Dorset Council says it is poised to help local business and the self-employed in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some businesses such as pubs, restaurants and hotels are already being badly affected by the coronavirus situation.

The Chancellor recently announced as part of the 2020 Budget that business rates will be suspended over the coming year for many retail, leisure and hospitality firms.

Companies with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for a tax holiday. This includes shops, cinemas, restaurants and hotels, and is part of a package of “extraordinary” measures to support the UK economy in the face of disruption from the coronavirus outbreak.

Dorset Council will be sending out revised business rate bills in line with this.

A spokesperson for Dorset Council said: “We realise that this is a challenging time for many people who are self-employed and for some local businesses.

“We are awaiting guidance from government which is expected later this week about how we will be able to provide support during this difficult time.”

Support for vulnerable people

The government has also announced a new £500 million Hardship Fund so local authorities can support economically vulnerable people and households.

The government expects most of this funding to be used to provide more council tax relief, either through existing Local Council Tax Support schemes, or through similar measures.

“At this stage we haven’t been told how much funding will be available to Dorset Council, but as soon as we are, we will work as quickly as we can to establish how we can use it to help our most vulnerable residents,” added the spokesperson.

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