West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

Systems Disruptions
Systems disruptions to call services

Dear Residents,

We are currently experiencing intermittent disruption to our calls and we kindly ask you to please bear with us whilst we investigate this as a matter of urgency. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for Businesses

Like all councils we want to support our local communities as much as possible during the current coronavirus pandemic.

On this page you can find questions and answers, sharing national advice and updating you on any council services relating to businesses which are affected.

Our website also has sections on:

Information for Residents

Weeknotes - Updates from the Leader and Chief Executive of the council

You can now receive updates on information, advice and support relating to coronavirus straight to your inbox. Sign up to the e-bulletin here.

Coronavirus: stay alert to save lives graphic
Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives graphic

Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

We have received our funding allocation from the government and businesses who are eligible for government grants will have received an email to complete and return. Over £20m has already been distributed to local businesses. This fund will close on 28 August. All payments must be made by this date, so please ensure that all applications are submitted by 23 August, to ensure that the necessary checks can be made before processing the payment.

If you have had your email or letter, please return the form to us as soon as possible as we want to get your money to you. Those who haven't heard from us should email bratesgrants@westberks.gov.uk.

Additional Discretionary Grant Fund

Applications for this scheme closed in June, as all funding was allocated. 


Re-opening town centres

We have been working hard to put plans into place to support our town centres to re-open safely. You can read more about this on our opening of West Berkshire town centres webpage.


Social distancing at work

It was announced on 25 May that certain businesses would be allowed to re-open whilst following social distancing guidance. We have compiled a downloadable pack for busnesses to help them with this. 

We have also created a pdf icon top tips infographic for businesses [2Mb] which is available to download.


We have also announced that business rate payments due in April and May have been deferred to a later date for businesses in all industries. If you have concerns about your ability to pay your business rates going forward, please email businessrates@westberks.gov.uk. It would help us to respond to you more quickly if you include your full business name, address and telephone number in all correspondence.

There is a wealth of support available to businesses in West Berkshire through the Berkshire Growth Hub. This can be accessed free of charge on the Berkshire Growth Hub website. The government has also announced interest free loans for businesses as well as support for charities struggling with the impact of Covid-19. To find out what your business may be eligible for, you can use this dedicated tool as well as our own FAQs, which can be found below, businesses in need of support can learn more about what is available here.

 


How do I find out if I'm eligible for Business Rates retail discount?
Find out about Business Rates retail discount being increased to 100% for one year and expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors (including pubs).
How do I find out if qualify and can apply for apply grant funding for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses?
Information about grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
How do I access the Business Interruption Loan Scheme?
Information about the Business Interruption Loan Scheme which will provide guarantees to lenders, to help support small businesses with loans of up to £5 million.
What help is available business and self-employed people in financial difficulties?
Information about businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities.
What support is there for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees?
Information about support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees.
What advice is there for businesses about the NHS Test and Trace system?
Guidance on the NHS test and trace service for employers, businesses and workers.
Can I make food deliveries from my business premises?
Information for businesses considering making food deliveries from my business premises.
Have planning restrictions which control the hours during which deliveries may be made changed?
Information about planning restrictions which control the hours during which deliveries may be made to and from supermarkets, food retailers and distribution being relaxed.
Will there be a rates holiday for childcare nurseries?
Information on a business rates holiday for nurseries.
What help is available to support larger firms?
Information about what help is available to support larger firms.
Can I claim under my insurance policy for disruption to my business caused by COVID-19?
Information about insurance policies for disruption to my business.
What help is there available to businesses who are struggling to pay their staff?
Information about if you are struggling to pay your staff
What are the arrangements for making my business' VAT payments?
Information about making business VAT payments
When will self-assessment payments be due for self-employed people?
Information about self-assessment payments for self-employed people
What financial support is available for self-employed people?
Information about financial support for self-employed people
What advice is available for employees of affected businesses?
Information about employees of affected businesses
What guidance is there for Early Years providers?
Early Years Service information about support and government guidance to the early years sector
What is the guidance on social distancing in shops?
Information about social distancing in shops
How do I report cases of people profiteering from the COVID-19 situation?
Find out how to report cases of profiteering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do I report non-essential businesses that are trading illegally during the coronavirus pandemic?
Information about reporting non-essential businesses that are trading illegally
How do I report personal protective equipment (PPE) that I suspect to be unsafe?
Information about reporting unsafe PPE
What should I do if I come across someone trying to sell COVID-19 cures or vaccines?
Information about reporting sellers of cures or vaccines
How do I protect myself from scams?
Information about protecting yourself from scammers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Helping businesses re-open in line with government guidance
Town centres across the district will be opening on 15 June