Coronavirus support for businesses

Newham Council support measures so far

The Council has put together a set of initial support measures to assist businesses across the borough during this time, including:

  • immediate application of the Government’s business rate reliefs for eligible businesses, with the cancellation of direct debit payments due for existing 2020/21 bills 
  • payments to local businesses for services provided to the Council made immediately rather than within 14 days
  • Introducing monthly billing in arrears (rather than quarterly in advance) from June 2020 for affected businesses to help them with their cash flow 
  • waiving all pitch rental payments for market traders for three months 
  • waiving all commercial waste collection charges for three months 
  • substantially increasing our business support team to offer proactive information and guidance for businesses ​

The Council will continue to press government on behalf of those that are not supported under current schemes.

Any new announcements will be added to this page when confirmed.

Business rates support

We issued bills for business rates at the start of March. For businesses in the nursery, retail, hospitality and leisure sectors the Government has now granted a year’s relief.

We will issue new bills confirming that the amount is nil for your records as soon as we can get our software updated. 

In the meantime we won’t take your ordinary direct debit so that your cash flow is not affected.

The Government has announced a range of other measures to support businesses and we will share information on these as soon as we receive it. 

Updates to business rates and relief schemes in response to coronavirus include changes to:

  • business rates relief 
  • pub relief
  • grant funding
  • business rates bills

The Council is urgently updating its business rates collection practices in response to COVID-19.

The Government has also announced that it would provide additional business rate support to some small businesses.

Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors, regardless of Rateable Value, will pay no business rates during the coming year as relief of 100% will be granted.

The measure includes shops, cinemas, restaurants, museums art galleries, theatres, gyms, small hotels, sport clubs, day nurseries and night clubs.

This is expected to benefit over 2,300 businesses in Newham.

The Council will identify eligible businesses and automatically apply the relief and issue adjusted bills, as quickly as the software suppliers can make the necessary changes.

Whilst the Council awaits these changes, we are actively cancelling direct debits for those businesses that will qualify, so as to avoid further financial impact.

Any company eligible for small business rates relief will be eligible for grant of £10,000. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with rateable values of up to £51,000 will be eligible for a £25,000 grant.

It is not yet clear when or how businesses will access the grant, as the Council are still awaiting the details from Central Government. This could benefit up to 6,706 businesses in Newham and we will draw up a scheme as quickly as possible.

The Council’s business rates team will also be moderating recovery action whilst the current situation persists, and are on hand to deal with any enquiries from businesses.

We know that this unprecedented situation is very difficult so please get in touch if you need any further clarity or if you wish to discuss your account on 0208 430 3250 or [email protected]

The situation and government guidance is changing very rapidly and we will update this information as things change.

Discretionary Business Grants

Following successful lobbying by ourselves and other councils, new grants will be available for businesses who are incurring ongoing fixed property-related costs and have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.  We are developing this discretionary business grant scheme, having received guidance from the government on 13 May, which will target certain types of small and micro-businesses and charities that were unable to access the existing grants linked to business rates. The government funding made available to us is below £3m, therefore we expect the demand for the Discretionary Grant Fund to vastly exceed what we can pay out.  When the grant scheme has been approved on 11 June, our website will have information on the scheme and the application form for completion.

View the report going to Cabinet on 11 June 2020.

Following the Cabinet decision there will be a call in period of five working days. Therefore the Discretionary Grant Fund will be available after the call in period. 

Community Wealth Building

Community Wealth Building

Find out what support the government has made available to businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Community Wealth Building Business Bulletin (PDF)