• COVID-19 Support

    COVID-19 Support

North KestevenThe place to investThe place to grow

29/05/2020

New £1m COVID-19 grant fund for small businesses in NK to open

Following the Government’s announcement of a new top up grant to support those affected by Covid-19, the District Council has received £1,035,000 to support local businesses. Grants will be awarded in payments under £10k or in some exceptions £10k or £25k.

The fund will target small and micro businesses not eligible for support under the existing grant funds; the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG. Businesses which have already taken advantage of the Government ‘furlough scheme’ or ‘bounce back’ loans can apply for support from this fund.

Eligible businesses must have:

    1. Significant ongoing property costs
      And/or
      Suffered a significant drop in income due to Covid -19
      Evidence will be required for either of these key determining factors.
    2. Have been trading on 11th March 2020.
    3. A plan to continue trading when circumstances allow.

Applications will open on Monday 1st June, and remain open for an initial two week period before closing to allow the Council to evaluate demand. Final decisions will not be made until Wednesday 1st July.

The Grant Team will contact businesses directly should further information be required during this period. For further information on eligibility and how to apply head to https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/business/discretionary-fund-covid-19/ please note applications will not be open until 9am on Monday 1st June.


28/05/2020

NHS Test and Trace

The government has announced that the new NHS Test and Trace service will be launched from today (Thursday 28th May) across England. Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace and will need t share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

To support this announcement the Department for Health & Social Care has developed workplace guidance on the NHS test and trace service for employers, businesses and workers.


27/05/2020

£40m grant funding confirmed for business projects tackling post COVID-19 global impact

Innovate UK has confirmed that over 800 companies – nearly twice as many winners as any previous Innovate UK competition – will share grant funding of £40 million – double the amount first planned – to develop new projects and services designed to boost economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19.  For more information please see here.


 

26/05/2020

Yesterday evening the Prime Minister set out a timeline for retail to reopen from 1st June and further guidance has been published for how to operate safely to protect staff and customers. Full details of the announcement can be found here: https://bit.ly/RetailTimeline. Guidance for reopening can be found here: https://bit.ly/UpdatedRetailGuidance.


25/05/2020

UK Government sets out a timeline for retail to reopen in June

The UK Government announced today, Monday 25 May 2020, a roadmap for reopening a broader range of shops starting from next month.  From 1 June 2020, it intends to allow outdoor markets to reopen, subject to all premises being made COVID-secure, as well as car showrooms, which often have significant outdoor space and where it is generally easier to apply social distancing.

From 15 June 2020, UK Government intends to allow all other retailers, ranging from shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.  You can read the full statement here. Updated guidance for the retail sector has been published alongside this announcement, detailing the measures retailers should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards.  You can find the guidance here.

We are providing links to a range of pertinent information that we hope you find useful:


22/05/2020

BEIS Working safely seminars

Join a free webinar, hosted by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to find out more about how to make your workplace COVID-secure. The webinars cover a range of different types of workplace settings which are allowed to be open in England.  You can also find the full written guidance for a range of different types of work and practical actions for businesses to take based on 5 main steps here.

 

Apprenticeship programme response

Updated with information on training and assessing apprentices in line with the Government’s new safer working guidelines, calculating wages for furloughed apprentices, off-the-job training, and redundant apprentices.


21/05/2020

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to launch online 26th May

Employers are eligible to use the scheme if:

  • They’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • They had a PAYE payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020
  • They had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020
  • They’re eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework

To prepare to make a claim, employers should keep records of all the SSP payments they wish to claim for. For more information about eligibility and how employers can prepare to use the scheme, please visit GOV.UK and search ‘Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

National Cyber Security Centre (NSCS) Covid-19 SME Guidance

NCSC has today published guidance to support businesses moving from physical to digital delivery as part of the ongoing Covid-19 response. The guidance has been created specifically to support businesses who are relying more heavily on IT services to run their businesses. The NCSC is committed to equipping all UK businesses with the best cyber security advice. The support package includes guidance on home working, video teleconferencing and spotting email scams related to Covid-19. All additional and pre-existing guidance for business can be found on the NCSC webpage.

 

Pick for Britain helps bring workers and employers together.

