Help in the economic downturnLast updated: 06 November 2012 15:46 UK
During the current economic climate both existing businesses and new entrepreneurs are facing great challenges. We are working together with our partners to provide help or signpost to a variety of support initiatives to help local businesses to survive and grow. Please see central government and local authority initiatives highlighted below.
Accessing finance - grants and loans
Portsmouth Small Business Loan
From January 2009, Portsmouth City Council is offering a business loan called the Portsmouth Small Business Loan (PBGL). This is part of a wider package of small business support measures to help Portsmouth based companies grow and develop during the current economic downturn. You can find more details on our Portsmouth Small Business Loan page. The key points of the PBGL are:
- established business seeking funding support to expand
- maximum loan available to eligible businesses is £10,000
- loan amount must be at least matched by both the business and/or its bank or other financial institutions
- a fixed rate of interest, at a below market rate, will be applied to the loan
- loan period will be for a maximum of three years
- loan can be repaid in full at anytime without interest penalty
- up to six month's payment holiday can be taken within the period of the loan
- a personal guarantee will be required for the PSBL
Managing cash flow
Discounted Rent Scheme
Portsmouth Enterprise Centres (owned and managed by Portsmouth City Council) have started a discounted rent scheme to help small businesses. The discount will only apply to the sq ft element of the licence fee (no discount on the service charge, electricity fee or secretarial and meeting room charges). The rate of discount would cover the initial two years of trading at the following rates:
- 40% for first 6 months
- 20% for second 6 months
- 10% for the second year
A package of business advice by Business Link is also part of the scheme. Detailed information can be obtained from the Enterprise Centres Manager Alan Lowe on 023 9282 6225.
Small Business Rate Relief
Any ratepayer who occupies a single property within England, where the rateable value (RV) is less than £15,000 will be entitled to the following relief:
- £1 to £4,999 - 50% relief and a reduced non domestic multiplier
- £5,000 to £9,999 - relief declining on a sliding scale and a reduced non domestic multiplier
- £10,000 to £14,999 - reduced non domestic multiplier
The relief will also apply where a ratepayer occupies a main property with an RV of less than £15,000 but has ancillary properties with RV's of less than £2,200 each, if the total RV of all properties does not exceed £14,999. In this case relief will only be applied to the one main property. For further information please contact the Local Taxation Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Payment Support Service
From 24 November 2008, HM Revenue & Customs introduced a service to meet the needs of businesses which have difficulty in meeting tax, National Insurance or other payments owed to HMRC. HMRC will review the businesses circumstances and discuss various options tailored to their needs, such as arranging to make payments over a longer period. You can call their Business Payment Support Line on 0845 302 1435, opening hours are 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-4pm Saturday to Sunday. More information is available at HMRC website.
General business support
GOV.UK is the main government portal for business support information. For more complex enquiries and to get a quick response to simple questions about starting or running a business please contact the Business Link Helpline on 0845 600 9006.
The Portsmouth City Council (PCC) works closely with Job Centre Plus (the Rapid Response Team) to offer help to affected workers facing redundancy with information on the local labour market, training opportunities, job search skills, CVs, application forms, interview techniques, and career guidance etc. Workshops or a resource centre can be organised at the employers' sites or at local organisations, e.g. PCC, Next Step and Job Centre Plus. For detailed information, please contact Linda Taylor on 023 9284 1501 or email to email@example.com.