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In addition to Government measures to contain the spread of the virus, there are a number of initiatives being established to help support businesses and employers who are impacted.

Below is an outline of these initiatives. As more are added and updated we will update this information for you.

Need support? Speak to our #HereToHelp team on 0151 705 1985.

Additional Restrictions Grant

The Additional Restrictions Grant will be provided by councils on a discretionary basis.

Local authorities will receive a sum of money equivalent to £20 per head of their local population to distribute to businesses which have been severely impacted by restrictions. For example, a council covering an area with a population of 100,000 would receive £2 million for this purpose. Those likely to be in receipt of these grants include large employers with significant fixed costs such as seaside attractions or local manufacturers, as well as sole traders, tour operators and market traders who do not have a rateable value and have not been covered by other grant schemes.

Visit your local council website to find out how to apply.

Find out more here.

Arts Council Support

To support organisations and individuals in the arts, Arts Council England have a suite of COVID-19 support, including guidance, advice and emergency funding measures. This includes their National Lottery Project Grants, which has funding available until April 2021.
Find out more here.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover, to a maximum of £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months, the interest rate will be 2.5% a year. The scheme is open until 31 January 2021.

Please note that if you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum around. You must request the top up by 31 January 2021.

Find out more here.

Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries

Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Find out more here.

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Find out more here.

Business Evictions Ban

Business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021.

This final extension to protections from the threat of eviction will give landlords and tenants three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. The Government is clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so.

Find out more here.

Childcare support for working parents

The government is  providing support with childcare for working parents who access a Government Covid-19 related support scheme, or a critical worker who has worked extra hours because of the pandemic.

This support includes:

  • 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds in England
  • Tax-free childcare for children up to 11 years old and disabled children up to 17 years old across the UK

Find out more here.

Coronavirus Bill

Businesses who are struggling to pay their rent due to the impact of COVID-19 are protected from the threat of eviction until the end of the year in order to help businesses over the coming months and protect people’s jobs. A Code of Practice has also been published by the government to encourage commercial tenant and landlords to work together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides financial support to small and medium sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The scheme helps businesses to access loans and other kind of finance up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80& of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. The scheme is open until 31 January 2021.

ind out more here.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provides financial support to larger businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The scheme helps medium and large sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender. The scheme is open to applications until 31 January 2021.

Find out more here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until 30 September 2021. From 1 November 2020 you can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Claims for furlough days in February 2021 must be made by 15 March 2021.

You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

Full details can be found here.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies to help companies that are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by COVID-19. Find out more here.

DIT support for UK businesses trading internationally

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has issued guidance for UK businesses trading internationally. Find out more here.

Enterprise Nation – Recovery Advice for Businesses

The Professional and Business Services Sector and Enterprise Nation, supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, have teamed up to offer small and medium sized businesses free advice to help them recover from the impact of Coronavirus. This offer will be available until 31 December 2020. Find out more here.

Extensions for filing accounts with Companies House

To relieve the burden on businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak and allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate, measures have been introduced to give companies an extension to their accounts filing deadline.
Any company whose filing deadline falls any time from 27 June 2020 to 5 April 2021 (including these dates) will receive an extension. Please note that this only applies to your original filing deadline, it will not be added to the filing extension already granted by Companies House. Find out more here.

Film & TV Production Restart Scheme

The Film and TV Production Restart Scheme will help productions across the country that have been halted or delayed by an inability to obtain insurance for Covid-19 related risks to get back up and running, by giving productions the confidence they need that they will be supported if future losses are incurred due to Covid-19.

The registration deadline for this scheme is 23:59 GMT on 30 April 2021, and claims will be able to be submitted up to 23:59 GMT 30 November 2021 for losses incurred up until 23:59 GMT on 30 June 2021.

Find out more here.

Future Fund

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 is open for applications until 31 January 2021.

Find out more here.

Guidance for the Charity Sector

The Charity Commission have produced guidance to help running your charity during the outbreak. Read more here.