The UK Government and Prince of Wales have urged students and furloughed workers to apply for seasonal farm work. As part of efforts to support British farmers and growers to recruit workers throughout the harvest period, the UK Government launched the Pick for Britain website in partnership with industry to help match up available opportunities with local jobseekers.


20/05/2020

Future Fund open for applications today

The Future Fund uses an online platform for applications, which today opens for applications. The new Future Fund will support innovative UK companies with good potential that are essential in ensuring the UK retains its world leading position in science, innovation and technology. These companies typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by Covid-19.

Until now these companies have been unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit. The financing supports companies facing a significantly extended length of time between funding rounds, due to the impact of the current economic situation. Developed by government and delivered by the British Business Bank, the Future Fund will help these companies through the current period of economic disruption and recovery, so they are able to continue their growth trajectory and reach their full economic potential. For more information on eligibility and to apply please see here.

 

£40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups

Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced today (20 May 2020) the government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20 million.

The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups – helping to build the businesses of tomorrow and propel their future prosperity. For more information on the competition please see here.


19/05/2020

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments in emails you weren’t expecting. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HRMC to [email protected] and texts to 60599.


18/05/2020

Government Business Support Helpline – change of telephone number

From 18 May 2020, the Business Support Helpline phone number will change to Freephone 0800 998 1098. This new number will go live when the helpline opens at 9am. The old number will still be active to redirect callers for a few weeks.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

It’s nearly a month since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened and many businesses will be preparing to make another claim in order to receive money by the end of May. To ensure you receive a payment by the end of May, you need to apply by Wednesday 20‌‌ May. When you make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you’ll receive the money within six working days. After making a claim, please keep all records and calculations, in case we need to contact you to discuss these.


15/05/2020

Government to support businesses through Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government. The Government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment. HMG’s Trade Credit Insurance (TCI) guarantee will cover over £171 billion business activity currently insured and the transactions between around 13000 suppliers and 650,000 buyers. You can find further information here.

 

Webinars for the week ahead


14/05/2020

Since government announced its commitment to further support businesses through the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, the district council has paid out a total of £19,315,000 to 1,723 businesses across the district.

The portal to access business grants for small businesses and those in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector is temporarily closed whilst we await further guidance from government. For any queries you have in relation to the support on offer for your business please contact our team at www.businessnk.co.uk/contact

 

National Business Response Network are connecting business support to community needs in the Covid-19 crisis. This platform allows businesses to offer support on behalf of their business and allows registered charities, businesses, health and governmental agencies to request support on behalf on an oragnisation.


13/05/2020

Update on Business Grants

The portal inviting applications for the Covid-19 business grants for small businesses and those in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector will be temporarily closing today at 5pm. The portal will be temporarily closed whilst we await further guidance from government. So, if you are an eligible business, and do still wish to make a claim, please do so by 5pm today.

To be eligible for Small Business Grant Funding you must be in receipt of or eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief (for properties with a Rateable Value of between £2500 and £15,000).To be eligible for the Retail Hospitality Leisure Grant you must be in Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector and receipt of or eligible for the expanded retail discount relief (for properties with a rateable value of between £15001 and £50,999). Retail discount can only be applied to hereditaments that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public. Properties with a rateable value of more than £51,000 are not eligible. If you think you are eligible please apply here.

 

Applications for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are open

From 8am Wednesday morning self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits. Millions are expected to benefit from the scheme with the payments to be paid in a single instalment covering three months and capped at £7,500. Payments are expected to land in bank accounts within six working days of each claim.

People will be able to make their claim on a specified date between 13-18 May, based on their Unique Tax Reference number. HMRC has assigned eligible self-employed individuals a specific date to apply on and this can be checked on HMRC’s online checker. For more information and to apply please see here.

 

Government have produced guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Please see here for the complete guidance.


11/05/2020

Guidance on working safely during coronavirus

Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic has been produced by government. These eight guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Please see here for the complete guidance.

 

The latest guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary community and social enterprise organisations. This guidance will outline how businesses can offer services, funds and volunteers to civil society during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Please see here for updated advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.


