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Message from Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of the Council - 25 March 2020

We are working hard to protect all our residents from the impact of COVID-19, and most importantly, our most vulnerable residents, but we recognise too the profound challenges facing South Tyneside's business community.

We are working with government and other partners nationally and regionally to safeguard their livelihoods and provide them with the advice, guidance and targeted support that they need and are entitled to.

Over the coming days, we are establishing a business advice hub to provide proactive support and respond to individual concerns and queries.  This will include a dedicated hotline and email address.

We know that swift action is vital to support cash flow and protect jobs and we are focusing on making sure help gets to those who need it, as quickly as possible.

Business rates for the coming financial year will be waived for those in receipt of small business rate relief and all businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sector. Qualifying businesses will be advised shortly.

In addition, we will be paying one-off grants to a significant number of small and medium-sized businesses. This will help them continue to support their staff in these challenging times.

Any businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors as well as estate agents, letting agents and bingo halls, operating with a Rateable Value between £15,000 and £51,000 will get a £25,000 grant. Any small business in any sector already in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief will get a £10,000 grant.

The Council is working at a fast pace to ensure the emergency grants being made available from the Government are paid directly to eligible business' bank accounts as soon as possible and that rates relief is applied where applicable. Though all of these eligible businesses will be contacted in due course, an online form is being set up to verify business bank details. This will be available at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/business. We aim to turn around applications as quickly as possible.

This is a very dynamic and constantly-evolving situation, with more information coming through all the time; our priority is to ensure that financial support is released as soon as is practical.  

These 2,500 local businesses that are eligible for this direct financial assistance are vital to the prosperity of our borough and will be crucial in helping our local economy recover when we have beaten this virus.

We will continue to work hand-in-hand with them and our partners to unlock all available support and financial assistance to allow them to continue to operate through this crisis and beyond.

The Council's Invest South Tyneside website and social media channels will continue to be updated with the latest information and guidance, as well as a dedicated government page detailing available support.

Web: Invest South Tyneside
Twitter: @STyneBusiness
Linkedin: Invest South Tyneside Linkedin
Facebook: /investsouthtyneside

www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support

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