Financial support for Gwynedd families and businesses

Date: 30/03/2020
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Gwynedd Council is announcing a package of economic measures to help local people and the Gwynedd business community through the difficult time ahead caused by to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The last two weeks have seen unprecedented developments as governments and communities adjust to deal with the ever-changing situation. Gwynedd Council officers have been working hard to ensure that the most vulnerable are looked after and that support is in place to keep our society and business sector flourishing in the future.

The measures that have been put in place include a business loan repayment ‘holiday’, small business support and help for those concerned about their Council tax bills.

Councillor Ioan Thomas, the Gwynedd Council Cabinet member for Finance, explained: “The measures are aimed at helping everyone get through these difficult times.

“The virus is already causing people incredible stress as they worry about their own health and wellbeing and that of their loved ones. We’re doing everything to ensure that where possible financial worries aren’t added to the burden that everyone is already carrying.”

Some of the measures on the cards are:

Business loans – Businesses that took out a loan through the Council’s Business Loan Fund and High Street Improvement Fund (Caernarfon, Bangor, Bethesda and Penygroes) will be given a six months repayment break. Those who took out one of these loans don’t need to do anything, the Council is contacting them.

Business grants – The Council’s Taxation Service will be administering Gwynedd’s share of the £1.4 billion of support for small businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak, announced by the Welsh Government this week. Grants of £25,000 are available to retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £12,001-£51,000, whilst all business which have a rateable value of £12,000 or less – and are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief – will receive a grant of £10,000. Local businesses in these sectors will receive further information directly in the coming days.

There is more support and advice available for the business community here: www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/BusinessCovid19. If you can’t find the information that you need, please send an e-mail to busnes@gwynedd.llyw.cymru and an officer will get back to you as soon as possible. Our officers are receiving a greater volume of calls than usual, we thank you for your patience at this time difficult time.

Rates relief – The Council will also be applying the Welsh Government’s enhanced Rates Relief Scheme for the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sector. The scheme aims to provide support for eligible occupied premises by offering a discount of 100% on their non-domestic rates bill. There is no need to contact the Council regarding this scheme – the relief will be applied to the accounts of eligible premises and an amended rates demand will be sent out to relevant businesses in due course.

Council Tax support – The Council is committed to support those whose circumstances have changed because of the virus and the restrictions brought into place this week by the UK Government. We would urge anyone who is worried that they will struggle with their Council Tax payment because of the sudden changes in circumstances to get in touch as they may be eligible for a discount or exemption. The Council will also be temporarily suspending Council Tax recovery arrangements for a three-month period.

The Council is urging people to search for the information and access the services that they need online www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/CouncilTax or the ApGwynedd app first. Or e-mail CouncilTax@gwynedd.llyw.cymru and an officer will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Galw Gwynedd contact centre is dealing with a far greater volume of calls than normal resulting a long waiting times. Please only call Galw Gwynedd on 01766 771000 if you can’t find the information you need elsewhere. We are grateful for people’s patience at this difficult time.