Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Support for businesses affected by coronavirus

Updated: 29 May

Advice for businesses re-opening

We have gathered together useful advice and guidance for businesses who are starting to re-open.

Support from the Government

Visit GOV.UK's Business Support homepage for everything you need to know about getting support for your business, including:

  • funding and support
  • information for self-employed people and sole traders
  • your responsibilities as an employer
  • managing your business during coronavirus
  • information on business closures
  • how your business can help

Support from the Council

Discretionary Grant Scheme

The Government has made funding available for us to support local businesses via a discretionary grant scheme. The scheme is open to small and micro businesses in Pendle who do not qualify for the Small Business Grants Fund or the Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Grants Fund. 

Whilst the scheme is discretionary, the Government expects us to prioritise the funding to support:

  1. Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
  2. Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment. This does not include traders at Council managed indoor markets in Colne and Nelson as these are rated
  3. Bed and Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  4. Charity properties receiving charitable business rates relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

If you do not fall into one of the 4 categories above, you can still apply, but the business types described above will be prioritised.


Any business applying for the grant must: 

  • have been trading on 11/3/20
  • occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000
  • have fewer than 50 employees
  • have experienced a significant fall in income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • have high on-going fixed building related costs
  • be ineligible for a range of other financial support schemes provided by the Government

Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible.

Grants of up to a maximum of £10,000 are available. Because of the limited funding available, and the high number of applications we expect to receive, we retain the right to reduce the amounts awarded. This is so we can remain within the funding available whilst trying to assist local businesses.

We expect that that many of the grants awarded will be for less than £10,000.

Grant income received by a business is taxable therefore any funding paid under this scheme will be subject to tax.  Only businesses which make an overall profit once the grant income is included will be subject to tax.

The deadline for applying is midnight on 10 June 2020.

Small Business Grant Funding

If you're a local business and you haven't yet applied for a grant, do it today! We've already paid out £19.5 million to 1,800 businesses.

All businesses who qualified for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rate Relief (RRR) on the 11 March 2020, are eligible for a grant of £10,000.  The grant is for qualifying properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less. You are not eligible if your premises rateable value is £15,000 or more, or if the premises is occupied for personal use.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, and your property has a rateable value of over £15,000 but less than £51,000, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

  • Eligible businesses with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive a grant of £10,000
  • Eligible businesses with a property that has a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000 

Who is not eligible?

  • Businesses with a property that has a rateable value of £51,000 or over
  • Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system

Payment of Grants

Ratepayers will receive one grant per property (hereditament). We will make the payment to the person who, according to our rating records, was the ratepayer on 11 March 2020. The grant is for the ratepayer, and may be liable for recovery if the recipient of the grant was not the ratepayer on the eligible day.

Business Rates - Expanded Retail Discount Scheme

Retail, Hospitality and leisure businesses

A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England. This applies to your April 2020 bill. If your business is eligible, the discount will automatically be applied. You don’t need to contact us to request it. There is no rateable value limit which means every qualifying business in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector will be supported no matter what size you are.


Properties who will benefit from the relief are those which are occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and which are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

We’re currently identifying which businesses are eligible and we will do this as quickly as we can. We’ll be sending out updated bills which will show that you will not pay business rates for 2020-2021.

This discount applies only to nurseries and businesses that operate in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector. Some types of businesses are not eligible for the discount including financial services, medical services and some professional services.

The Government have now issued detailed guidance on Business Rates Retail Discount

Nurseries can check if their nursery is eligible for business rates relief

Help for tenants of Council-owned commercial properties

Tenants who rent our commercial properties can have a three month rental payment holiday. The suspended rent must be paid back to us by 31 March 2021.

Our commercial properties include shops, cafes, offices, a nursery and industrial estates. We also have community and charity tenants.

We will place a temporary stop on all Direct Debits. Tenants should temporarily cancel Standing Orders relating to any rent due from March 30 2020.

If you have already paid rent for the next three months or you cannot stop a payment, you will receive a refund.

But if you are in rent arrears, or have agreed a repayment plan to clear any arrears, these payments should continue if possible.

If you want to continue to pay your rent as normal, email as soon as possible.

The situation will be reviewed in three months’ time or as and when required.

Food businesses

We have some advice for food businesses who are offering, or planning to offer, takeaway services


Nelson and Colne Markets are closed until further notice. Traders will not be charged rent during this period and the closure will be reviewed at the end of April.

Businesses which should not be open

Please check the full Government guidance for a full list of businesses and premises which must be closed.

Businesses which have been told to close and continue to trade could face unlimited fines. Where applicable, they could also lose their alcohol licence.

You can report a business which should not be open by completing our complaints form. Choose 'Business Premises' from the drop down list.

Boost - Lancashire's Business Growth Hub

Boost has a dedicated #AskForHelp team ready to help local businesses affected by coronavirus.