7/05/2020

Update on Business Grants

The portal inviting applications for the Covid-19 business grants for small businesses and those in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector will be temporarily closing on May 13th whilst we await further guidance from government. So, if you are an eligible business, and do still wish to make a claim, please do so by this date.

To be eligible for Small Business Grant Funding you must be in receipt of or eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief (for properties with a Rateable Value of between £2500 and £15,000).To be eligible for the Retail Hospitality Leisure Grant you must be in Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector and receipt of or eligible for the expanded retail discount relief (for properties with a rateable value of between £15001 and £50,999). Retail discount can only be applied to hereditaments that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public. Properties with a rateable value of more than £51,000 are not eligible. If you think you are eligible please apply here.

 

Webinars for the week ahead

The Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub are hosting two ‘Business Lincolnshire Advice Clinics’. These free drop-in sessions are a great opportunity to discuss any questions you may have with a panel of experienced advisors.

The sessions are suitable for Lincolnshire Businesses who:

  • Want to know how best to survive and thrive in the current pandemic
  • Are in an established business and are having growing pains
  • Have just started a business, have met difficulties and want some feedback on how   they might overcome them
  • Have a specific idea and want to bounce thoughts off an experienced business adviser, or
  • Perhaps the business has reached a plateau and you’re not sure what steps to take next.

The two sessions are scheduled for 11th May 2020, 10am-11am, and 18th May 2020, 10am-11am

 

The University of Lincoln are hosting two webinars next week on Digital Engagement and Digital Capabilities and Fall Out of Covid-19 and Challenges for a Global Recovery Response. For more information on the webinars please see below.

  • Digital Engagement and Digital Capabilities – Be Ready for the Next Normal. Join the University of Lincoln on Tuesday 12th May at 12 noon for a discussion with Ben Hill, Global Head of Sales and Projects at Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd along with a panel of our postgraduate students to delve into how developing digital capabilities may offer an opportunity to build a future-proof workforce
  • Fall Out of Covid-19 and Challenges for a Global Recovery Response. Join the University of Lincoln on Monday 11th May at 3pm with the panel of experts who will be exploring the impact of Covid-19 and the challenges of an economic recovery from a global perspective.

 

A new fund will enable dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Please see here for more information on the new funding to support dairy farmers through Covid-19.


6/05/2020

Self-employed invited to get ready to make their claims for coronavirus (COVID-19) support

HMRC are beginning to contact customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment. You can check your eligibility using the new online checker tool. Once the online check is complete, those who are eligible will be given a date when they can submit their claim.

The claims service will open on 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. The claims process will be very simple, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, or within six working days of completing a claim. There is also further guidance available on ‘How HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’ and ‘How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’.

 

We are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. Eligible customers will be invited to claim through the GOV.UK – it is the only service they can use. If someone gets in touch with clients claiming to be from HRMC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks them to click on a link or to give information such as their name, credit card or bank details, they should not respond. It is a scam.

Suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC should be reported by sending them to [email protected]. Texts should be sent to 60599.

 

Clarifications regarding furloughed workers and training

This guidance has been lifted from the government website:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

If your employee undertakes training:

  • Furloughed employees can engage in training, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.
  • Where training is undertaken by furloughed employees, at the request of their employer, they are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate national minimum wage for this time. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of an employee’s regular wage, up to the value of £2,500, will provide sufficient monies to cover these training hours. However, where the time spent training attracts a minimum wage entitlement in excess of the furlough payment, employers will need to pay the additional wages (see National Minimum Wage Section for more details).

5/05/2020

A discretionary fund has been set up by the Government to accomodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). North Kesteven District Council is currently awaiting guidance from government as to how this additional funding will be allocated, this is expected in the near future. Our website and social media accounts will be updated accordingly. No action is required from business at this time.

 

East Midlands Cabinet office is looking for case studies of businesses who have successfully used the Government business support and are asking businesses to provide short videos about their experience. Case studies will be shared on government social media channels, and also on the business support sections of GOV.UK

 

If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus find out if you can use the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to claim a grant. The grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance. HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get. For more information please see here.


