Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Businesses

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The Borough Council recognises the huge strain being felt by a large number of our businesses at present and is committed to doing everything we can to provide support during this difficult period.

New National Restrictions

On 31 October 2020, Government announced that new national restrictions will come into place from 05 November 2020. To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. Businesses that are legally required to close include:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental) and betting shops
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses
  • Leisure and sports facilities
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums, amusement arcades, bingo halls and bowling alleys
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons
  • Community Centres and Halls

The Government has now distributed £2.2 billion to local authorities in England to allow grant payments to be made to business which have been affected by the new restrictions.

Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme - NOW OPEN

The Council has now opened its Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme (LRSG), which supports businesses in the Borough that have registered for Business Rates in Tonbridge & Malling and have been required to close due to the national restrictions between 05 November and 02 December 2020. Businesses that are registered for Business Rates in Tonbridge & Malling and have been required to close (even if they are still able to provide a delivery or 'click and collect' service) should apply to this scheme. The level of grant available to businesses is determined by the rateable value of their premises, as follows:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants will be £1,334 per 28 day qualifying restriction period
  • For properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, grants will be £2,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants will be £3,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period.

Businesses wishing to apply should read the Council's policy first and then, if eligible, fill in the application form. Any questions about this scheme should be directed to inspectors@tmbc.gov.uk.

Additional Restrictions Grant (Discretionary) Scheme - NOW OPEN

The Council has now finalised its Additional Restrictions Grant (Discretionary) Scheme. This scheme is targeted towards businesses that have been required to close but are not registered for business rates or are able to remain open but have experienced a significant reduction in income as a result of the restrictions.

In order to align with the LRSG Scheme, grants awarded by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council will be capped at £3,000 per 28 day restriction period. Where a business has a Rateable Value, the same thresholds will apply as the LRSG. However, for those that do not, the following is an indicative breakdown of the grant levels likely to be offered:

  • £3,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period for larger local businesses
  • £2,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period for small businesses
  • £1,334 per 28 day qualifying restriction period for micro-businesses; and
  • £750 per 28 day qualifying restriction period for home-based businesses and regular market traders.

Businesses that are interested in applying to this scheme should first read the Council's policy and then, if eligible, fill in the ARG application form.

In order to fill in the application form successfully you will need to provide information, including:

  • Fixed costs (please state clearly whether these costs are paid monthly, quarterly or annually)
  • An overview of the impact of Covid-19 on your business, using figures to back up your case
  • Whether you have been able to move any of the business online
  • Number of employees
  • Business Rates Account Number (where applicable)
  • Companies House Number (where applicable)
  • Business Bank Details
  • Business Bank Statement which is no more than 2 months old

Any questions about this scheme should be directed to economic.regeneration@tmbc.gov.uk.

Covid-19 Business Helpline

The Local Covid-19 Business Helpline (part-funded by TMBC) can be accessed via 03333 602300 (open 8:30am-5:00pm Monday to Friday). If you need to talk over any aspect of your business, including the availability of financial support, they will be able to help.

Useful Advice and Information

A range of practical advice, support and information is also available via the following links:

Central Government Guidance for Employers and Businesses

Federation of Small Business

British Chambers of Commerce

Confederation of British Industry

South East LEP - Digital Skills Support and Advice

South East Growth Hub

Visit Kent- geared specifically towards businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Locate in Kent

Food Standards Agency - advice for food businesses on re-opening and adapting.

Entitledto has provided useful information about accessing benefits for self-employed people or employees that have been affected by coronavirus.

This page will be continually updated as soon as further information is made available from Central Government.