One-Off Top Up Grants
Following the January country-wide lockdown the Chancellor announced an extended package of financial support. Alongside an extension of the discretionary grants scheme businesses are also eligible for a one-off gerant based upon rateable value:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
These grants are in addition to the Local Restrictions Support Grants (below).
We are seeking clarification on how and when these grants will be distributed and will update our members as soon as we are able.
Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG)
These business grants are administered by Local Authorities and fall under two categories:
Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed)
For rate-paying businesses required to close during national and local lockdowns. Eligible businesses are able to claim for a cash grant for each 14-day period they are closed.
These grants are organised by tier/lockdown level and there are currently four separate schemes:
- Businesses affected by the national lockdown (5th November – 1st December 2020).
- Businesses affected by the Tier 2 restrictions (2nd December – 30th December 2020).
- Business affected by the Tier 3 restrictions (31st December 2020 – 4th January 2021).
- Businesses affected by the national lockdown (5th January 2021 onwards).
These are based on rateable value – we advise speaking to your Local Authority directly for information specific to your business, hower the Government website states that:
- The grant will be based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of local restrictions.
- If your business has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £667 for each 14 day period your business is closed.
- If your business has a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £1,000 for each 14 day period your business is closed.
- If your business has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £1,500 for each 14 day period your business is closed.
- The grant will be extended to cover each additional 14-day period of closure
Learn more about eligibility factors HERE.
Local Restrictions Support Grants (open)
For businesses able to remain open during restrictions but severely impacted. Eligible businesses are able to claim for a cash grant for each 14-day period they are closed.
Businesses permitted to open during the Tier 2 restriction in December 2020 but now forced to close may still be able to claim for this period, as well as through the Local Restrictions Support Grants (closed) scheme for lost income from the date of closure.
These are at the discretion of Local Authorities – we advise speaking to them directly for information specific to your business, hower the Government website states that:
- If your business has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, you may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £467 for each 14 day period.
- If your business has a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, you may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £700 for each 14 day period.
- If your business has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £1,050 for each 14 day period.
Learn more about eligibility factors HERE.
How to claim
Grants are being administered in Cumbria by the county’s six local authorities. Follow the links below to check your eligibility, deadlines and application processes.
Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is the discretionary scheme, intended for businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed.
Currently there are two grant schemes, one covering the national November 2020 lockdown period and a second one covering after this date.
November Lockdown ARG:
- Allerdale – Applications closed
- Carlisle – Applications closed
- Eden – Applications closed
- South Lakeland – Applications closed
We expect applications for the next stage of the grant scheme to open very soon. We will post links to each Local Authority website as soon as these become available.
Furlough Scheme Extended
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021. Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021.
Eligible employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Employers will have the flexibility to use this scheme for any amount of time or shift pattern, including full-time furlough.
There will be no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked – the Government will fund the full 80%. Employers will only be asked to contribute National Insurance and Employer pension contributions.
Further details on how to claim are available HERE
Job Retention Bonus
Due to the furlough extension this will not be paid in February. the Government says it will be re-deployed at the appropriate time.
The third self-employed grant (November-January) has been increased from 55% to 80% of trading profits. This is calculated on 3 months average trading profits, paid in a single installment and capped at £7,500.
A further grant is expected to cover the February-April period.
Coronavirus Support Loans – Deadlines Extended
In light of the new restrictions the deadlines for the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan, Business Interruption Loan, Large Business Interruption Loan and Coronavirus Future Fund have been extended until 31st January 2021.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45 million, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years.
The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) supports large businesses, with an annual turnover of over £45 million. All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45 million per year can apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million can apply for up to £50 million of finance.
- Apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Kickstart Jobs Scheme
The Government’s support for young people at risk of long-term unemployment remains open and Cumbria Tourism has already made its first application on behalf of local businesses. As you plan ahead be aware that this scheme is open for two years and there is still time to register your eligible vacancies and receive funding to employ a 16-24 year old on a 6-month placement for 25 hours a week, as well as up to £1,500 per placement for training and uniform costs.
