21 April 2020

Council urges city’s self-employed and SMEs to seek support

There are more than 29,000 self-employed people in Brighton & Hove whose livelihoods will have been affected in different ways due to the coronavirus crisis. The Council has created a dedicated webpage to help self-employed and freelance workers to find the most appropriate support available. 

The government has devised a number of measures to help self-employed and freelance workers who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19), for example, the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allows self-employed people to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months.

To qualify, applicants must have been self-employed before April 2019, earning no more than £50,000, and more than half their income in this period must be from self-employment.

More information and how to claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

There are also a range of special grants and funds available for different sectors as well as schemes to help employers retain their staff if they cannot work at this time.

Arts Council England has set-up an emergency fund of £160 million to support individual artists, freelancers and cultural organisations.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme enables claims to be made for employee wages and some self-employed people may be entitled to support through Universal Credit.

Help for licensed businesses

Many local businesses have been affected by the coronavirus crisis and the council’s licencing team has published new guidance to help businesses navigate the changing landscape, while maintaining public safety.

Advice for food and drink outlets, holiday accommodation and the taxi trade can be found here: https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/update/support-self-employed-and-freelance-workers

Support is available

BHCC leader, Nancy Platts, said: “Brighton & Hove has a high proportion of self-employed and freelance workers including many who work from home. These people play a vital role in supporting our local economy and are the lifeblood of the city’s varied and vibrant start-up and small business community.

“The government’s packages of support will be a vital lifeline for many at this difficult time. We value all our independent businesses, freelancers and self-employed workers and we want to ensure they know about everything they’re entitled to so that they have the best chance of survival now and into the future.

“Our staff are working hard to provide additional help where at all possible and we urge anyone who is struggling to navigate the various schemes to check out our business support page and FAQs which have been designed to help them find what’s right for them”.

Find out more about the government’s financial support for businesses

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