HMRC Helpline

A dedicated helpline has been set up by HMRC to support businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you run a business or are self employed you can call HMRC on 08000 241222.

Income Tax Deferral for the Self-Employed

Because of coronavirus, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 can be delayed, and you will not be charged any interest or penalties as long as you pay before 31 January 2021. Find out more here.

You can get help if you cannot pay your tax bill on time here.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding that covers:

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months.
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions.
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

A Kickstart Scheme application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. Kickstart gateways can help employers with 29 or less job placements by applying for funding on their behalf.

Find out more here.

Local Connections Fund

The Local Connections Fund – made up of £2 million from the Government and £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund – will be used for hundreds of small grants worth between £300 and £2,500.

These investments are designed to help local organisations bring people and communities together as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Local Connections Fund will be split into two rounds of funding – each with its own application window, one in January 2021 and one in the summer 2021.

Find out more here.

Local Restrictions Support Grant

The Local Restrictions Support Grants, for businesses which have had to close or have been severely impacted by local restrictions (hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail sectors):

  • business owners will receive £1,334 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value below £15,000
  • they will receive £2,000 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • they will receive £3,000 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value above £51,000

Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply:

Find out more

Lockdown grants to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors

A series of one- off top-up grants for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure.

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

£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
We will keep you updated as soon as more details are made available on how to apply for the grants.

You can read HM Treasury’s press release here.

Recovery Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period.

Find out more here

Restart Grant

The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Grants will be available from 1 April 2021 but you can submit applications in advance.

Eligible businesses in the non-essential retail sector may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 from their local council.

Eligible businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 from their local council.

Your business may be eligible if it is:

  • based in England
  • rate-paying
  • in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care or gym sectors
  • trading on 1 April 2021

Find out more here

Find your Local Authority below to apply

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The fourth grant will provide a taxable grant calculated at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits. The fourth grant will be paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total.

The UK government has also announced that there will be a fifth and final grant covering May to September.

You will be able to claim from late July if you are eligible for the fifth grant.

The amount of the fifth grant will be determined by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.

The fifth grant will be worth:

  • 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500, for those with a turnover reduction of 30% or more
  • 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850, for those with a turnover reduction of less than 30%

Further details will be provided on the fifth grant in due course.

Find out more here.

Small Business Charter – Small Business Leadership Programme

The Small Business Leadership Programme supports senior leaders to enhance their business’s resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19. The fully funded 10 week programme will be delivered online by small business and enterprise experts from world-leading business schools. Find out more here.

Small Business Leadership Programme

The Small Business Leadership Programme supports senior leaders to enhance their business’s resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19. It helps small and medium-sized businesses to develop their potential for future growth and productivity.

Participants will develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to boost business performance.

The fully-funded 10 week programme will be delivered online by small business and enterprise experts from world-leading business schools.

The Small Business Leadership Programme is being delivered by a consortium of business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC), and supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Find out more here.

Start Up Loans Programme

Loans (£500 to £25,000, at 6% interest, with 1-5y repayment term) and 12 months of free mentoring to individuals who are starting a new business or who have been trading for less than two years. Find out more here.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

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

You can claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP if:

The online service to claim back Statuary Sick Pay is now available.

Find out more here.

The Pension Regulator

The Pension Regulator has published  Automatic enrolment and DC pension contributions: COVID-19 guidance for employers. Find out more here.

Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme

Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme provides supply chain confidence by ensuring trade credit insurance (TCI) coverage and credit limits are maintained.

Scheme offers guarantees up to £10 billion to TCI schemes for business-to-business transactions, protecting against defaults and payment delays.

Available on a temporary basis for 9 months, backdated to 1 April 2020. Find out more here.

VAT Deferral

If you deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June and still have payments to make, you can:

  • Pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021.
  • Opt in to the VAT deferral new payment scheme when it launches in 2021.
  • Contact HMCR if you need more help to pay.

