Business Rates Retail Relief has changed

The 100% Expanded Retail Relief and Nursery Relief schemes was extended by the government for three months for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

For the period 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 the scheme will be changing as follows:

  • From 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, businesses in receipt of the Expanded Retail Relief will receive a 66% reduction in the amount of Business Rates to pay. There will be a cash cap of £2million for businesses that were required to close as at  5 January 2021 and up to £105,000 for businesses permitted to open at that date.
  • From 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, businesses in receipt of the Nursery discount will receive a 66% reduction in the amount to pay. There will be a cash cap of £105,000.

Letters have been sent out to all qualifying businesses with details on how to confirm that by accepting the Expanded Retail Relief, the above cash cap limits will not be exceeded.

Revised Business Rates bills have also been sent out.

Businesses may choose to opt out of the relief schemes by emailing Please state in the subject of the email "66% Expanded Retail Discount refused".

Help for the self-employed

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) supports self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This scheme allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Further information is on the  HM Government website .

Advice for close contact services

Our Health Protection team have updated the information for businesses that offer close contact services - including: hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, sports and massage therapists, tattooists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers - in line with the Government guidance. 


Dealing with possible COVID-19 cases in your business

We have put together some information for businesses on how to deal with possible COVID-19 cases in your business.

Public Health England have created a range of action cards to help with early management of a COVID-19 outbreak in different types of workplaces. These can be printed or downloaded and kept on-hand in your business or organisation. These can be downloaded from Public Health England's coronavirus resource centre .

Social distancing signage

If you are a local business, you can download free social distancing sign designs from our support local page. Here you can also find posters to encourage people to 'Stay Safe, Leave a Space' and 'Stay Safe, Wear a Mask', which can also be downloaded and displayed in your premises.

Business support finder

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. Use the Government  business support finder   to see what support is available for you and your business. Please read the Government's business support  page for further information.

Collecting customer details for NHS Test and Trace

The Government has updated the guidance on collecting customer contact details for hospitality, leisure and tourism venues, close contact services, and local authority run services. The Government recommends these businesses ensure that all their customers (not just the lead member of the group) check in with the NHS COVID-19 app or provide their name and contact details on arrival. The Government has been highlighting how important this is, as part of their Test and Trace response. Businesses can read the full guidance on the  Government website and download the following posters and guidance.


QR codes for use in the NHS COVID-19 app

The NHS COVID-19 app allows people to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code, and it helps the NHS trace individuals that may have coronavirus. This helps the NHS understand if the virus is spreading in a particular area, so local authorities can respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives.

Businesses are also encouraged to continue displaying QR codes for customers wishing to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, or to continue collecting customer contact details to support NHS Test and Trace, however this will no longer be a legal requirement.

If you run a business or venue, you can create a personalised QR code poster, through the Government's website. Please create a QR code

Reopening businesses safely

On 13 May the Government announced new guidance for businesses looking to reopen. The guidance includes  workplace safety risk assessments , and cleaning your workplace .

The Food Standards Agency has also published guidance for food businesses  looking to reopen or adapt their businesses.

The Government has also issued advice on social distancing in the workplace .

Businesses are encouraged to download the government's 'COVID-19 Secure' poster and display it in their window to show that they have completed a risk assessment and put in the necessary measures to ensure social distancing.

Coronavirus bounceback loans

In May 2020, the Government introduced the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan - to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus.

  • Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.
  • The Government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won't be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.
  • Loan terms will be up to 6 years. 
  • The Government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
  • The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

Further guidance on the scheme can be found on GOV.UK

Government helpline

The UK Government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a dedicated business support helpline, where small business owners in England can get advice on how to minimise/cope with the impacts of coronavirus.

 The number is 0300 456 3565. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. You can also email

Further covid support for businesses and support

To support our local businesses, we have launched a new campaign to encourage residents to shop locally. Free downloadable social distancing sign designs, and a COVID-19 compliance poster design are also available for businesses to download and use.

Food guidance

We have published food safety and health & safety information for businesses.

Covid-safe advice

Access guidance on how you can make sure that your workplace is safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Planning advice