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Sub-regional response for business support against COVID-19

20 March 2020

Cheshire East Council has ramped up its work with partners across the county to support local businesses and respond to the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy.

The partnership includes Cheshire & Warrington Growth Hub, the local chambers of commerce, Marketing Cheshire and Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington Councils.Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “This is a fast-moving and dynamic situation, with more information coming through all the time. 

“I want to offer assurances to businesses in Cheshire East that the local response to national plans will be ready. Businesses of all sizes – from sole traders to multinational companies – are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We are working with our partners across Cheshire and Warrington to maintain a suite of resources and support local businesses and employers.

“A package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses has already been announced by the Chancellor, with more announcements expected to help minimise the economic impact of COVID-19. 

“There will be two grant schemes to support small businesses, administered by the council. Our staff are playing an important role by working closely with central government to help shape the grants process, and I hope the government will release payments within weeks once the announcements have been made.”

The first scheme will be a grant offer of £10,000 for businesses receiving small business rate relief and rural rate relief with a rateable value of under £15,000. In Cheshire East this will provide around £60m of support for small businesses. 

The second scheme focuses on the retail, leisure and hospitality sector for organisations which do not receive small business rate relief and have a rateable value under £51,000. This will be a grant offer of up to £25,000.

In addition, businesses in these sectors, including shops, public houses, theatres, music venues and restaurants will pay no business rates for 12 months.

The process of identifying eligible businesses for these grants has already started. Once the government makes the funds available these payments will be made automatically. Businesses do not need to apply to the council.

The council's business support pages are being refreshed regularly and businesses are encouraged to check for updates.

If you want to be kept up to date with COVID-19 advice and other support from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and Growth Hub organisation please visit the hub's COVID-19 support pages