4/05/2020

Updates to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance (CJRS)

The following changes have been made to the CJRS guidance

 Employee guidance

  • Furloughed employees who are union or non-union representatives may undertake duties and activities for the purpose of individual or collective representation of employees or other workers.
  • Confirmation that Company Directors paid annually are eligible to claim.
  • Employees receiving Maternity Allowance during a period of Maternity Leave should not receive furlough pay at the same time. 

Employer guidance: eligibility

  • Updated in line with changes to Employee guidance.
  • CJRS grants are not classed as state aid.
  • Changed the date from 28 February to 19 March 2020 in the section on TUPE transfers and payroll consolidation.

Employer guidance: how to calculate the grant

  • The June daily maximum wage rates have been added to the table now the scheme has been extended.
  • Improved clarity in the employer National Insurance contributions section, confirmed the direct percentage method or tables method can be used and added new information for company directors.

The scheme opened for applications last week on Monday 20th April, this week the first grants have been paid.


1/05/2020

Visit lincoln have created a blog, the purpose being to give a county platform for businesses and consumer to see the latest tourism/leisure/retail news. The Visit Lincolnshire consumer blog is on the homepage navigation and can be accessed here. The Visit Lincolnshire Business/Corporate blog can be accessed here.


30/04/2020

Please be aware of fraudulent emails cicruclating. Please see an example of a fraudulent email about the grants to small businesses that impersonates the authorities.


29/04/20202

BEIS Business Support Webinar

Register to join a free webinar hosted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at 11am on Monday 5 May to find out how small business can access the coronavirus business support measures that have been made available to UK businesses.

The webinar will cover:

  • Eligibility for small business grants
  • Applying for a loan
  • Tax
  • Claiming for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

You will have the opportunity to ask questions during the webinar.

 

Retail and shopper behavioural experts Grounded Places have developed three new webinars to help your business adapt to COVID-19. The three webinars are free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis to a maximum of 20 people on each (and up to two attendees per business).

The tailored webinars are designed to support businesses that are; still trading and open for business, retailers wo are closed but have stock to sell and Leisure, hospitality and visitor attractions which are closed and usually sell a service.

For details on the different events and booking please see below.

  1. Wednesday 6 May 2020 – 10.30 am to 11.30 am
    Support for businesses that are currently open – Are you open for business but struggling to keep on top of things and want expert advice on customer behaviour. If you can answer ‘Yes’ book your place here.
  2. Thursday 7 May 2020 – 10.30 am to 11.30 am
    Support for businesses currently closed but with stock to sell – Are you currently closed and have concerns as to how to optimise your business when you are able to reopen? Does your business sell products from your shop (as opposed to a service selling experiences) and are you unsure how you are able to optimise cash flow and profitability at the point of re-opening?  If you can answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions you should join this webinar by booking here.
  3. Tuesday 12 May 2020 – 10.30 am to 11.30 am
    Support leisure, hospitality and visitor attractions which are closed and usually sell a service – Are you currently closed and have concerns as to how to optimise your business when you are able to reopen? Is your business a service proposition (as opposed to primarily selling products) and you are unsure how you are going to create the most appropriate engagement going forward.  If you can answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions you should join this webinar by booking here.

 

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) invite businesses to take part in a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions.

This survey has been commissioned by DCMS to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answers will remain annonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts. The survey should take around 10-20 minutes. The deadline for responses to the survey will be at 23:59 GMT on 15/05/2020. To more information and to take part in the survey click here.


28/04/2020

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) invite businesses to take part in a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions.

This survey has been commissioned by DCMS to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answers will remain annonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts. The survey should take around 10-20 minutes. The deadline for responses to the survey will be at 23:59 GMT on 15/05/2020. To take part in the survey please see here.

 

New measures to protect high street shops from aggressive rent collection

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic. Government to introduce temporary new measures to safeguard the UK high street against aggressive debt recovery actions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new temporary measures:

  • Statutory demands and winding up petitions issued to commercial tenants are to be temporarily voided;
  • Changes are to be made to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery, building on measures already introduced in the Coronavirus Act;
  • Landlords and investors are being asked to work collaboratively with businesses unable to pay their bills

For more details about this announcement, please see here.


