COVID-19 Support for business

We have paid out over £16.2m so far to just under 1400 West Suffolk businesses eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grants.

We have been redeploying staff so we can prioritise making calls and emails to businesses about the grants. We will be processing payments daily as more forms are returned.

We have asked businesses who think they are eligible for the Small Business Grants Fund and who have not heard from us, to email We are continuing to do all that we can to try to contact any remaining businesses that are eligible for the funding. Council staff will be checking emails, searching on social media and leaving messages on company phones to try to speak to these businesses

We have been working our way through the grants to the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sector from 6 April, having prioritised their £34m of Business Rate Relief. Businesses that are eligible will receive grants of £10,000 or £25,000 depending on their rateable value.

We appreciate that businesses are anxious to get this support as quickly as possible. We have made getting this grant and rate relief support to businesses a priority.


We have been made aware of a company offering to assist you in getting your grant for a charge. PLEASE DO NOT FALL FOR THIS. Follow the advice on this webpage and on the council's social media channels.

More grant information

The Government has already announced various measures to help businesses and the local economy during the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. There are some key links to information available on this page and in particular the Government’s own website sets out the broad explanation of the help made available to date. Visit: or call their helpline on 0300 456 3565.

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance

  • Grant Funding Schemes - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • Council officers are contacting eligible businesses to confirm details with them. Once a business has returned the necessary information to the council in relation to the grant scheme and eligibility has been confirmed, we typically process payments within 48 hours and then a remittance will be received to confirm payment date (including clearing of funds through the bank).

For any businesses in the West Suffolk area concerned about their specific circumstances or confused about where they can go for support, we have a dedicated email address as follows:

Alternatively, please phone 01284 757114 and we will try to help you.

Our team already works with businesses across West Suffolk and can offer advice on a range of issues in addition to directing people to the business support that is available.

As always, if you or any of your staff are feeling unwell the best advice is on the NHS website

The following is a summary on the different types of support for your business:

West Suffolk Council administered by Anglia Revenues Partnership

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England - There is no action for you. This will apply to your next business rates bill in April 2020.
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief - Your local authority will contact you in the coming weeks if you are eligible for this grant.
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 - Your local authority will contact you in the coming weeks you if you are eligible for this grant.
  • Nursery business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year - There is no action for you. This will apply to your next business rates bill in April 2020.


  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement
  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments. - Deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months – This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
  • Statutory Sick Pay Relief - A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.
  • Time to Pay service - All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC's 0800 0159 559.
  • GOV.UK - Tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus - The Government’s Tax helpline set up to support businesses impacted by coronavirus has been updated. The phone helpline was set up to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus. The telephone number is 0800 024 1222.

For more information visit HM Revenue and Customs – Tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

British Business Bank

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to HMRC. The Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

Bank of England

  • COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility - the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

The New Anglia Growth Hub

The New Anglia Growth Hub’s team is also in place to offer free guidance to businesses at this challenging time 0300 333 6536.

Updated social distancing advice from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

BEIS has updated its Government sector guidance on social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus epidemic. See

Useful local links