The Growth Hub team are working hard to keep you updated on Covid-19 Support for Business and inform you of the latest on Government schemes and other business support to assist with managing through the impacts of the Coronavirus. Here follows links to schemes, advice, guidance and further business support.

National Lockdown

England is still in a national lockdown. You must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law, and follow the rules in the guidance here National Lockdown: Stay at Home

The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. This explains how the restrictions included in this guidance will be lifted over time.

Here are links to useful guidance to make your workplace Covid secure.

Guidance on how to make your workplace COVID-secure covers a range of different workplace settings. You can select the specific, detailed guidance that is right for your business setting.

Guidance on maintaining records of staff covers what designated venues in certain sectors must have in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to meet NHS Test and Trace requirements.

Lockdown and Local Restrictions Grants

Businesses that have either required to close or have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local or national restrictions may be eligible for financial support under the Local Restrictions Grants or Additional Restrictions Grant. You can check your eligibility and find out more information in the links below.

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed Addendum) – supports businesses that have been required to close due to national restrictions. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each qualifying period they are closed. Applies to national restrictions between 5 Nov – 2 Dec and from 5 January.
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses) – supports businesses that have been severely impacted due to temporary local Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period under local restrictions.
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses) – supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary local Tier 2, Tier 3 or Tier 4 restrictions. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period they are closed.
  • Closed Business Lockdown Payment (CBLP) – supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions beginning 5 January 2021. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council.
  • Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) – supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed. Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG. See you local council Coronavirus business support pages for details for the discretionary ARG in your area.

The Local Restriction Grants including the Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) are administered by your local authority. Businesses should see the coronavirus business support pages for their local authority for more information and how to apply. To find your local authority, please visit Find your local council and enter your postcode. You can also contact the Growth Hub team who can signpost you to the right place for grant information.

Guidance for employers and businesses

Reporting outbreaks of coronavirus. Guidance for businesses on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus can be found here – Reporting outbreaks of Covid-19.

Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue. Get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS Covid-19 app. See here for guidance on producing a QR code poster for your business. See https://www.covid19.nhs.uk/ for how to download the NHS App.

See the Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership Covid-19 Toolkits to help guide you to reopen your business safely:

HM Gov Covid-19 Schemes

There are a range of measures and schemes available to businesses such as grant funding, business rate relief and loans. You can find out the latest updates here and further details for businesses on the Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Hub covering how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

See HM Government Coronavirus Business Support Hub

Coronavirus Business Financial Support Finder Tool
The Government has launched an online tool to help employers and the self-employed find Coronavirus financial support. The support finder will show which loans, tax relief and cash grants that businesses can access. Use the Business Financial Support Finder tool.

Summary information and quick links to business support options are below

At the Budget it was confirmed that there will be a fourth Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, which will be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £7,500. The fourth grant will take into account 2019 to 2020 tax returns and will be open to those who became self-employed in tax year 2019 to 2020. The rest of the eligibility criteria remain unchanged.

Your eligibility for the scheme will now be based on your submitted 2019 to 2020 tax return. This may also affect the amount of the fourth grant which could be higher or lower than previous grants you may have received. The online claims service for the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021 until 31 May 2021.

The UK government has also announced that there will be a fifth and final grant covering May to September. You will be able to claim from late July if you are eligible for the fifth grant.

Find more information and check your eligibility here Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021.

Under the Scheme, if you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough.

For periods ending on or before 30 June 2021 you can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. You must pay your employee at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours that they are furloughed and not working. This is the amount you can claim through the scheme. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages.

Claims for furlough days in February 2021 must be made by 15 March 2021.

Here is the Government guidance where you can Check if you can Claim for Employee Wages through the Job Retention Scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

The scheme is open until 31 March 2021. If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 January 2021.

For full details and how to apply, see Bounce Back Loan scheme here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

The scheme is open until 31 March 2021.

Eligibility criteria and how to access the loan scheme is here Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The CBILS scheme is delivered through accredited lenders including the main retail banks. You should approach a suitable lender yourself via the lender’s website. You can find more information and find a lender from the British Business Bank website – find a lender.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) – The scheme helps medium and large sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender.

The scheme is open until 31 March 2021.

Eligibility criteria and how to access the loan scheme is here Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The CLBILS scheme is delivered through accredited lenders including the main retail banks. You should approach a suitable lender yourself via the lender’s website. You can find more information and find a lender from the British Business Bank website – find a lender.

Under this facility, the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This scheme will support your company if it’s been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Bank of England.

How to apply, eligibility criteria and how to access the financing facility is here Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Businesses can explore finance options and access a range of finance schemes through the government-owned British Business Bank. The British Business Bank’s Finance Hub provides useful information to help with understanding the various finance options that may be available to your business. It also provides guidance on preparing your business for investment.

