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Government advice and financial support

New - Additional Restrictions Grant

The Additional Restrictions Grant is a discretionary payment to help businesses that have been adversely impacted by national restrictions imposed to control the spread of Covid-19. This is in addition to the Government’s Local Restrictions Grant which is aimed at businesses who are required to close as a result of lockdown.

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has been working in collaboration with the region’s councils and the Regional Recovery Taskforce to create a consistent regional approach to awarding discretionary grants based on economic need.

The grant support focuses on helping:

  • Non-business rate paying businesses that are required to close (including businesses registered for Council Tax);
  • Businesses not required to close but have closed due to a significant impact on trading;
  • Businesses continuing to operate, but with significantly reduced demand due to social distancing rules.

To provide support to as many businesses as possible, the Additional Restriction Grants will be up to £1,000 for businesses with 10 or less employees and up to £1,500 for those with 11 to 49 employees.

Both the Additional Restrictions Grant Funding and the Local Restrictions Support Grants are managed by the local councils. To apply, contact your local council:

Applications close Friday 27th November 2020.

New - support grants for businesses

Coronavirus grant due to national restrictions (for closed businesses)

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum) supports businesses in England that have been required to close due to the national restrictions between 5 November and 2 December 2020. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 28-day period under national restrictions. To check your eligibility and for more information, click here.

Coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses)

Businesses in England that were open as usual and were then required to close due to local restrictions (local COVID alert level: Very High) may be eligible for the local restrictions support grant. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14-day period they are closed. To check your eligibility and for more information, click here.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses)

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Open)) supports businesses that have been severely impacted due to temporary local restrictions. Businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local restrictions (Local COVID alert levels: High or Very High) may be eligible for LRSG (Open). Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 28-day period under local restrictions. To check your eligibility and for more information, click here.

For nightclubs, dance halls or adult entertainment businesses

Check if your nightclub, dance hall or adult entertainment business is eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national restrictions: Businesses in England that have been required to close due to the national restrictions introduced in March 2020, and which have not been able to re-open, may be eligible for Local Restrictions Support Grant. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period they are closed. For more information and to check your eligibility, click here

Contact your local council to apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant and the Local Restrictions Support Grants

Both the Additional Restrictions Grant Funding and the Local Restrictions Support Grants are managed by the local councils. To apply, contact your local council:

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Updated guidance and support to help your business during Covid-19

Find out about the latest business bonuses, schemes and funds.

Following the recent lockdown announcement, the government has extended its furlough scheme for another month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. You can check if you're eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on the government's website.

The Job Support Scheme has also been expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

 

Available monetary schemes and funds

Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended through to December 2020 following recent announcements. Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, and up to £2500. Read more about the furlough scheme on this webpage.

The government has launched a new calculator to help employers with their next claims. Employers can use the calculator to work out how much they have to pay their furloughed and flexibly furloughed employees, how much they can claim for employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions and how much they can claim back. You can access the new job retention calculator via this link.

Employers can now also download a template if you're claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (for claims on or after 1 July 2020). You can download the new template on this webpage.

Job Support Scheme

The government's Job Support Scheme has been expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions. The government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries to protect jobs over the coming months, and cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns has also increased to up to £3,000 per month.

Kickstart Scheme

The Government has launched the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit.

Funding is available for businesses to cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions for Kickstart placements. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Businesses able to create 30 or more job placements can apply for the funding directly on the Government website.

Smaller businesses interested in creating fully-funded job placements need to apply through an intermediary. The process for SMEs seeking to apply in the West of England is currently being confirmed. Please email us on wearegrowth@westofengland-ca.gov.uk to register your interest in creating a Kickstart placement and we will provide further detail as soon as it is available.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme supports self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. 

If you’re eligible for the second and final grant, and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you can make a claim on or before 19 October 2020. Read the guidance on this webpage.

You can claim for the second grant even if you did not make a claim for the first grant. Claim a grant via this link. If you have different circumstances it can affect your eligibility.

If you're self-employed or member of a partnership, find out how your circumstances can affect your eligibility for the scheme on this webpage to understand how HMRC works out trading and non-trading income for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

Coronavirus Future Fund

This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. The application deadline has been extended to January 31 2021.

Business support measures

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy has now been published along with guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. You can read the recovery strategy on this webpage and find guidance via this link

New for businesses

Job retention and income schemes

The government has released revised guidance and extensions to existing job retention schemes, statutory sick pay and self-employment income support. You can read the updates, watch the videos and listen to the webinars on this webpage.

Additional resources

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has updated the list of organisations that have produced additional resources that may be useful to employers and employees.

Federation of Small Businesses

Support offered by the National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses (FSB) can be found here.

Compensation

Businesses in England that are required to shut because of local interventions will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks. More information is available on the government website which you can click through to here.

Export Growth Plan

A new package of measures from the government includes additional funding to help businesses recover and grow from the impact of Coronavirus:

  • Additional funding now available for small businesses in the South West of England.
  • Funds build on recent measures following the sector bounce-back plans to help businesses recover from Coronavirus.
  • Measures aim to support local jobs, growth and prosperity.

Advisors

There are also 12 new International Trade Advisers to provide direct support to small businesses in the South West. And the UK Export Finance (UKEF), the government’s world-leading credit agency, can help businesses grow overseas trade and build back from the impact of coronavirus. UKEF is also expanding its network of regional Export Finance Managers to help local businesses secure the financing they need to trade internationally by appointing renewable energy specialists to put SMEs at the heart of the global transition to clean energy.

Free training with the Export Academy

A pilot Export Academy scheme has also been introduced to support smaller businesses to begin their exporting journey. The Export Academy will deliver a series of activities that will build the capabilities of smaller businesses, creating a new cohort of confident businesses ready to trade. Sign up today.

Increased financial support for businesses and workers

The government has announced it will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK. Please note this builds on agreements reached with Local Authorities moving to Alert Level very high, with extra support for businesses, jobs and the economic recovery. You can find out more on the government website.

Additional information on apprenticeships

You need to hire an apprentice who:

  • is new to your organisation
  • starts their contract of employment and their apprenticeship with you between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021

For apprentices aged:

  • 16 to 24, employers will receive £2,000
  • 25 and over, employers will receive £1,500

You can spend the payment on anything to support your organisation’s costs, from facilities and travel to uniforms and salaries. This is in addition to the £1,000 payment the government has already given to help employers meet the needs of some groups of apprentices in the workplace. 

 

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