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Coronavirus - Business Support

Three Rivers District Council is looking at doing everything it can to support local businesses of all sizes.

We are aware all business owners need as much help as possible right now to support them through these unprecedented times.  A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.

On Friday 1 May,  the Government announced new support for small businesses that are not eligible for any of the current government Covid-19 grants but have high fixed property-related costs.  This grant will be administered by local councils.

We do not yet have all the details about this grant, so businesses cannot apply at the moment.  We will keep Three Rivers businesses up to date through this website and through @ThreeRiversDC twitter account.  Once we have the guidance we will publish how our scheme will work and an online application form in order to  make payments as quickly as possible.

Whats on this page

Business Rates

Regulatory support and new regulations for business closure

Support for Council business tenants

Advice for animal related businesses

Guidance for licensed premises

Guidance for food businesses

Business rates

Businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors will pay no business rates in 2020-21.  In the Budget, the only businesses in these sectors exempt from business rates were those with rateable values of less than £51,000.  The “business rates holiday” will now be extended to all businesses in these sectors regardless of rateable value. These changes have now been enacted in our systems and businesses will receive written confirmation over the next week. 

Additional grants and support

Grants of £25k for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with rateable values of more than  £15k and less than £51k. In addition to not paying any business rates in 2020-21 businesses in these sectors will receive a grant. 

Grant for ALL businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or rural rate relief. Regardless of sector, will be eligible for a cash payment of £10,000 (an increase on the £3,000 announced in the Budget last week). 

The Government released guidance to the Council regarding the processing of these grants on the 24th March.  All eligible businesses are asked to confirm bank details using a short online form.


To see the latest general information for businesses, please go to the government's Business Support website. This page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

The government announced a package of measures to support the self-employed who were not covered in previous packages.

The government has also published answers to frequently asked questions for businesses.

The government has also published Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance (pdf)

The government has announced a wide range of measures to help businesses and employers affected by coronavirus, including people who are self employed.

Hertfordshire County Council has detailed and useful information on its website regarding business support measures.

A joint statement from Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce was published 25 March 2020 detailing their support for businesses.

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/news-archive/covid-19-joint-statement-for-businesses

HCC’s main referral point for local businesses is Hertfordshire Growth Hub, which has set up a dedicated COVID-19 Business Resource page, and its team of Growth Hub Advisers are on hand to provide one-to-one support via telephone: 01707 398168, email enquiries@hertsgrowthhub.com and Live Chat from Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5.30pm. Hertfordshire Growth Hub is also running a survey to better understand the impact COVID-19 is having on the business community and how it can best prepare support

Regulatory support and new regulations for business closure (COVID-19)

Hertfordshire County Council Trading Standards alongside our partners in district councils recognise that for local businesses, and their employees, these measures have created uncertainty, and many businesses unsure to whom it applies. To check if your business, or your employer is affected please visit the government’s Covid-19 business closure guidance page

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/news-archive/new-regulations-for-business-closure-covid-19

The Hertfordshire Trading Standards Business Support team will be available throughout this period to provide support to all local businesses on any regulatory matters, including these new measures and advice on diversifying your business activity. The Business Advice Line: 01707 281401 is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm or email: trading.standards@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Restrictions on Business Premises 

The Secretary of State has made new regulations under the emergency procedure, to protect the public. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 26 March 2020. 

The new legislation provides the legal basis for the current ‘lockdown’ of citizens and businesses but it is an expansive document covering a range of topics and how they are affected by the current situation.  Measures to reduce the spread of the virus require all non-essential retail and leisure businesses to close and encourage other business to work at home where possible. 

In summary premises to close include: 

  • Food & drink venues for consumption on site
  • Retail
  • Accommodation
  • Non-residential institutions
  • Assembly and leisure
  • Outdoor recreation

For full details on businesses that must close, and any exemptions.

Where businesses are allowed to remain open, the Environmental Health Officers will ensure they are complying with measures such as social distancing.  Environmental Health Officers will monitor compliance with the regulations in both Watford & Three Rivers, with police support provided if appropriate.  Businesses that breach them will be subject to enforcement action.  Anyone contravening the Regulations will be committing an offence. 

Further details and FAQs have been provided (pdf)

If you  wish to enquire about your own business premises and how it is affected by the regulations please contact Environmental Health Officers at Watford BC by email on envhealth@watford.gov.uk 

If you wish to log a complaint about a business operating please complete the form. These details will be sent to a Duty Environmental Health Officer to consider.  If you provide your contact information you will be contacted if more details are required and you will be advised on the outcome of any investigation. 

Support for Three Rivers District Council business tenants 

Some local businesses are tenants of Three Rivers DC.

The Council is actively considering what measures to offer its business tenants so that business remain sustainable whilst current extraordinary trading conditions persist.

In the interim, should any Council tenant have difficulty paying the next quarters (or month’s) rent, please could you contact the property team on either property@threerivers.gov..uk or tel. 01923 776611

Advice for animal related businesses

The Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) has published advice for animal related businesses .

Guidance for licensed premises

The Licensing department is evolving its processes to ensure that all live and new applications are progressed effectively in the current circumstances.

Taxis are still allowed to work and it is evident many Operators and drivers across the country are assisting the relief efforts in terms of transporting key workers or distributing food.  We will be asking our Operators if they are continuing to operate at this time and what, if anything, they are doing to use their services to support others. 

With regards to premises licences the Government guidance on this is changing daily but Officers are providing advice. Any licenced premises who wish to discuss their licence requirements must get in contact with the Licensing department as in many cases “off sales” of alcohol are not permitted. Officers including those within Environmental Health, Trading Standards and the Police will be working together closely and any breaches of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 may result in the loss of their alcohol licence with immediate effect which is something we all wish to avoid.

Officers are regularly updating the website and would ask that all customers keep an eye on the licensing webpage which can be found here.  Any questions or comments can be sent to our Licensing Officers at: licensing.team@threerivers.gov.uk

Guidance for food businesses

Read the government guidance for food businesses.