We have been working hard at the Council, along with help from the Government, to put together packages of support to help residents and businesses during the Coronavirus crisis.
For the latest advice and information please visit https://www.bedford.gov.uk/Covid19.
We already have a Council Tax Reduction Scheme where residents on the lowest income do not pay any Council Tax.
Thanks to the Government’s COVID-19 Council Tax Hardship Fund we are able to provide those who receive some Council Tax Support with more help – this should be applied automatically and an updated bill will be sent out.
If your circumstances, or those of anyone you know, have change and may now eligible for Council Tax Support please visit https://www.bedford.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/benefits-council-tax-support/council-tax-support/.
If you need to speak to someone, or are having any difficulty paying Council Tax please telephone on 01234 718097.
We have been working with schools and Caterlink to assist families whose children are entitled to Free School Meals.
We also have some hardship support and crisis grants available for those in immediate and urgent financial crisis. If you would like to discuss these please call 01234 718097.
The Government has announced a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses.
There is also small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief and grant funding for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses of £10,000 where the rateable value is less than £15,000, with the grant increasing to £25,000 where the rateable value is between £15,000 and £50,999.
There is more information at https://www.bedford.gov.uk/social-care-health-and-community/public-health/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-advice/
The Government has also announced details of an income support scheme for many of those that are self-employed.
You cannot apply for this scheme yet, although HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.
This scheme will allow the self employed to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. Details of the scheme are at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#who-can-apply
We have, as a Council, provided businesses that rent council properties a one-month rent holiday.
If you have a business and would like further advice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need any other help please either call the Community Hub on 01234 718101 or fill in our online form athttps://www.bedford.gov.uk/social-care-health-and-community/public-health/coronavirus/coronavirus-community-hub/. You can also offer any help at the same webpage
This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mayor Dave Hodgson and published unedited.