Latest information

Discretionary fund for small businesses

We are developing a local discretionary grant scheme for the city’s small businesses.

Brighton & Hove’s fund, anticipated to be around £3.7 million, will provide small grants for some of our independent businesses who have not been eligible for the government’s small business grants.

The proposed criteria and application process will be discussed at the first meeting of the Policy & Resources (Recovery) Sub-Committee on Friday, 29 May. 

View the Covid-19: Support for Businesses report (agenda item number 6). The  committee will be webcast.

We will design the criteria so that it captures small businesses who make a significant contribution to the city’s economy, including the visitor economy, retail, events, creative and digital, as well as charities and not-for-profit organisations. These reflect the core sectors identified in the Economic Strategy and our Corporate Plan priorities.

Once agreed, guidance about who can apply and an application process will be posted on this page where we will also provide regular updates on how to apply and when it will be open for applications.

Read our news story about the discretionary fund for small businesses

Keeping safe at work

The government has published guidance for employers and businesses, to help them provide information to staff about coronavirus and how to prevent its spread. 

There is also updated guidance on this page of the financial support available to businesses

The government has also provided new guidance on working safely at work in different sectors which you can find on GOV.UK

Brighton Chamber is hosting a free event this Wednesday, ‘Getting back to work after lockdown.’ Find out how to join.

Are you eligible for a small business grant?

If your small business has been impacted by coronavirus, you may be eligible for a grant. You won’t need to pay this back.

We’ve been working hard to reach out to eligible businesses directly and we know there are still small businesses out there entitled to a grant who have not yet been in touch.

If you think you qualify please contact us by sending us your details through our secure portal so that we can process your application.

We are also contacting all eligible businesses as a priority so that small businesses benefit as soon as possible from these grants.

You can check the financial support you are entitled to using the government’s financial support finder.

Additional government resources include helplines and webinars on a range of topics to help all types of businesses understand the support available.

    Small business grants

    The government has set out a package of measures to support businesses including:

    • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
    • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £50,999

    The grant will be paid to the person who was responsible for paying business rates for the property on 11 March.

    We are working hard to ensure small businesses benefit as soon as possible from these grants.

    Payment of grants 

    If you are a business awaiting payment please go to our frequently asked questions for the latest information.

    We are making it a priority to distribute small business grants and have made payments to businesses where we already hold their bank details. 

    We will also need bank details of the remaining eligible businesses so that we can make their payments.  

    Contacting us

    We recognise that some business rate payers may not be able to collect/receive correspondence about potential support sent by post to their business address during the current lock down. To address this we have set up a secure online portal that will allow us to gather information from businesses so they can receive their grant entitlement.

    Send us your details

    General enquiries

    If you have an enquiry, please email nndr@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

    To help us follow up your enquiry more quickly, please submit your business rates reference number when you contact us. (This is the 8-digit number on the top right of your business rates bill).

    We are currently experiencing a high level of enquiries but will get back to you as soon as we can.

    The government's frequently asked questions on grant funding schemes can be found in our support for Business FAQs.

    Coast to Capital clinics

    Coast to Capital are offering free one to one emergency response clinics to small and medium-sized businesses in the region. Find more information about the Coast to Capital Growth Hub.

    Support for the self-employed

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

    This scheme will allow 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.

    Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

    Find out more about support for self-employed and freelance workers.

    Bounce back loans

    On 27 April the government announced a new micro-loan scheme for businesses in need of small loans. The scheme will be available from Monday 4 May.

    Small businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, and they will be interest-free for the first 12 months. More information about the bounce back loans and guidance on how to apply.

    Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) Scheme

    In March, the government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can check if you can claim for your staff’s wages and more information about guidance to support businesses on GOV.UK

    You can also read our Business Support FAQs to see how the government package of measures affects your business.

    Find information about hotels staying open for vulnerable people from GOV.UK.

    The situation is changing all the time and businesses are advised to check information on the government website for the latest update available.

    Retail relief

    Every small business in the city eligible for retail relief as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak has had their business rates cancelled for the next 12 months as part of a package of measures to support small businesses.

    We have proactively cancelled Direct Debits and contacted all eligible businesses in the city to ensure they are aware that they do not have to pay any business rates for the next 12 months. See details of business support in Brighton & Hove.

    Nursery discount

    If you are nursery provider who appears on Ofsted’s Early Years Register, and your property is wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage, you will qualify for a nursery discount.

    The discount is 100% of the bill for the current rate year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 and will be applied directly to your business rates account for 2020/21. The April bill will confirm the discount and we have stopped all Direct Debit payments for businesses covered by the 100% nursery discount.

    Find more information about the Nursery Discount.

    Safety advice for businesses

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

    Businesses can also download and print the government’s coronavirus posters to display within their work spaces.

    The government has issued 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

    We would like to thank businesses for managing the current situation and helping to keep their employees, customers and themselves safe. Most of those permitted to remain open and trading under the current restrictions are implementing relevant control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    All businesses must put controls in place and ensure staff and customers keep to social distancing of at least two metres between each person. You should also consider limiting the number of customers in your premises at any one time. This is for everyone’s safety to reduce the risk of infection. 

    Any businesses found not to be enforcing control measures may be liable to an on the spot fine and further enforcement action. 

    We’ve put together guidance for businesses which we hope will help at this difficult time.

    Food safety information

    Find advice for food businesses looking to offer takeaway and deliveries, as well as the latest guidance on premises that need to close.  

    Beware of scams

    We are aware of a scam email that claims to come from a store ‘head office’ or ‘manager’ asking for business rates reference numbers.

    There are also scams involving emails appearing to come from GOV.UK about Government Business Grants.

    If you receive an email like this please delete it and do not reply.

    Please note that emails regarding the retail, hospitality and leisure grant scheme for the Brighton & Hove area will be sent from an '@brighton-hove.gov.uk' address. Do not respond to any emails that do not have such an address. 

    If you want to submit your details for consideration of business grants please do so through our secure online portal.