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This page was last updated 17 November 2020

Since March a number of measures have been set out by the Chancellor to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Click here to visit the main Business Support webpage on GOV.UK

New Grant Funding From September 2020 Onwards

The Tier 2 and Tier 3 Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) has been created by central government to help hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure sector businesses that were not required to close due to local lockdown restrictions but have suffered significant losses as a result of the measures.

Eligible businesses will be contacted directly – there is no open application process for this grant scheme.

Click here to find out more about the scheme at Fylde

The Tier 3 Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) has been created by central government to help businesses that have been required to close due to the ‘Tier 3 COVID Alert Level: Very high’ local lockdown restrictions which are in place from 17 October until 5 November.

Applications for this grant are now being accepted. Click here to read the full eligibility criteria and apply.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) has been established by central government to provide support to businesses that have been adversely affected as a result of the national lockdown restrictions.

The fund is limited and therefore will be used to support as many local small businesses as possible that are a priority for the Fylde economy.  The fund is a single allocation, targeted at businesses that are not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Group (Closed), are priority businesses in the local economy, and that are severely impacted by the COVID 19 measures.

Applications for this scheme are now being accepted. Click here to read the full eligibility criteria and apply.

The National Lockdown: Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) has been established by central government to provide financial support to businesses that have been required to close due to the national lockdown restrictions in place from 5 November until 2 December. When National Lockdown restrictions are in force, both Tier 2 and Tier 3 Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) and (Closed) schemes will pause. These schemes are superseded by a ‘National Restrictions: Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)’ scheme and the ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’ scheme.

Applications for this grant are now being accepted: Click here to read the full eligibility criteria and apply

Fylde Council takes a zero-tolerance approach to deliberate manipulation and fraud.  Any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to clawback. If you suspect a business of fraudulent activity in relation to COVID grant support you can report it as this link.

The following financial support has been set out by government:

Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month.

The flexibility of the current CJRS will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can.

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff – making this more generous than support previously on offer in October.

How to access the scheme

You will need to:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Click here to find out more about the Job Retention Scheme on GOV.UK

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of 2 further grants, each available for 3 month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

To be eligible for the grant extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

  • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
    • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
    • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

The online service for the next grant will be available from 30 November 2020. HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course.

Click here to find out more on GOV.UK

UPDATE: The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.

Employers facing decreased demand (JSS Open)

The employee will need to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours and the employer will continue to pay them as normal for the hours worked. Alongside this, the employee will receive 66.67% of their normal pay for the hours not worked – this will be made up of contributions from the employer and from the government. The employer will pay 5% of reference salary for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, with the discretion to pay more than this if they wish. The government will pay the remainder of 61.67%, of reference salary for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. This will ensure employees continue to receive at least 73% of their normal wages, where they earn £3,125 a month or less.

Employers who are legally required to close their premises (JSS Closed)

Each employee who cannot work due to these restrictions will receive two thirds of their normal pay, paid by their employer and fully funded by the government, to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month, although their employer has discretion to pay more than this if they wish . This will help protect employee incomes, limit unemployment and retain employer-employee matches so that these premises are able to reopen as quickly as possible when circumstances allow.

Click here to find out more about the scheme including eligibility criteria, conditions and how to claim

The Job Retention Bonus 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.

You’ll be able to claim the bonus between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021. You do not have to pay this money to your employee.

Click here to find out more about the Job Retention Bonus on GOV.UK

The government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

VAT

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Click here to find out more about deferring VAT and Income Tax payments on GOV.UK

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

Eligibility

If you are self-employed you are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • You have already paid your employee’s sick pay
  • You’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • You have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
  • You had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all your PAYE payroll schemes

If you’re claiming for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time.

What you can claim

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks SSP starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they:

  • Have coronavirus symptoms
  • Are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • Are self-isolating because they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
  • Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks
  • Have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery for up to 14 days

You can make more than one claim per employee, but you cannot claim for more than 2 weeks in total.

You can claim from the first qualifying day your employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 – if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus
  • 28 May 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
  • 26 August 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery

Records you must keep

You must keep records of SSP that you’ve paid and want to claim back from HMRC.

You must keep the following records for 3 years after the date you receive the payment for your claim:

  • The dates the employee was off sick
  • Which of those dates were qualifying days
  • The reason they said they were off work – if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding
  • The employee’s National Insurance number

 

How to access the scheme

You must have paid your employees’ sick pay before you claim it back.

Click here to find out more about Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs on GOV.UK

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that all qualifying ratepayers in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will now benefit from a 100% relief irrespective of rateable value and irrespective of de minimis EU state aid limits which previously applied. We intend to apply the relief to new accounts without the need for you to reapply. If you feel you are eligible for this relief but have not received an award then please contact our Business Rates team at fylderevenues@blackpool.gov.uk

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • Your business is based in England
  • Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • As shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • For assembly and leisure
  • As hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next business rate bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. We will do this as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

Click here to find out more about a 12-month business rates holiday on GOV.UK

We have identified eligible nurseries in the Fylde area and applied a 100% relief, meaning these business will have nothing to pay. We have sent adjustment notices to these businesses. If you feel you are eligible for this relief but have not received an award then please contact our Business Rates team at fylderevenues@blackpool.gov.uk

The government will introduce a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • Your business is based in England

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be hereditaments:

  • Occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • Wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next business rate bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

Click here to find out more about a 12-month business rates holiday on GOV.UK

Update: This fund has now been fully allocated and there is currently no further budget to make an award from.

The government introduced a range of measures to support Small Businesses impacted by the COVID 19 lockdown measures. The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund is a further measure to provide grants to businesses adversely affected by the measures.

On May 21st 2020 Fylde Council launched a new scheme to support local businesses who were not eligible for the original COVID 19 Business Support Grants Fund or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund.

The application process closed at 12pm on 3rd July, 2020 in accordance with the announcements made when the scheme was extended. The funds available for grants from the discretionary scheme are limited, in order to manage applications and any awards made, it was necessary to have a set period in which to submit an application.

Click here to visit Fylde’s Local Discretionary Business Grant Fund webpage

Update: This scheme has now closed to new applications.

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This provided a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility

You are eligible if:

  • Your business is based in England
  • You are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • You are a business that occupies property

Application deadline: Tuesday 25 August 2020

Click here to visit the GOV.UK webpage for the Small Business Grant Fund

Update: This scheme has now closed to new applications.

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March, with a rateable value of less than £51,000, will be eligible for cash grants of up to £25,000 per property.

Eligibility

You are eligible if:

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000.01 or over and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.

Application deadline: Tuesday 25 August 2020

Click here to visit the GOV.UK webpage for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

How to access the scheme

The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.

You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

Click here to find out more about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme on GOV.UK

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies to help support liquidity, helping them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.

This will support your company if it has 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.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

The scheme will be available early in week beginning 23 March 2020.

We will provide information on how to access the scheme here shortly.

More information is available from the Bank of England.

Click here to find out more about CCFF on GOV.UK

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 HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Eligibility

You are eligible if your business:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

How to access the scheme

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

If you’re worried about a future payment, please call us nearer the time.

Click here to find out more about the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme on GOV.UK

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

Click here for updates on GOV.UK

Making your business COVID-secure

The Government have put together guidance and brought in regulations to help employers, employees, and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to find out more about COVID-secure measures for your business

Stay in touch to ensure you’re alerted to the latest business support announcements:

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