Support for small businesses

We have distributed more than £69 million in small business grants to over 5,100 businesses in Brighton & Hove. Around 300 businesses not eligible for these have also benefited from discretionary grants of up to £25,000.

In addition, 2,700 businesses will not have to pay business rates this financial year. This amounts to £68 million of rates that local businesses will not have to pay and is a significant contribution from the council in providing direct support for small businesses in the city.

Support for the self-employed

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) supports self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

The first phase of applications for this scheme ended on the 13 July. The next phase closes on 19 October 2020.

Find out if you can claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Advice for retail and hospitality businesses

We’ve produced advice for retail businesses around what they need to consider to protect staff and public safety and minimise the spread of Covid-19. This includes a number of simple poster options to download to help manage physical distancing. 

We have more information for retail and hospitality businesses on our Coronavirus section of our website.

Keeping safe at work

Find advice on decontamination for businesses, where a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case has spent time while symptomatic.

Businesses can also download and print the government’s coronavirus posters to display within their work spaces.

The government has issued guidance to assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:

  •  the coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting

All businesses must put controls in place and ensure staff and customers keep to physical distancing of at least two metres between each person. You should also consider limiting the number of customers in your premises at any one time. This is for everyone’s safety to reduce the risk of infection. 

There is more information about physical distancing in the workplace at GOV.UK and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health have made a video guide to hand washing.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry, please email

To help us follow up your enquiry more quickly, please submit your business rates reference number when you contact us. (This is the 8-digit number on the top right of your business rates bill).

Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) Scheme

In March, the government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can check if you can claim for your staff’s wages and more information about guidance to support businesses on GOV.UK

Retail relief

Every small business in the city that has been awarded retail relief as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, has had their business rates cancelled for the next 12 months as part of a package of measures to support small businesses.

We have proactively cancelled Direct Debits and contacted what we believe are all  the eligible businesses in the city to ensure they are aware that they do not have to pay any business rates for the next 12 months. See details of business support in Brighton & Hove.

Please contact us if you pay business rates with a Retail Value of £51,000 or under and believe you have not yet been recognised as  being entitled to retail relief.

Beware of scams

We are aware of a scam email that claims to come from a store ‘head office’ or ‘manager’ asking for business rates reference numbers.

There are also scams involving emails appearing to come from GOV.UK about Government Business Grants.

If you receive an email like this please delete it and do not reply.

Please note that emails regarding the retail, hospitality and leisure grant scheme for the Brighton & Hove area will be sent from an '' address. Do not respond to any emails that do not have such an address.