Financial Support Available for Brixton Businesses

    Financial Support Available for Local Businesses

    Business Grants

    Local businesses who believe they are eligible for the business grants of £10,000 or £25,000 need to complete a short form required by Lambeth (on behalf of Government) to capture necessary details and act against fraud.

    To complete the form, businesses will need their unique business rates reference number (found on any business rates bill) along with business bank details.

    Guidance on eligibility criteria set by Government can be found here

    If a business does not know their business rates number, they should call the Business Rates Team on 020 8315 2255 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (please note: this number is different to the Business Helpline number).

    Lambeth Council is supporting businesses by making these cash payments in advance of receiving the funding from Government, understanding how important this will be to businesses. The council will be processing submissions as quickly as possible, but it may take around 7-10 working days for payments to be made.

    Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

    The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders. CBILS is a new scheme, announced by The Chancellor at Budget 2020, that can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

    CBILS supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance. The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

    This scheme is just one of a number of measures announced by Government you can read the full list here.

    Key Features

    • Up to £5m facility: The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m, available on repayment terms of up to six years.
    • 80% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding facility balance, subject to an overall cap per lender.
    • No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme: No fee for smaller businesses. Lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme.
    • Interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months: The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees[1], so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.[2]
    • Finance terms: Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years.
    • Security: At the discretion of the lender, the scheme may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under. For facilities above £250,000, the lender must establish a lack or absence of security prior to businesses using CBILS. If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.
    • The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

    Source: British Business Bank

    Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    • Any employer in the country – small or large, charitable or non-profit – will be eligible for the scheme.
    • Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month.
    • Employers will be able to contact HMRC to access the grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll, rather than being laid off.
    • That means workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary.
    • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and will be open initially for at least three months.

    Business Rates

    Lambeth Council

    The government has announced retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will not need to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Lambeth Council will be applying this automatically to businesses in Lambeth, you do not need to apply.

    Amended bills detailing the 100% Retail Rate Relief increased from 50% will be issued on Friday 20th March.

    Lambeth will be updating the information here.

    The Government

    The Government announced in the Budget on 29 October 2018 that it would provide a Business Rates Retail Discount, to apply in the years 2019/20 and 2020/21. In response to the coronavirus, in the Budget on 11 March the Government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors.

    This relief will apply to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief.

    The government Business Rates document can be found here.

    Operating as a Takeaway

    The government has advised that all pubs, restaurants and cafes should no longer be open for on-site consumption but under new planning legislation can provide takeaway food (A5 use class).

    The government has published a new ‘Permitted Development Right’ to enable this. It allows these types of premises to provide prepared hot or cold food, for collection or delivery, for consumption off the premises – without the need for planning permission.

    In order to benefit from this right and operate as a takeaway you must first inform Lambeth Council that you plan to do this.

    Please email and with the subject line ‘Notification of temporary operation as hot food takeaway’

    Your email must include:

    • The address of the site to be operated as a takeaway
    • Confirmation of the previous use of the premises
    • Details of the proposed operation, including which parts of the building/land will be used and the proposed hours of operation.
    • The date you propose to start and end the take-away operation (the government has permitted such use up until 23 March 2021)

    It is important to note that this new legislation allows businesses to operate in this way until the 23 March 2021 – before which such use must cease.

    Unfortunately, if you are not currently operating as a lawful pub, restaurant or café, you cannot take advantage of this – and will need to apply for planning permission as per normal.

    Source: Lambeth Council

    Lambeth Business Helpline

    Lambeth have established a new Business Helpline Service which is accessible through a dedicated phone line and email address:


    Call: 020 7926 2344 (Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm)

    The team are answering any queries that businesses may have relating to both government initiatives such as grants and business rate relief, and Lambeth initiatives such as rent relief for tenants.