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.
NHS Covid-19 App
How can your business help support the national effort?
You can help by clicking here to create a QR code poster for your business to be displayed in prominent locations encouraging visitors, staff, customers and suppliers to scan the poster to check in. See here for guidance on producing a QR code poster for your business.
Please get ready now in time for the new NHS COVID-19 App mass release on the 24th September.
Guidance for employers and businesses
See the Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership Covid-19 Toolkits to help guide you to reopen your business safely:
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.
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
The Self-Employment Income Support scheme has been extended to provide two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.
The first grant will cover the three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021.The taxable grant covers 40% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £3,750 in total. The second grant will cover the period from 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021, with the level of grant yet to be confirmed by Government. The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance Contributions.
Find more information and check your eligibility here Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.
For October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed. Employers will continue to able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense if they wish. Employers will have to pay their employees for the hours worked.
The 30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims. Here is the link to Claim for Employee Wages through the Job Retention Scheme.
You may also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus, which is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to you (the employer), for each eligible employee that you furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021. Check if you can claim the Job Retention Bonus from February 2021.
To support individuals and businesses to deal with the challenges created by coronavirus (COVID-19) during this winter (2020 to 2021), the government is providing additional support to help employers retain their employees through the Job Support Scheme (JSS) . This was first announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 September 2020.
The Job Support Scheme provides different types of support to these businesses so they can get the right assistance, at the right time, according to their situation. Businesses that are operating but facing decreased demand can get support for wages through ‘JSS Open‘. Those businesses that are legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK can get the support they need through ‘JSS Closed‘.
The Job Support Scheme will be open from 1 November 2020 and run for 6 months, until 30 April 2021. The government will review the terms of the scheme in January. Employers will be able to claim in arrears from 8 December 2020, with payments made after the claim has been approved. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have benefitted from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to be eligible for the Job Support Scheme.
Further guidance on the steps that employers need to take to calculate and make a claim to the Job Support Scheme will be published by the end of October. See the latest here on the link here, to The Job Support Scheme.
UPDATE: The application window for the Kickstart Grant Scheme has now closed – 22 September, 6pm.
For those who applied for the grant and have queries about your grant application, requested changes to your grant agreement or queries about your grant claim, please see the Kickstart Grant Scheme Page here for responses from the grants team to common queries.
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to obtain a 6-year loan at a government set interest rate of 2.5% a year. Loans will be from £2,000 to £50,000 (or up to 25% of a business’ turnover). The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, full guarantee for the loan. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt. There are no fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
For full details and how to apply, see Bounce Back Loan scheme here.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – Supports small and medium-sized businesses to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and up to six years. Government will cover interest payments for 12 months and any lender-levied fees. Open now and delivered through accredited lenders. How to apply, eligibility criteria and how to access the loan scheme is here Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Large Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (LCBILS) – The scheme helps medium and large sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200 million. To be eligible, you will have a turnover of over £45 million, be based in the UK and have not received support under the Bank of England’s Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility. You will need to show that the loan will enable you to trade out of any short-term to medium term difficulty resulting from Coronavirus. Further details and how to apply here Large Business CBILS
The availability of this facility means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.
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.
Future Fund – The Future Fund provides government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be an option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit. The scheme is open for applications until the 30 November 2020. See Future Fund Overview
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
You can access information on further support measures on the Government Coronovirus Business Support Hub. Aside from Coronavirus response related measures, there is business support, guidance and information on the Government’s general business support pages here businesssupport.gov.uk
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 are providing 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.
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 – To help businesses recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service is offering free tailored trading standards regulatory advice for all businesses in its area until 31 October 2020. From 1 August onwards, this offer is limited to two hours of advice per business. For more information, contact Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service. Plymouth businesses can access free tailored Trading Standards regulatory advice through Plymouth Trading Standards. The services’ specialist teams of officers can provide advice on all aspects of trading standards law. This includes helping businesses to diversify into different areas and develop a different business model that could operate during the government’s current lockdown restrictions.
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.
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 are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Find out more information and register for upcoming webinars here – HMRC Webinar Programme
Other Webinar Programmes – a range of non-government organisations are delivering webinars to offer practical advice and guidance. You can search under the relevant organisation or sector to access the guidance offered, which includes online events and webinars where those are available. See Support from Business Organisations and Trade Associations
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 list upcoming webinars, which 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 are offering 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.Get in touch with an Adviser today
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