Post Office branches in England affected by flooding following Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis may be eligible for a package of financial support for retailers and small businesses announced by the government, including 100% business rates relief for three months or more, and a £2,500 business recovery grant.
Business Rates Relief Scheme
You’re eligible for every day your business is directly impacted by a recent weather event through flood damage to the property, equipment, and/or stock, or if your business could not function due to lack of access to premises, equipment and/or stock, and no alternatives were available.
Under the terms of the scheme, you’ll receive a 100% discount on your business rates for a minimum of three months, or, if longer, until your business can resume trading.
Business Recovery Grant
If you’ve suffered a loss of trade and severe, uninsurable losses as a result of your branch flooding, you could qualify for up to £2,500 to help your immediate recovery.
The grants are designed to help small to medium sized businesses in affected areas directly impacted by flood damage to property, equipment, and/or stock, or if access is restricted to premises, equipment and/or stock as a result of flooding, or access for your customers, suppliers and/or employees is also restricted.
Flood-hit businesses can also apply for up to £5,000 to help make them more resilient to future flooding.
Business secretary Alok Sharma said: “We are determined to help businesses impacted by Storms Ciara and Dennis. Today’s funding will offer vital support to small companies to get up and running, while also helping ensure greater protection against future flooding events.”
Businesses in England will receive funding from their local councils under the government’s Flood Recovery Framework and the payment method will be confirmed at the time support is offered. Business rates support is expected to be based on an upfront commitment and retrospective payment, while business recovery grants are likely to be paid 50% upfront and the remainder in arrears.
To find out more about the financial support packages available, you’ll need to contact your local authority (England only). You can check the flood risk in your area and keep up to date with the latest situation at gov.uk/check-flood-risk, by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or following @EnvAgency on Twitter.
Flood assistance in Wales
The Welsh Government has announced an emergency fund to deal with the immediate impact of Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara and is working with local authorities to support businesses and high streets impacted by flooding. For example, Rhondda Cynon Taf council is providing financial support to small and medium sized businesses, with grants available of £1,000 per business.