This is a time of great anxiety for workers and businesses. Lambeth council will do all in our power to help you through this.
Which is why we’ve launched Lambeth’s Local Economy Support Package. We’re giving rent relief to over 300 of our commercial tenants, making over £50m of grant payments, and freezing commercial waste payments for businesses forced to close. And we’re now developing new measures in partnership with business groups across the borough.
We’re determined to keep Lambeth’s business community vibrant and resilient, by being on the side of our local businesses their employees and those who are self-employed.
How we’re responding as a council
We have launched a comprehensive economic package to help businesses, voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups and the borough’s residents cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Local Economy Support Package is designed to offer relief and certainty at a time of unprecedented change.
To find out about the support available click on the drop-down tabs below.
If you have any queries please email email@example.com or call our business helpline on 020 7926 2344, the helpline is open Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm
NEW: Local Economy Hardship Fund
Grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 will be available to a range of badly hit businesses, charities and not-for-profit organisations to support their chances of survival and recovery.
Business rates relief and grants
Amended bills detailing the 100% Retail Rate Relief were issued on Friday 20 March.
Claim a cash grant
To claim a cash grant, complete the relevant form below. We will be processing claims as quickly as possible, but it may take 7 – 10 business days to receive payment.
Grant Form A
If you are a business currently receiving Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) you can claim a grant of £10,000.
Grant Form B
If you are a retail, hospitality or leisure business operating from a premises with a rateable value of up to £15,000 (but you do not receive Small Business Rate Relief), you can claim a grant of £10,000.
Please note that if you are a retail, hospitality or leisure business receiving Small Business Rate Relief you need to complete Grant Form A.
Grant Form C
If you are a retail, hospitality or leisure business operating from a premises with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000, you can claim a grant of £25,000.
Eligible businesses will receive one grant per business premises.
We are aware of some potential scams which charge businesses a fee to complete the grant application process. The grant is free and you should complete the claim form yourself. The guidance on this page explains how to complete the process and we can help if you need support.
Advice on filling out a claim form:
Before completing the claim form, please read the following guidelines carefully. Mistakes on the claim form may lead to it being rejected and cause delays in processing your payment.
You will need a copy of your business rates bill and your business bank details before you start completing the form.
Make sure you have your unique business rates reference number (found on any business rates bill). This is required as a fraud prevention measure and it will not be possible to process your claim without it. If you do not know your unique business rates reference number please call the business rates team on 020 8315 2255 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
You will be asked to enter 2 addresses on the form. The first address is the property address that the grant is being claimed for. The second address is the billing address that your business rates bills go to. If the billing address is the same as the property address you should re-enter the property details again.
If you have a direct debit set up for business rates payments, the bank details entered into the form should match the bank details used for the direct debit. If they do not match the form will be rejected.
When your form has been submitted successfully you will get a case reference number as confirmation.
We will be processing claims as quickly as possible, but it may take 7 – 10 business days to receive payment.
If you have any queries regarding this form or would like some assistance completing it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rent relief for commercial council tenants
Business interruption loan scheme
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities. The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.
- Up to £5m facility: The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m, available on repayment terms of up to six years.
- 80% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding facility balance, subject to an overall cap per lender.
- No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme: No fee for smaller businesses. Lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme.
- Interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months: The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
- Finance terms: Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years.
- Security: At the discretion of the lender, the scheme may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under. For facilities above £250,000, the lender must establish a lack or absence of security prior to businesses using CBILS. If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.
- The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.
The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Government-owned British Business Bank. There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all major banks.
Support for the creative and night-time economy
Other cashflow and lending support
There will be a mortgage payment holiday of at least three months for those facing financial difficulty as a result of coronavirus.
Businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be entitled to receive a refund for Statutory Sick Pay costs they incur because of coronavirus. The refund will be limited to two weeks per employee.
Temporarily operating as a take-away
The government has published a new 'Permitted Development Right' to enable this. It allows these types of premises to provide prepared hot or cold food, for collection or delivery, for consumption off the premises – without the need for planning permission.
In order to benefit from this right and operate as a takeaway you must first inform us that you plan to do this.
Your email must include:
- The address of the site to be operated as a takeaway
- Confirmation of the previous use of the premises
- Details of the proposed operation, including which parts of the building/land will be used and the proposed hours of operation.
- The date you propose to start and end the take-away operation (the government has permitted such use up until 23 March 2021)
It is important to note that this new legislation allows businesses to operate in this way until the 23 March 2021 – before which such use must cease. Please do read the legislation (link below) observing its conditions and limitations. If you would like to operate beyond this date, a planning application must be submitted well in advance of the expiry date, proposing the continued use of the premises as a takeaway.
Unfortunately, if you are not currently operating as a lawful pub, restaurant or café, you cannot take advantage of this – and will need to apply for planning permission as per normal. In addition to this, there may be conditions attached to previous planning permissions, which will either restrict or prohibit your ability to benefit from these rights.
Freeze commercial waste collections
The Council continues to provide a full commercial waste collection service to all our customers. However, we know that many businesses have been forced to close or are no longer operating as a result of coronavirus. In order to support our business community in Lambeth, we have agreed that businesses can request a suspension of their commercial waste agreements until they are able to operate again.
If you wish to suspend your current agreement, please do not cancel your direct debit as your account will still be charged. Please email email@example.com to tell us that you are no longer operating and to provide the following information:
- Name of business
- Contact name
- Contact details (telephone/ email address)
- Site Address
- Agreement number/ Account number *A signed letter on business letterhead to evidence that you have suspended trading due to coronavirus. Please include the date you stopped trading in this letter (this should be no earlier than 23 March 2020)
If your business is still trading you will not be able to freeze your commercial waste collections, otherwise you would be failing your Duty of Care.
For any query regarding the balance on your account please email the Accounts Receivable Team firstname.lastname@example.org
Your insurer will be able to advise you on whether your policy includes cover for business interruption and whether disease outbreaks, like coronavirus, are included in your policy.
Other support for businesses
Help for those who are ineligible for Statutory Sick Pay, such as the self-employed, to access benefits more quickly if they have to self-isolate.
A new telephone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus. Contact the HMRC helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Find out more about the support on the GOV.UK website.
Other useful links
London-specific advice and support for businesses is available through the London Growth Hub
The Federation of Small Businesses has published guidance on what you can do to protect your business and your employees.
A toolkit to support businesses to implement remote working
A checklist for preparing your business for Coronavirus