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Businesses and employers

The government has announced a package of measures to support businesses through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This central government page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

Actions we're taking to implement the government support package

Business rates

Dorset Council will be rebilling all businesses which are eligible for business rate relief through the government's COVID-19 package of support. You do not need to take any action as the council is already in the process of preparing revised bills. For further information please read our dedicated business rates pages.

Helpline

The council has commissioned Dorset Chamber to provide information and a helpline with advice for businesses on dealing with the disruption caused by COVID-19. This can be accessed through the Dorset Chamber website.

Business e-newsletter

If you are a business owner, please sign up to our business e-newsletter where we will frequently update as the situation evolves.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property:

  • businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000
  • businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000

How to access the scheme

The government has not yet provided details of the operation of the scheme. You do not need to do anything. Dorset Council will write to you if you are eligible for this grant as soon as details of the scheme have been announced by government.

To find out if your business qualifies for the break please check the Government’s eligibility criteria.

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR), Rural Rate Relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility

You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property

How to access the scheme

You do not need to do anything. The government has not yet provided details of the operation of the scheme. Dorset Council will write to you if you are eligible for this grant as soon as details of the scheme have been announced by government.

Dorset Council business tenants

Regarding businesses which are tenants of Dorset Council if they are experiencing difficulty in meeting rental payments then we would ask them to make direct contact with the Dorset Council’s Assets and Property Team so that we can discuss their particular circumstances.

Food delivery and takeaway guidance - coronavirus guidance

Read our latest guidance on food delivery and takeaway.

Government guidance

Download and print the government's coronavirus posters to display in work spaces

The government has updated its guidance to assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:

  • the coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting
  • what advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas, as outlined by the Chief Medical Officer (full list is available here)
  • advice for the certification of absence from work resulting from COVID-19

Following the briefing by Boris Johnson on 16 March, government advice is that everyone should begin to minimise social interaction with other people to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This means any employees who are able to work from home should do so.

Advice is available on decontamination for businesses, where a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case has spent time while symptomatic.

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