A range of initiatives, advice and support mechanisms are being developed and delivered to help businesses across North Kesteven respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. As the Government announces ever more measures, grants and relief schemes, Council officers are making sense of them and shaping services and support to help traders to navigate their changing circumstances.
Latest is rent relief for tenants of the Council’s portfolio of 111 commercial units, workshops and work spaces spread across the District.
We are working hard to collate information that we hold on all businesses eligible for grant funding announced by government to support businesses impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. We will be making contact with eligible businesses directly by email or by post (where we do not hold an email address).
Full guidance on the grant funding schemes is available here: www.gov.uk. If you think you are eligible and have not already made direct contact with us or if you do not receive an email or letter from us by Tuesday 31st March 2020, please complete the declaration form available here https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/business/apply-for-a-business-grant-covd-19/ Please have your company details to hand.
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by Covid-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.
For more information on whether you are eligible
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The British Business Bank will manage the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which will become available in the week commencing 23 March 2020. It will be delivered through a range of over 40 accredited lenders and offer attractive terms for both businesses applying for new facilities and lenders, with the aim of supporting the continued provision of finance to UK businesses experiencing increased costs or disruptions to cashflow during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. The Government will cover the first twelve months of interest payments and any facility arrangement fees charged by lenders, so businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m. Note that the borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt. To find out more about the CBILS and to share information with the various SMEs you work with, please go to: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/CBILS
Any business interested in applying to CBILS should talk to their bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss their business plan with them. This will help the finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched.
In addition to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme the government has announced a series of other measures to help businesses. For more information please visit the government’s Covid-19 business support website here.
For the latest advice and support available for businesses please see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
The advice covers the package of temporary, timely and targeted measures the Chancellor has set out to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
The government is looking for businesses who can support in the supply of ventialtors and ventilator components across the UK as part of the repsonse to COVID-19.
As well as manufacturers, the government are looking for businesses wit the following skills:
- rapid prototyping
- contract/product assembly
- medical training
If you think your business could help, please register your details. https://ventilator.herokuapp.com/
Latest news on Covid-19
For the latest news on Covid-19 please see www.businesslincolnshire.com where you can find information on funding and support available, guidance from advisers and FAQ from businesses.
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This can be found on the government website www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
- UK Government response to Coronavirus COVID e-shot
- UK Government response to Covid19 Food Sector and Business Intelligence (003)
Update on Business Grants
In light of the CV19 situation, the Chancellor has announced support for business both in the form of business rates reliefs and grants. Work has been going on in the background around the eligibility criteria for these grants and guidance should be issued in the very near future. As it currently stands there are two proposed schemes:-
Scheme 1 – Business Support Grants Fund
This scheme is the scheme originally announced in the budget on the 11th March, albeit the level of grant has increased from £3,000 to £10,000.
The current proposal is that all properties in receipt of rural rate relief or small business rates relief on 11th March, including those in receipt of tapered relief, will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000. Properties whose liability is calculated using the small business multiplier but not in receipt of small business rates relief will not qualify for this grant and neither will properties which are occupied for personal use, e.g. private stables, beach huts and moorings even if they are in receipt of relief.
Scheme 2 – Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund
Announced by the Chancellor on the 17th March the current proposal is that properties which would have qualified for retail discount on 11th March will be entitled to either, £10,000 where the RV is £15,000 or less or £25,000 where the RV is greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000.
The guidance will make clear the situation with regard retrospective changes, both in terms of ratepayer changes and changes to the rating list.
The expectation is that, subject to an exceptional discretion held by the local authority, subsequent retrospective changes will be ignored. Government are not expecting local authorities to make payments to eligible businesses until such time they have received funding and they are hoping to have this in place early April using NNDR1 and VOA data.
The intention is that this will be followed by a data capture exercise to determine whether the initial award was sufficient to cover the amount of grant paid out with additional payments being made where required. There will then be a reconciliation process at some point in the future to ensure the amount of grant to local government matches the actual grant paid to business. A new burdens assessment will be undertaken to compensate local authorities for the cost of administering these grants.
We understand many businesses in North Kesteven will be keen to know how to access the grants announced by the Chancellor yesterday to support small businesses during the Covid-19 crisis. Rest assured as soon as we have any information on the application process we will share it with you as soon as possible.