27/04/2020

To date the district council has paid £17,350,000 to 1,549 businesses.

 

Small businesses boosted by bounce back loans

Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders, the Chancellor announced on Monday 27 April.
  • Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

Rishi Sunak said the new Bounce Back Loans scheme, which will provide loans of up to £50,000, would help bolster the existing package of support available to the smallest businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme has been designed to ensure that small firms who need vital cash injections to keep operating can get finance in a matter of days, and comes alongside the £6 billion awarded in business grants, supporting 4 million jobs through the job retention scheme and generous tax deferrals supporting hundreds of thousands of firms. For more information please see here.

This scheme is not available yet. It will launch on 4 May 2020.

 

Protecting businesses from COVID-19 scams

Malicious email attachments, false government grant phone calls and CEO impersonation scams are among a raft of scams undermining businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing risk has led National Trading Standards to launch Businesses Against Scams – a free online training tool to protect businesses, employees and customers from costly scams.

With remote working and many businesses having to stop or diversify their trading practices, criminals are seizing the opportunity to target employees who are isolated from colleagues. Scams include criminals impersonating government officials or a senior member of the business in order to put pressure on employees to give out sensitive information or make payments.

The increased risk for businesses has led National Trading Standards to encourage more businesses to join Businesses Against Scams. The initiative provides free tools for businesses to help upskill and train their workforce, through free online training modules that will help staff identify and prevent potential scams. Businesses can take the training and sign up here.

If a business believes they have been the victim of a scam they must contact their bank immediately and report any suspicious activity to Action Fraud here or by calling 0300 123 2040. Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from Scamsmart, CIFAS, TakeFive, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre. There is bespoke advice about COVID-19 fraud on the Action Fraud website.

 

Please see here for information on a range of topics which includes redundancies and how to make a claim for those former or furloughed employees who will need to. This is aimed at both employers and their employees. Information is also available here, for those now looking to seek work and provides some hints and tips.


24/04/2020

To provide businesses with further clarification on Covid-19 Business Support Grants, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have compiled a series of FAQ.


23/04/2020

Financial support for education and childcare – Funding and financial support available for education, childcare and children’s social care organisations. For more information please see here.


22/04/2020

In order to sustain an effective flood warning service during the Coronavirus pandemic, the Environment Agency (EA) will be making some minor changes to the service. Please see the update from Environment Agency on Protecting our Flood Warning Service offering during the Coronavirus pan.._


21/04/2020

Billion pound support package for innovative firms affected by coronavirus

UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package, the Chancellor announced today. The comprehensive package includes a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.

The Future Fund will issue convertible loans to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Future Fund will provide 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 a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The scheme will be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and will launch in May 2020. Find out more about the scheme here.


20/04/2020

As of today, NKDC has paid a total of £15,070,000 to 1,354  businesses acros the district. There are still a significant number of businesses that have not applied for grant funding. If you own a business in North Kesteven and recieve Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief on your premise you might be eligible for a government Covid-19 support grant. If you think you are eligible please apply here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Open for applications today

The coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for application. Employers can now claim online for a grant for 80% of their furloughed employees’ salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee. Click here to make a claim.

HMRC have produced this step by step guidance on how to make a claim. There is also a calculator to help work out your claim. The system can process up to 450,000 applications per hour and employers should receive the money within 6 working days of making an application. To receive payment by 30 April, you will need to complete an application by 22 April. Please keep a note or print-out of your claim reference number as you won’t receive a confirmation SMS or email.

The Chancellor has also announced one month extension to the scheme. This means that the scheme will now be open until the end of June, to reflect continuing lockdown measures. HMRC are holding live webinars providing an overview of the scheme to help employers and employees deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus. Register for a live webinar here.

 

Mental Health support

In such difficult and unpredictable times it’s important to know you’re not alone. GLLEP have assembled a range of mental health resources to support people during this challenging times. If talking to another person can help, call Lincolnshire’s new Mental Health Helpline now on 0800 001 4331 which is open 24/7.

Workforce Matters has also released several resources to help keep your mental wellbeing in check. From tips on coping with social isolation and the move to working from home, to advice for leaders hoping to guide your team during this period of uncertainty, these resources are available to download on the GLLEP website here.

