you're self-employed


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) has brought forward a temporary (12 months) Permitted Development Right to allow for change of use from A3 (Restaurant) and A4 (Pub) to A5 (Hot Food Takeaway). 

Pubs and restaurants are able to notify their local authority that they are operating as a takeaway without any prior approval.

More information on reopening and adapting your food business during COVID-19 is available on the Food Standards Agency website

Please email planning@hillingdon.gov.uk to enquire about a change of use for your business.


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

If you are a small or medium sized business, you may be entitled to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for sickness absence due to the coronavirus.

Read more on the government website


Contracting your services to large or medium sized organisations outside of the public sector

The government announced on Tuesday 17 March that the reform to the off-payroll working rules (commonly known as IR35) - that would have applied for people contracting their services to large or medium sized organisations outside the public sector - will be delayed for 1 year from Monday 6 April 2020, until Tuesday 6 April 2021. 

Business and individuals do not need to take any action. 


Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

Central government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on Friday 31 July will be deferred until Sunday 31 January.

If you are self-employed you are eligible. This is an automatic offer with no applications required.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

You are eligible for the scheme if your business:

  • is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

The scheme is now open for applications. All major banks are offering this scheme.

To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan. You can find out the latest on the best ways to contact them via their websites. 

The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments, you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.


Support for arts, culture and creative industries

If you are an arts organisation, business or individual working in the cultural sector, creative industries or night-time economy in London, please visit the Mayor of London's Culture at Risk website to register your details for support, guidance and resources.

Page last updated: 03 Aug 2021