"We realise that COVID-19 is causing all businesses, large and small, to face multiple challenges, make extremely difficult decisions for what is an indefinite period of uncertainty. We want you to know that Oadby and Wigston Borough Council is committed to supporting you through this.
We are writing to the business community in our Borough to let you know that our priority is to safeguard as many businesses and jobs in our Borough as possible. The best way for us to do this is to ensure that you receive all the business support announced by the government in the most timely and efficient manner. We will keep you updated as more details continue to become available, particularly relating to availability and timescales. This will be done via our social media channels and also through our OWBCBiz Digital Newsletter.
By now you will have heard the government announce new support schemes involving loans, grants and rate relief. We are working diligently at Oadby and Wigston Borough Council to understand how these support schemes will be delivered to you in the coming weeks and months. For the latest information regarding these schemes, including whether you are eligible and how you can access them, we recommend that you visit the LLEP Growth Hub COVID-19 web page . In addition, for help with business planning we recommend that you visit the East Midlands Chamber Coronavirus web page.
We currently expect the small business grants of £10k to £25k to become available in April, the Council has some of your details but will be contacting you shortly to ask you to confirm your business and bank account details. If however, you are experiencing immediate cash flow difficulties then we recommend that you engage in discussions with some of the lenders participating in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which opened for applications on Monday 23rd March. They may be able to provide a loan that would not have previously been available to you, as well as a 12-month interest free period.
Employers of all sizes, in all sectors, will have to make some very difficult decisions over the coming, days, weeks and months. Laying-off staff during the period will be one of the most difficult decisions that any business has to make, but there is help on the way to assist you with your staffing costs in the form of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – we would ask that you explore the possibility of making use of this scheme before taking the difficult decision to lay-off any of your valuable employees. It is currently expected that the online portal for accessing this scheme will go live by the end of April.
The Government has also launched a scheme to help self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19) through the self-employed income support scheme. 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. Please visit the HM Revenue and Customs to claim a grant.
Lastly, in these unprecedented times and extremely challenging situations for businesses and communities in our borough, we firmly believe that by working together, caring for others, we can and will get through this."