For more resources and advice on taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust’s website.


17/04/2020

Covid-19 Cyber and Fraud Protect messages

Advice has been collated by the East Midlands Special Organisations Unit (EMSOU) and is intended to raise awareness among businesses and the public. Advice and information is changing daily as the EMSOU naviagte their way throught the Covid-19 pandemic, so please ensure you only take information from reputable sources.

The topic is specifically Cloud services and covers some tips on how to select a cloud provider, and the importance of checking your security responsibilities. The docment also offers advice on ‘hot topics’ and reporting. Please see here for the comprehensive COVID19 Cyber and Fraud Information Sheet.


 

16/04/2020

Updates from the Greater Lincolnshire LEP:

A helpline has been set up to take calls from businesses in Greater Lincolnshire who need advice and support relating to the coronavirus pandemic. Your local Covid-19 helpline number is 01522 782189. The lines are open from 9am until 5pm to book an appointment with an adviser. Choose option 3 for business support.

There is also help available for individuals whose jobs have been affected, for those that have lost their job, been made redundant or are worried about reduced hours. GLLEP are working with the National Careers Service to ensure that people out of work or at risk of redundancy know what their options are. To access tailored support individuals should call the relevant freephone number:

  • Lincolnshire and Rutland: 0800 917 9419
  • North and North East Lincolnshire: 0800 100 900

For a comprehensive page outlining the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s efforts to support businesses and workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic please see here.


15/04/2020

Today the district council has paid out a total of £14,190,000 to 1,275 businesses across the district. 1,179 businesses have benefited from the £10,000 grant and 96 have recieved the £25,000 grant.

Further clarifications on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme include:

  • Confirmation of what should form the basis for furlough pay for employees furloughed on return from (maternity/paternity/shared parental/adoption/sick/parental bereavement) leave
  • Confirming employees subject to TUPE transfer/ business reorganisation/ payroll consolidation can be furloughed
  • Confirming position for contractors in scope of IR35 in the public sector
  • More information on what information employers need to claim the grant
  • Clarifying circumstances where an employee shhttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-schemeouldn’t be furloughed by multiple employers

Further details can be found on the government website.


14/04/2020

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP are working closely with businesses, facilitators and government to support the Covid19 impact on the food chain and support the food sector to continue feeding the nation. The two schemes which are widely promoted and operating now remain as Feed the Nation and SWAP. Deliver to the Nation and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport are also two additional logistics schemes now fully operational. For the latest updates on the schemes please visit the Greater Lincolnshire LEP https://www.greaterlincolnshirelep.co.uk/

 

To help businesses respond to new and urgent needs during and following Covid-19 Innovate UK is giving UK registered businesses the opportunity to apply for a share of up to £20m. Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research-focussed businesses. Grants are available to develop new ways of working and help build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport, as well as support people at home in circumstances like those during the coronavirus outbreak.

For more information and eligibility criteria please see here.


9/04/2020

Today, the district council has paid out £12,415,000 in business grants. 1,044 businesses have received grants of £10,000 and 79 businesses have received grants of £25,000.

There are still a number of businesses we haven’t heard from, if you own a business in North Kesteven and receieve SBRR or RRR on your premise you might be eligible for a government Covid-19 support grant, please apply here.

 

Updated guidance for businesses

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business support grant funding –  Updated Guidance for businesses setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) – The information has been updated about State Aid. For further details please see here.

Business rates: expanded retail discount – Guidance on the operation of expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021 coronavirus response, announced at Budget 2020. Guidance updated to confirm that the government’s assessment that the expanded retail discount is not a state aid, and that local authorities should therefore award relief to all eligible properties.

£20 million for ambitious technologies to build UK resilience following coronavirus outbreak – Businesses to help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of coronavirus and similar future situations as a result of £20 million government funding. Find out more here.

Extended Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – The UK Government has extended the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible, should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time. Please find further details here.


8/04/2020

Today the district council has paid out £11,345,000 to 1,028 businesses in the form of support grants from the Government for small businesses and firms in retail, hospitality and leisure. We are working hard to get the remaining applications through the process.

