Covid-19 grants for businesses and latest guidance

Having trouble reading this email? Click here to view in browser

Covid-19: Coronavirus business grant

Walthom Forest
business newsletter

A video message from Councillor Simon Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Housing Delivery


We know these are difficult times for local businesses. 

Councillor Simon Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Housing Development has released a video statement detailing the support and guidance we are providing.

Watch the video 

Are you eligible for a business grant? You may need to act


The council is now distributing £54 million of grants to small businesses in Waltham Forest.

  • Businesses with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. 
  • Businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, with a property wholly or mainly used for these purposes, that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and below £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

The council is writing to all eligible businesses, but we acknowledge that business owners may not be visiting their premises during this time and therefore we have provided an online form for completion by those businesses who understand themselves to be eligible, which you can access via the below eligibility link.

If the premises was not registered for business rates as of 11 March, the business will unfortunately not receive one of these government grants.

Check the full eligibility criteria here

How long will it take to pay a grant?

We aim to process grants to those eligible within ten working days, and you should also allow at least three working days for the banks to process payment.

As of Monday 13 April, one week into the scheme, over 1,400 businesses had submitted their details with over 700 being processed for payment.

The council has redeployed all available, qualified resources to the task of making payments, with the team involved working throughout the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, in recognition of the urgent need for these grants.

We politely ask that you think carefully before contacting the council about a grant once you have submitted your details. It will take at least 13 working days to process your details and for payment to be made.

We receive a high number of enquiries asking for updates and, while we recognise how vital these grants are to businesses in Waltham Forest, we have limited capacity to respond to update requests, which takes focus away from processing grants.

If you haven’t heard about a grant after more than 13 working days, please contact us through this online form, providing business and address details. We will then aim to respond to you within three working days.

How to claim for furloughed staff: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC has now released information on how and when (20 April) to access the Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme, with more information about what you will need to have ready before the system goes live.

HMRC is also updating with an important change to the scheme relating to employee eligibility, extending the eligibility window by 20 days:

  • You can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI (Real Time Information) submission notifying us of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.
  • Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to us on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme, if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

More information on this change can be found on GOV.UK.

HMRC has also published guidance on how to claim:

As you prepare to make a claim, please note:

  • The online claim service will be launched on on 20‌‌ April 2020.
  • The only way to make a claim is online – the service should be simple to use and any support you need available on; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim.
  • You can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent.
  • Claims will be paid within six working days; you should not contact HMRC unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or the HMRC webchat service.
  • HMRC cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with their employer, directly.

Information you will need before making a claim:

  • The bank account number and sort code you’d like the HMRC to use when they pay your claim.
  • The name and phone number of the person in your business for HMRC to call with any questions.
  • Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  • The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.
  • A Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online, or by going to and searching for 'HMRC services: sign in or register'.
  • Be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so here.
  • The following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:
  1. Name
  2. National Insurance number
  3. Claim period and claim amount
  4. PAYE/employee number (optional).
  • If you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee.
  • If you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; HMRC will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

If you want an agent to act for you

Please note:

  • Agents authorised to act for you on PAYE matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password.
  • You will need to tell your agent which UK bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.

You may also find this recorded webinar helpful, 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme', available on HMRC’s YouTube channel.

Tax return reminder: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you're self-employed and wish to apply for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme but have not yet submitted you tax return for 2018/19, then you must do so by Thursday 23 April.

In early June, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will allow the self-employed who pay themselves through PAYE to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

To be eligible, you must have filed a 2018/19 tax return and if you were late to file this return the government has given an extension to file until Thursday 23 April.

Roundup: business response to Covid-19

switchboard studios

Businesses in Waltham Forest are continuing to find creative ways to continue responding to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Make it Red, based at Switchboard Studios just off Blackhorse Lane, responded to calls to prevent panic buying by coming up with an inventive advertising campaign

Perky Blenders, which operates across Waltham Forest, is offering a 'staying at home' weekly coffee delivery service, with a 'pre-paid for six weeks' gift option.

Square Root Soda in Leyton has published a blog, suggesting five ways in which residents can help businesses impacted by Covid-19. 

Make and Create in Walthamstow has an online store offering craft packages to entertain people during lockdown.

Ziggy Played Guitar in Highams Park is operating an online delivery shop, with lots of great cards and gifts on offer. 

The Lock Doctors in Walthamstow is providing a free assessment of how people can upgrade security.

Ayama Coaching in Upper Walthamstow is offering online business coaching sessions for small creative businesses.

If you are a business continuing to offer products and services during the Covid-19 lockdown, we'd love to hear about it. 

Please tag us in any Twitter posts - @wfcouncil - and use #ShopLocalWF and we can help promote your business.

Building Business Resilience and Future Prosperity Workshop


This free masterclass will be delivered online over three days. Waltham Forest businesses attending the online Outset Waltham Forest course will be supported to avoid pitfalls and focus to ensure future success and profitability. 

The course will cover:

  • How to sustain your business in the current climate
  • How to identify the focus for your business including their competitive advantage
  • Exploring different growth strategies and models
  • Effectively segmenting your market
  • Determining your unique buying proposition
  • Improving your sales pipeline and conversion rates
  • Aligning business development and marketing ROI with financials
  • Building your strategic growth plan of a profitable future

The course will take place in an online training room, so attendees can join this workshop using Zoom.

Event: Building Business Resilience and Future Prosperity Online Workshop

Date: Thursday 23, Tuesday 28 and Thursday 30 April

Time: 10am to 2pm

Location: Online

Book online

And finally…

food bank

We are heartened and inspired by the community’s response to the crisis – pulling together in this time of need to support neighbours, friends, the vulnerable and the elderly.

We want to help support this groundswell of community action which has been driven by local businesses, who are helping in the following ways:

  • Providing temporary storage or cold storage
  • Providing food transport from other areas in London
  • Being a drop-off or pick up point
  • Providing takeaway and / or delivery services for elderly & vulnerable residents

If you own a local business in Waltham Forest which is helping to support the community during the Covid19 crisis, please email so we can share information about your services.

Sign up and Stay Connected

Stay Connected square banner

We will continue to update you as new information is available. We know that this is a fast-moving situation, but we are confident staff will continue to provide support and guidance to local businesses in Waltham Forest.

You can sign up to our email newsletter with up-to-date information about Covid-19 below.

Sign up here

Manage preferences or unsubscribe

Privacy Policy

Contact us