Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses – update

The Government announcement for the Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses is currently being progressed. We are expecting the necessary software update from our software supplier, Capita, by the end of this week. This will enable us to re run businesses bills before the April payment date of 8th April. This will mean those businesses eligible will not have to pay any rates for 2020/21.

Discretionary Business Support Grants

Another application window for Discretionary Business Support Grants opened from Friday 31 July 2020 – Friday 21 August 2020.

Please note this second window of applications has now closed.

For details of the grant scheme and criteria visit:

Small Business Relief Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant – now closed

The Government issued the guidance for local authorities to pay grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 to eligible businesses. These grants have now closed.

Specific information is required to enable the Council to validate the eligibility of the business and collect bank account information so we can make payments electronically. When the payment has been processed you will receive a confirmation email. 

If you have already submitted a grant form and are eligible we will be making payments on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week to ensure the business grants are paid as quickly as possible. The payment will be made via BACS and takes two working days to clear into the business’ bank account. Due to the number of businesses entitled to support, it may take up to 14 days on receipt of the grant form to process and make payment.

If you have a query about the grants or your eligibility you might be able to find the answer in the Business Support Grant FAQs

If you require any further information about a grant decision please email:

Business support finder

A new ‘support finder’ tool has been launched by the Government to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The finder tool on GOV.UK asks business owners to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete, and they will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for. The support finder can be found at

Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Government has launched the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) which will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. There are qualifying criteria and we understand that the payment is likely to be paid in arrears in June for the April to June period.

The Government have published a whole webpage for supporting businesses, including those who are self-employed.

Read more about the Self-employment Income Support Scheme and apply

The Council may also be able to help you with paying your council tax:

Existing  Housing Benefit / Council Tax Reduction claimants: Please email: if you are no longer undertaking Self Employed work due Covid-19 restrictions and we will reassess your entitlement to help, based on your revised circumstances. If your situation changes again (e.g. you are able to recommence working) or if you receive a grant from the Government payable under the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), then you must tell us as soon as possible.

New Council Tax Reduction claims, please go online to the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction application form, to make an application or if you are claiming Universal Credit you will be able to opt to claim a reduction in your council tax as part of your application process. You can apply even if you have been trading for more than 52 weeks but are now earning less, we will not apply the Minimum Income Floor for 6 months. We are treating Covid-19 as a significant change to a business and will consider it a fresh start- up period giving you access to this help. Further information is available on the Council Tax Reduction page.

Further information

For more information about the Government’s support measures for businesses please visit the UK Government web page:

Further advice and guidance is also available through the East Sussex Growth Hub:

Information about business closure regulations in response to COVID-19

You can listen to Covid-19 Business Support explained in other languages on the Business East Sussex website.