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COVID-19 Support

On this page we will aim to keep you up-to-date with the financial help that is available to your business, whether you are a small business, in the retail hospitality or leisure sector or if you have employees and need advice on furloughing.

East Suffolk Council

East Suffolk Council supporting Stay Local, Choose Woodbridge campaign

East Suffolk Council are financially supporting Choose Woodbridge through the Stay Local, Choose Woodbridge campaign, following an application to the East Suffolk Business Association Development Fund. The purpose of the grant awarded is to support business groups to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in mobilising support for the business community. This has enabled Choose Woodbridge to work together with local businesses to offer the support and resources required to assist businesses in adapting to different ways of still providing the same service to their local communities.

Street trading regulations

The council have agreed to relax street trading regulations which means that community events in market towns such as ours will be permitted – with very little red tape.

If you wish to organise such an event – a market stall or fair for example – all you need to do is complete a simple applications form for the Single Event Trading Licence (which can be used on multiple days) which can be found on the council website.

Additionally, you need to provide food safety information on each stall and have Public Liability insurance for the event itself.

The council does not need to consult third parties and will not charge you a fee. They are also committed to turning round applications within 24 hours.

As many of you know, there is already measures in place to waive Pavement Licence fees for premises to put out stalls, tables and chairs on the highway adjacent to their premises. You also do not need a minor variation of Premises Licences which indicates the land has been designated for the consumption of off-sales.

East Suffolk Council grants

East Suffolk Council is now processing the discretionary business grants for local businesses provided by the Government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 2nd May 2020, the Government announced that extra funding would be made available to local authorities to enable them to support small businesses outside the scope of the existing business grant fund scheme.

East Suffolk Council has been allocated £3,866,250 to fund the discretionary business support grants, and eligible businesses can now apply for grants of up to £10,000.

Due to the limited funding available and the need to assist as many businesses as possible, the Council will not be paying grants above £10,000 initially, however, this may be reviewed as the scheme progresses.

The Council has identified six areas as priorities at this stage, aimed at businesses which were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, in line with the Government’s requirements. These are:

  • Businesses in shared spaces, such as within larger businesses units, office parks or incubation units, where their lettable space would have the equivalent of a rateable value of less than £15,000
  • Permanent market traders on a market in the East Suffolk area
  • Charities that were previously ineligible for support under the Small Business Grant Fund because they receive mandatory charity relief, rather than Small Business Rate Relief, and were not eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme, but have premises with a rateable value of less than £15,000
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  • Businesses that have significant premises costs and which are crucial to the local and regional economy
  • Additional small and micro businesses with fixed costs

Eligible businesses must have less than 50 employees, have been trading on 11 March 2020, and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income as a result of the COVID-19 restriction measures.

The online form and full details about how to apply with full eligibility criteria can be found at: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/covid-19-business-grant-funding/

Financial Help Available

East Suffolk Council is processing quickly the payments of grants for local businesses provided by the government.

The grants include the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund.

If you are eligible please complete the relevant online form using the links below:

The first fund offers a grant of £10,000 to support small businesses – those who receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
The second grant is of either £10,000 or £25,000 depending on rateable value.

You can also find more information here.

Please click on ‘Government support’ within this site for a large range of support packages available including for the Self Employed and Innovative Businesses with information under ‘All Businesses’ on matters such as VAT deferral and Rates Holiday.

Businesses with further enquiries should email:


New measures to protect the high street from aggressive rent collection and closure

Click on this link for government information about this.

Helpful information from Ensors Chartered Accountants 

Ensors Chartered Accountants are continuing to update their online Support for Businesses information as new directives are still coming out almost daily.

You can find their information here.

This includes information on:
  1. The Job Retention Furlough Scheme, under which 80% of wages can be recovered
  2. The Temporary Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  3. The Self-Employment Scheme