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Published: March 30, 2020 | Updated: April 19, 2020

Biz coronavirus update: Interactive advice from Inspire and BCP Council has £128m rate relief

Warren Munson, Founder, Inspire Professional Services.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Free, interactive advice and support to business community

Inspire Professional Services is offering business leaders the opportunity to join a regular programme of free and interactive webinars.

They will provide guidance and support in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The first webinar, on Friday, was via online meeting platform, Zoom.

It offered a detailed analysis of the eagerly-awaited Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, following further announcements by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

Attended by more than 60 members of the local business community, the webinar was hosted by Inspire Founder, Warren Munson, and Director, Chris Downing, with employment law support from Kate Brooks, Partner at Ellis Jones Solicitors.

Warren said: “We know that almost all businesses are being affected by the disruption caused by coronavirus at the moment.

“Although the government has already announced a series of unprecedented measures to support both businesses and self-employed, the detail is only now becoming available.

“The webinar was an opportunity for us to help clarify the details for our clients and the wider business community, alongside answering their questions and providing guidance for the next steps.

“I feel passionately that we’re all in this together, so any help and advice that we’re able to give to support the business community, is exactly what’s needed at the moment.

“The interactive format allows for an engaging Q&A session as part of the webinar, meaning it can be tailored to exactly what business leaders need support with.”

Inspire’s free, interactive webinar programme will include two sessions per week, with advice, guidance and a Q&A – aimed at directly supporting businesses dealing with coronavirus.

For more details and to register for the next webinar taking place today, Tuesday March 31, at 3pm, email events@inspire.uk.net or call 01202 717867.

Poole-based Inspire has also launched a dedicated coronavirus business resources page providing the latest news, opinion and links for businesses to access information.

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£128m rate relief to support businesses in BCP area

BCP Council has received £128m from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide grants to support local business rate payers affected by coronavirus.

The grants will be given by the council to businesses that are considered eligible.

Find out if your business is eligible here.

If your business is eligible, you will be required to fill in a form, available on the council’s website.

In addition to the grant, BCP Council will provide discretionary rate relief for many businesses in line with the Chancellor’s announcements in the Budget and on March 17.

In respect of the award of rate relief there will be no requirement for businesses to apply and the council will be contacting all businesses which fit the government’s eligibility criteria directly.

This will take place in the next few days via letter sent to business premises.

Cllr Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, pictured left, said: “We are committed to supporting our local business community and we hope this announcement will offer some welcome relief to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses during this extremely challenging time.

“Over the coming days our Business Rates Team will be working very hard to ensure everyone who is able to benefit from this is contacted as soon as possible.

“We will continue to lobby the government for further support.’’

To ensure no fraudulent claims are made, businesses will be requested to provide information to enable payment of the grant through forms to fill in and return.

In some cases additional checks may be necessary to confirm eligibility.

For more information, visit: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Employers-Employees-and-Businesses/Financial-Support.aspx

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