We aim for the advice and links on this page to be as clear and up to date as possible but we understand things can be confusing. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and we will help as much as we can. Our Strategic partners Lamont Pridmore have also created this handy breakdown of what support is available.
Will employees be entitled to any financial support if they are asked to self-isolate?
People may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme if they are required to stay at home and self-isolate. Local authorities will be putting arrangements in place to make these payments, with further details to be made available shortly.
To be eligible, they must meet all the following criteria:
- You have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
- You are employed or self-employed
- You cannot work from home and will lose income as a result
- You are claiming at least one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credits, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.
Contract cancellations and refunds due to COVID-19
As part of its ongoing investigation into the cancellation of tourism-related contracts, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has updated its statement on consumer protection law in relation to cancellations and refunds due to coronavirus.
The CMA says that consumers will generally be entitled to a refund when they have paid money in advance for services or goods that cannot be provided because of the coronavirus pandemic. It has now provided more detail on issues such as the difference between lockdown laws and government guidance, and their impact on cancellations and refunds.
Planning Permission relaxed for Temporary Uses of Land
To support business recovery and aid social distancing, you may be aware that the Government has relaxed its rules around planning permission, enabling temporary uses of land for up to 56 days, until 31st December 2020 – subject to certain restrictions. One relevant example would be the creation of temporary campsites with tented camping without the need for formal planning permission. Further details are available here.
Updated guidance on pavement licences has also been released recently to allow businesses to obtain a licence to place temporary furniture – such as tables and chairs – outside of cafes, bars and restaurants quickly.
Further Financial Support for Businesses
- Expanded Retail Rates Exemption – State Aid
- The Government has confirmed that the exemption being given for the expanded retail, leisure, childcare and hospitality sectors will not be subject to State Aid. This is good news for some of our larger operators, who might have hit the State Aid cap regarding rates relief.
- Our partners at Colliers International have created a handy summary on rates relief exemptions and grants. They are also happy to try and assist any Cumbria Tourism members struggling with rating issues. Please contact us at email@example.com and we will put you in touch.
- Arts Council England is making £160 million of emergency funding available to help protect the people and organisations that make up the arts, museums and libraries during the coronavirus crisis. It has also changed its funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of funding, to help alleviate pressure on them.
- The Heritage Lottery Fund has made £50million available for a Heritage Emergency Fund to support the UK heritage sector.
- Sport England is freeing up £195 million of funding to help the sport and physical activity sector. One part of this, the £20m Community Emergency Fund, is now open to applications from organisations experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations.
- Guidance on Deferral of VAT Payments
- HMRC have updated their guidance for businesses wanting to defer VAT payments.
- All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will receive a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months.
- Relaxation in planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing takeaways without a planning application.
- VAT for all businesses will be deferred until the end of June and businesses will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.
The Government has announced that businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts. Further information on how to apply for an extension can be found HERE.
Business Rates Relief Scheme
The Local Government Association has published fresh advice for Local Authorities on what additional categories of tourism businesses should be included in the Business Rates Relief Scheme.
This relief is available for businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
For all businesses in the above sectors, 100% relief is available for a period of 12 months, irrespective of rateable value.
In addition, a cash grant of up to £25,000 will be made available to businesses with rateable values between 15,000-51,000RV.
While this guidance doesn’t compel individual councils to incorporate these businesses into their schemes, the expanded list of tourism-related operators should allow a wider range of businesses here in Cumbria to make a stronger case to their own Local Authority.
Conference and exhibition venues, travel and tour operators, TICs, coach operators and marina/boat hire/passenger boat facilities are among those business areas on the list. Read the advice and full list of business types here.
Government Business Support Hub
The Government has set up an online Business Support Hub detailing the full range of measures available.
ACAS Advice (Employment Support to protect staff)
HMRC Time to Pay (Tax Helpline, call 0800 0159 559)
Companies House (if you need more time to file your company accounts)