Stalybridge Councillor pens open letter to help provide clarity to Tameside business owners

A COUNCILLOR has written an open letter to businesses in Tameside to explain the help available to them.

Cllr Liam Billington, who represents Stalybridge South and is Conservative shadow for finance and economic growth, has been concerned by the number unaware of Government handouts to help ease the pain.He said: “This has been the single biggest issue and represented most of my case work.

“A lot of people, especially smaller shops which don’t sell online, don’t know what is on offer.

“There is a lot of jargon and it is a case of breaking it down so they understand it.

“Things like the small business grant which many people mistakenly think has to be repaid which is not the case.”

Cllr Billington pointed out Tameside Council has received £53 million, one of the highest sums awarded to an authority in Greater Manchester, to help smaller businesses.

In his letter, Cllr Billington stated: “Our country is facing an unprecedented challenge to its health service, economy and way of life. I feel it is important to inform you, the businessmen and women of Tameside of the support available during the crisis.

“It is you, the makers, doers and grafters of Tameside that provide the jobs and economic growth that allow our community and our country to thrive, and I’m determined to ensure you get the support you need to get through this.

“The Chancellor has set out a £330 billion package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption.”

The package of measures includes:

  • All employers eligible for the Government to fund 80 per cent of salaries up to £2,500 per month backdated to March 1.
  • Self-employed individuals are now eligible to claim a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months. This may be extended if needed.
  • A statutory sick pay relief package for small and medium enterprises (SME).
  • VAT deferred until the next financial year for all businesses.
  • Income tax payment for self-employed individuals due in July 2020 now deferred to January 2021.
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England.
  • 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 £51,000. Tameside Council has been awarded over £53m by the Government to distribute these grants.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance. This is interest free for 12 months.

The situation is fast developing and the Government continue to look at other measures to support businesses. To stay up to date and for more details of the measures and how you can make use of them visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response 

Should you need advice about the support available to businesses, Tameside Council has set up teams to field such enquiries which can be contacted on: employmentandskills@tameside.gov.uk

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