Contact Us

Many thousands of the UK’s smallest businesses are at risk of missing out on vital bailout grants from the Government because local councils are unable to contact them to distribute the funds.

Any small firm in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief may be eligible for a grant from their local authority to help them through the coronavirus outbreak. The funding has begun in earnest this month, with the handouts being allocated via the existing business rates system to expedite the process.

However, there appears to be a significant flaw in the procedure, given that most local councils don’t typically harvest financial and contact information on small businesses that don’t have to pay business rates.

This is thought to include firms eligible for rate relief that were established after the relief’s introduction in 2005 and its reform in 2010.

Several local authorities are posting letters to these business owners and, in some instances, visiting their premises. However, the COVID-19 lockdown means that all but a handful of smaller firms have closed their doors altogether or are operational exclusively online. Subsequently, councils are struggling to make all entrepreneurs aware of their eligibility for the cash.

Councils are having to use alternative means of tracking down owners, using Companies House as a point of reference to obtain vital contact details. However, this protracted process threatens to delay the grants that are most needed to small firms with minimal cash reserves.

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA) said: “Councils are leading local efforts to support communities and businesses as they try and cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

“They stand ready to ensure business reliefs and grants reach those who need them as quickly as possible.

“The LGA is working with the Government on how to overcome the administrative challenges councils face.”

These latest roadblocks come just a few days after the Chancellor had to intervene and scrap a key feature of the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, giving businesses easier and quicker access to vital loans from high-street banks.

For our latest COVID-19 news and guidance for your business, visit our dedicated Coronavirus Hub.
We will be updating it regularly as we continue to monitor and digest all the latest information

Date published 9 Apr 2020 | Last updated 23 Sep 2020

Choose the right accounting firm for you

Running your own business can be challenging so why not let TaxAssist Accountants manage your tax, accounting, bookkeeping and payroll needs? If you are not receiving the service you deserve from your accountant, then perhaps it’s time to make the switch?

Local business focus icon

Local business focus

We specialise in supporting independent businesses and work with 80,684 clients. Each TaxAssist Accountant runs their own business, and are passionate about supporting you.

Come and meet us icon

Come and meet us

We enjoy talking to business owners and self-employed professionals who are looking to get the most out of their accountant. You can visit us at any of our 409 locations, meet with us online through video call software, or talk to us by telephone.

Switching is simple icon

Switching is simple

Changing accountants is easier than you might think. There are no tax implications and you can switch at any time in the year and our team will guide you through the process for a smooth transition.

See how TaxAssist Accountants can help you with a free, no obligation consultation

0800 0523 555

Or contact us