Financial support and advice
Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
If you are self employed and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, you may use this second scheme to claim a grant.
You must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.
This phase is the second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
You can still claim if you did or did not make a claim on the first round.
It does not need to be repaid but is subject to income tax and self employed national insurance like the first grant.
For all eligibility details, explanations and to apply go to the Self Employment Income Support Scheme government web page.
The Federation of Small Businesses website also provides helpful information for the self-employed.
On 13 May, the Government department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) issued Guidance for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund. This does not replace the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, but is aimed at small businesses that were not eligible for these funds.
The Government has published frequently asked questions about the Discretionary Grant scheme.
In accordance with Government guidelines the following types of businesses were prioritised for grants:
- small businesses in shared offices or flexible workspaces
- regular market traders (with fixed building cots in Tunbridge Wells borough, such as rent) who do not have their own business rates assessment
- bed and breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
- charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rate Relief
In Tunbridge Wells a second priority group will also be considered, following local priorities that have been identified:
- businesses who missed out on the original grant scheme through a legitimate issue with their VOA status on 11 March
- leisure, retail and hospitality businesses and those in the supply chain not eligible in other schemes
- cultural and creative businesses not eligible in other schemes
The initial Grant Application deadline was Sunday 7 June and is currently closed for applications.
An appeals process has been set up for those businesses that are not satisfied with the outcome of their application. If you wish to appeal following notification on the decision on your application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and mark the subject of the email, APPEAL - Discretionary Grant. Any appeal to the Council must be made within seven days of notification of the decision.
Business Rates Holiday and Grants
The Government has confirmed that we and other councils will be responsible for administering coronavirus rate relief and grants to businesses.
If you believe you are eligible but have not received correspondence, please email the Business Rates team email@example.com.
Kent and Medway Growth Hub Business Advice Line
Telephone: 03333 602 300
A dedicated Covid 19 telephone helpline is available Monday to Friday 8.30am until 5pm where businesses can speak to someone who can:
- advise on the type of business support available
- signpost businesses to the correct provider of any support measures
- offer a call back from an adviser to talk through options
A live web-chat service is also manned by business advisers dedicated to providing Covid 19 advice that can be accessed at the following link: https://www.kentandmedwaygrowthhub.org.uk/
The business helpline was launched on 25 March 2020 and is providing guidance and advice around key topics such as crisis management, cash flow and debt management, staff retention strategies etc. The business advisers can also signpost and broker to appropriate private sector expertise such as banks, lawyers, accounts and insurers.
Since the launch of the helpline, 325 borough businesses have made contact with the Kent and Medway Growth Hub.
The helpline service is funded by Kent local authorities (including TWBC) and Kent County Council.
New Business Support Hub
A new business support site for Kent and Medway: www.cv19supporthub.org
This site is curated and populated by the Kent Business Community, moderated by the Kent and Medway Growth Hub. Its purpose is to act as a repository of information, advice and guidance provided by the private sector as part of a collective response to the Covid-19 crisis. The site includes advice via downloads, blogs and videos.
HM Government Business Support website
The HM Government Business Support website https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/ provides detailed information about all the types of financial support available at present: including:
- Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan
- Coronavirus Future Fund
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Statutory Sick Pay Rebate
- Time to Pay
- VAT Deferral
- Business Rates Holiday Nurseries
- Deferral of Self Assessment payment
Other useful business websites
Several business organisations are providing helpful information and guidance for businesses as well. For example the Kent and Medway Growth Hub, the Federation of Small Businesses and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership
We have set up an email address should you have questions that the links or information here do not answer. We are happy to receive your emails and will do all we can to help.
Please understand that we may not be able to give you a definitive response to questions if we haven’t received the detailed information from central government.
Royal Tunbridge Wells Together Business Improvement District
If you have received correspondence from the Business Improvement District (BID) and you wish to discuss it you should contact the BID direct.