Sedgemoor District Council’s economic development officer Vicky Banham has this information for members of the Chamber:

We have the following advice on where to find information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is relevant to businesses. As you will appreciate, this is a rapidly evolving situation. We anticipate that it will have a significant impact on our local economy and we will be working with partners to help where we can both during the crisis and towards recovery.

The business support page on the Sedgemoor District Council website is where we will aim to keep you updated so please do check it regularly:

So far, the government has announced a number of measures to help support businesses in the District including:

·        An increase in the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year. This will include the leisure and hospitality sectors and planned rates discount for pubs will be increased to £5,000. Taken together with existing small business rate relief (which already provides full relief for businesses using a single property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less), this means around 45% of all properties in England will receive 100% business rates relief in 2020 to 2021

·        Businesses eligible for the newly expanded retail discount and/or the new pubs discount are being advised that they may need to apply to the Council to receive the discount. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the Council via

·        A grant scheme, that will be administered by the Council, to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) with up to £10,000 as a one off grant to meet ongoing business costs. Councils will have more news on how this will work shortly. Grants to some retail, hospitality and leisure businesses could be up to £25,000

·        Tailored opportunities to review and agree payment plans for tax liabilities for businesses and the self-employed. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, you should call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559

·        Legislation is being brought forward to allow small and medium enterprises / employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19 with two weeks Statutory Sick Pay per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

We do not know yet how all these measures will be implemented but we will share the details when we have them on the webpage above. We will be working with business organisations such as the Chambers of Commerce and the FSB as well as our Destination Management Organisation, Visit Somerset, to support local business at this time.

Helpful links

·    Government guidance for employers and businesses.

·    UK government response to coronavirus.

·    NHS advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

·    Government support for businesses


Vicky Banham

Economic Development Officer

Inward Investment & Growth

Sedgemoor District Council

Bridgwater House, King Square

Bridgwater TA6 3AR

DD: 01278 436495

M: 07500 028954