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through the HMRC’s Time to Pay service. Further details here Time to Pay Service

If you’re a VAT registered business, check if you can temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions.

Check if your retail, hospitality or leisure business is eligible for business rates relief due to coronavirus.

You can access information on further support measures on the Government Coronavirus Business Support Hub. Aside from Coronavirus response related measures, there is business support, guidance and information on the Government’s general support pages for business and the self-employed here https://www.gov.uk/browse/business

And be alert to the risk that in these challenging times there may be people wishing to take advantage. Please do not provide bank details over the telephone. For more information and guidance, see Trading Standards Covid-19 Scams Guidance

Other National and Local Support for Business

This section highlights support and guidance offered by various organisations to support you and your business through the Coronavirus disruption

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations provide advice, guidance and webinars that you may find helpful. The following link takes you to a nationwide list of organisations providing support. It does not cover all business representative organisations but you may find it a helpful starting point. See Other Support & Guidance for Business.

CBI Coronavirus Hub  has practical advice and guidance for businesses. See CBI Coronavirus Hub

ICAEW Coronavirus Hub information resources can be accessed here ICAEW Coronavirus Hub

Devon & Plymouth Chamber has a range of resources including guidance and webinars. See Devon & Plymouth Chamber Coronavirus Business Support

Somerset Chamber of Commerce offers information and support for businesses, including an information hub and free to access webinars covering a wide range of topics. See Somerset Chamber Coronavirus Business Support

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has information and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed including a series of webinars and virtual networking sessions for South West businesses. See the FSB Coronavirus Support

Cosmic Remote Working Advice Line 0330 088 4421 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). Provided by Cosmic, a Devon-based social enterprise specialising in all things digital, this free helpline is to provide advice and support on remote and home working to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19. You can access the free Remote Working Advice toolkit here.

Libraries provide access to online resources such a Cobra factsheets and often host business or start-up related workshops. You can access these services and other business support related resources for free through library membership. See your local library, Devon Libraries, Somerset Libraries, Plymouth Libraries, Torbay Libraries.

TDA Business – provide access to a team of Advisers who can offer support throughout Torbay and in other areas across the South West. See TDA website

Trading Standards – Offer practical guides, advice and business support information. See the Trading Standard Covid-19 Business Advice pages here.

Your Local Authority has the latest Coronavirus updates and advice for your area, plus information on business related support. See Coronavirus pages at Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay. For further local information, see the Coronavirus pages for your local District or Council – Find you local authority here.

HMRC have a range of videos on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. See the HMRC Webinar Programme

CBI Daily Coronavirus Webinar – you can register for the upcoming webinar and view past CBI webinars here CBI Coronavirus Hub

ICAEW Webinar and information resources can be accessed here ICAEW Coronavirus Webinars

Devon & Plymouth Chamber provides webinars on a wide variety of topics; many are free to attend for members and non-members. See Devon & Plymouth Chamber Events

Somerset Chamber of Commerce have free to access webinars covering a wide range of topics and Covid related measures. See Somerset Chamber Covid-19 webinars

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have a series of webinars and virtual networking sessions. See the FSB South West Event Listing here

SWMAS have webinars on a variety of topics relevant to manufacturing businesses. Take a look here SWMAS Events

Have published information including advice to businesses on remote working, useful tools, webinars and other resources. See HotSW Digital Skills Partnership

This is a virtual job and career fair supporting those who have been made redundant, or have been affected by the closure of employers in the Heart of the South West LEP area (Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay). You can search jobs and access tools and resources here – HotSW Jobs Launchpad

Social enterprises can access local and national grant funding and other assistance to help through the Coronavirus outbreak. You can explore support in your local areas via the following pages:

Social Enterprise UK have a Coronavirus Support and Resource page

You can also find guidance and financial support offered by the government to charities.

Coronavirus information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses – this page on the Gov.uk site provides guidance and the latest updates. See Information for Farmers

Pick for Britain – Looking to work on a UK Fruit & Veg farm? From pickers and packers, to plant husbandry and tractor or forklift drivers, there are a wide range of roles available. See the Pick for Britain website here

The NFU is providing an information gathering service on behalf of the agricultural and horticultural industries across the UK to assist the government in building a dynamic and up-to-date picture of the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak is having on farmers and growers. You can give your information here NFU Covid-19 Impact Form

Are You Looking for Other Business Support Options?

Our Growth Hub team are on hand to help you navigate the business support options, find answers to your questions and put you in touch with the right schemes to meet your business needs and aspirations. Do Get in Touch and a Growth Hub Adviser from our team will get back to you.

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