Coronavirus (Covid-19) message to businesses

Support for businesses

The response to the situation is evolving rapidly, with advice and guidance changing daily. There are a number of measures that the government has set up to provide support to businesses and employees in managing the financial and wider effects of the coronavirus outbreak. 

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

We will be keeping our COVID-19 business support webpage up to date with a summary of these national initiatives along with any more locally specific information and advice. A summary of the current measures can be seen there. Details of how some of these measures will be implemented are still being finalised by government. 

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Business Rate relief

One of the first measures to be introduced was a series of Business Rate reliefs for many businesses. We worked to rapidly implement this change so that Business Rates bills recently issued for 2020/21 were not sent to businesses affected by the changes to rate relief announced in the budget. 

Further changes to Business Rates have been emerging in recent days. If you have already received a bill, you will be sent an updated bill to reflect more recent changes as soon as possible. 

Important: if you have a Direct Debit payment due on the 1 April 2020, please cancel your Direct Debit. For further advice contact

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Contact us

If you’re experiencing any financial difficulties regarding payments to the council, please contact:

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Support for employees

People working on Zero Hours contracts will be able to access Universal Credit and new style Employment Support Allowance and their employers or the labour platforms they are using are encouraged to be supportive and provide necessary information. Visit the dedicated Universal Credit webpage (external link).

Job Centres are relaxing requirements to attend appointments in person, but claimants are advised to contact their advisor as soon as possible. 

The Council’s Connected Communities team are here to help if you or your employees are worried about the impact of coronavirus on your money, accessing essential items or accessing the support you need. You can reach them on 020 8489 4431. This line is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm.

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Page last updated:

August 5, 2021