 

To provide businesses with further clarification on Covid-19 Business Support Grants,  the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have compiled a series of FAQ BEIS FAQs General Covid-19 Business Support Grants

 

Urgent request for assistance to help with Covid19 NHS front line supplies, as they cannot obtain the required protective wear fast enough to cope. Lincolnshire businesses are asked to assist in the donation of any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help fight Covid19.

The products can be collected or dropped off at a central hub, and are guaranteed to be delivered to the NHS where they are needed. The products are not limited to rubber gloves and masks, however include everything you can spare as protective wear, or are not using due to being furloughed. The only stipulation is that to protect the NHS the products need to be in unbroken packaging please.

Storage in Lincoln has been secured at Castlet Ltd. Please contact Ray Newell by either telephone on 07883 222607, or email [email protected], if you can provide any PPE to either deliver or for collection.


7/04/2020

We have now paid a total of £9,590,000 to local businesses through the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant fund. A total of 872 have benefitted from these grants to date. We are working extremely hard to get the remaining applications through the process. However, we still have a number of businesses who have not applied.

 

Visit Lincoln are asking tourism businesses that have been affected by Covid19 to provide their views on the impact. The feedback will be crucial in understanding the impact of Covid19 has had on Lincolnshire businesses and will aid in shaping a recovery plan.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey, https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NZHN5JY

 

Visit Lincoln have provided a Coronavirus Update for tourism businesses in Lincolnshire. The insight newsletter focuses on Grants for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses through a Lincolnshire Q&A session. Officers from each district council will be joining an online webinar, hosted by the Lincs Chamber of Commerce, to discuss the local grants that are available in Lincolnshire. There will also be a HMRC YouTube Channel, which will consist of a video overview of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Statutory Sick Pay, furloughed employees and more. In addition to free resources for businesses, which include Legal advice and HR letter templates, the ‘ready to go’ template document can be downloaded.

 

The Prince’s trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund

The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30 year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.

To be eligible, you must be a business owner aged between 18-30, who set up their business in the last four years and don’t have any other source of income during the crisis. Every young person who gets in touch will be offered personalised one to one support to connect with mentors or build their skills.

You can register your interest for grants and tailored support today here.

 

Lincoln College offer 28 fully funded Level 2 online courses that you can access through the Governments Adult Education Budget. If you are over 19 years old, you may be eligible to enrol. To find out more about the courses and eligibility please see here


3/04/2020

Today, the district council has paid out £6,930,000 to 633 businesses in the form of support grants from the Government for small businesses and firms in retail, hospitality and leisure. We are working extremely hard to get the remaining applications through the process. Thank you for your patience during this time.


2/04/2020

Please read before contacting the council.

We are experiencing an unprecedented amount of emails and calls in relation to the business grant funding scheme and applications for it. Please note:

  • We have received a high number of applications and are currently working as hard as possible to validate them. The validation process is not automated and requires a certain amount of time to check applications.
  • We are aiming to notify businesses via email or telephone later this week or early next week if they have been successful with grant funding
  • Do include your Business Rates Account Number on your application as this will speed up the validation process

Please bear with us at this extremely busy time, rest assured we are working as quickly as we can and do only contact the Council if your query does not relate to the above.

 

The Government are encouraging businesses to help with the response to Covid-19

Some of the key products and services required include:

  • Medical testing equipment
  • Medical equipment design
  • Protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • Hotel rooms
  • Transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • Expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • Social care or childcare

If any businesses are able to support the response to Covid-19, please use the following link to inform the government about the type of support you can provide https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business


1/04/2020

Reminder to all businesses applying for grant funding. Please only submit one application for grant funding and only submit more than one application if you operate more than one premise.


31/03/2020

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.


27/03/2020

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 please see here.


23/03/2020

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.

 

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:

  • design/specification
  • rapid prototyping
  • contract/product assembly
  • certification/regulation/testing
  • logistics
  • medical training

If you think your business could help, please register your details. https://ventilator.herokuapp.com/


20/03/2020

For the latest news on Covid-19 please see www.businesslincolnshire.com  where you can find information on funding and support available, guidance 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

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.


18/03/2020

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.