Some 6,000 Thanet businesses will receive a share of £40 million grant funding to support them during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Thanet District Council has so far issued £3.25 million to businesses who pay their business rates by direct debit, as part of its first phase of support.
The second phase, which involves the payment to eligible businesses who do not pay by direct debit, is now underway.
Eligible businesses must complete an online form to provide information such as bank details, company and VAT registration number, as well as the business rates account reference which can be found on the most recent bill.
Once a correctly completed form is submitted it will be validated. Validation will take place within a 24 hour period Monday to Friday*. Businesses will need to allow up to five working days for the BACs payment to credit the account.
As part of the process, the council will contact all known eligible businesses by letter or e-mail, however businesses do not have to wait to receive this correspondence and can complete the online form now.
There are two funding streams available.
- Small business grant – Many small businesses which receive small or rural business rates relief (with a rateable value under £15,000) will receive a payment of £10,000.
Retail, hospitality and leisure grant – businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sector with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, will receive a £25,000 grant.
Thanet council has also recalculated business rates for those businesses eligible for retail or nursery discounts, over 1,000 in all.
The authority also contributed £5,000 to bolster the Kent Growth Hub and provide a dedicated support line for COVID-19 related issues. The line (03333 602300) is in operation from 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
There is a Frequently Asked Questions webpage (thanet.gov.uk/businessfaqs) for businesses which is being updated regularly.
As the council offices are closed for the Easter bank holiday, validation will take longer this week.
Small businesses who occupy serviced office space have slipped through the cracks and are not eligible
A loophole means that if you occupy serviced office space where rates are included (bundled into the serviced package) you are not eligible for the support.
Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk said: “We think this could affect around 5% of small businesses in the UK, many who are struggling to continue, and it would be an absolute lifesaver.”
His company is writing to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to ask for adjustments to the Small Business Grant Funding scheme.