The new VAT deferral scheme means that, instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make up to 11 smaller monthly instalments, interest free. All instalments must be paid by the end of March 2022.

Find out more here.

VAT reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

Businesses cab apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to:

  • Hospitality
  • Hotel and holiday accommodation
  • Admissions to certain attractions

The temporary reduced rate will apply to supplies that are made between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021. Find out more here.

Alternative Finance

If you are seeking finance from banks and cannot find a suitable lender, there are three online finance platforms designated by Government that can seek out suitable providers. Find out more here.

Growth Platform #HereToHelp helpline

We have created our helpline made up of our dedicated team, ready to support you during this crisis. Call us on: 0151 705 1985

Agent

Are you a well-established business to business SME with ambition to grow even more by increasing your turnover or creating new jobs with marketing support?

Agent Accelerator will help you achieve these ambitions!

An ERDF-funded programme led by Agent – a full service marketing agency located in Liverpool’s, Baltic Triangle. People-powered, and values-led, Agent helps brands and businesses to grow, flourish and thrive.

Find out more here

Be the Business Mentoring

2 fully funded programmes to support businesses to survive, thrive and hopefully grow out of this period of uncertainty. Find out more here.

Downtown in Liverpool

DIB is providing businesses with free business support and advice in the Liverpool City Region area via European Regional Development Funding, which provides eligible SMEs with £2,400 worth of free support. DIB can provide you with a minimum of 12 hours of support for any desired outcomes and use it to ensure the growth of your company. Find out more here.

Enterprise Hub

Enterprise Hub supports individuals and businesses across the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral & Halton) to develop their enterprise skills, providing advice and guidance, virtual one to one support, training and access to resources and networks.

They are currently offering remote services to help business adapt through these difficult times.

If you are running a business based in Liverpool City Region that has been registered and trading for 42 months or less, you can receive advice on how to grow your business such as:

  • Developing a business growth strategy
  • Evaluate your marketing and develop further marketing skills
  • Review your finances and access development funds
  • Adapting the business to run online

This support is funded and available to any business registered within the Liverpool City Region under 42 month. To find out more contact enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk or 0151 706 8113

Gather

Gather, a place for the digital, creative and tech community to connect, unite, and grow.

Feel supported. Get advice. Stabilise your business. Find out more here.

Halton Chamber

Advice for businesses in Halton and resources for Chamber members. Contact on 0333 358 3480 or find out more here.

Halton Council

Information on Halton Borough Council’s response to COVID-19 outbreak. Contact on 0303 333 4300 or find out more here.

High Performance Consultancy

HPC is providing businesses with free HR support and advice in the Liverpool City Region via European Regional Development Funding, which provides SMEs with £2,400 worth of FREE HR and Employment Law advice.  HPC will provide you with up to 12 hours of support for any related project you may need or use it to ensure you have everything set up right.  Find out more here.

Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Support Grant (Top-Up Grants)

The additional payments will be made to businesses that received Hospitality and Leisure Grants (First Round: October 2020), and Expanded Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grants (Second Round: November 2020). Businesses that meet these criteria will be contacted directly by their local council and will have to complete a simple form confirming their previous application details are still correct.

Find out more here.

Hospitality Relief Package – Ritual ONE

Hospitality businesses in Liverpool can unlock Ritual ONE, a commission-free online ordering tool, for free until the end of January 2021, thanks to Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool Hospitality. This means businesses will be able to reach their customers by offering a variety of ways to order safely, while keeping 100% of their sales. Find out more and how to apply here.

Knowsley Chamber

Advice for businesses in Knowsley. Contact 0151 477 4000 or find out more here.

Knowsley Council

Information on Knowsley Council’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact freephone freephone 0800 073 0043 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm at weekends or find out more here.

Liverpool BID Company

Information and news for Liverpool businesses. Find out more here.

Liverpool Chamber

Members of Liverpool Chamber are offering advice and support for other members. Find out more here.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region has announced an initial package of measures aimed at easing the Coronavirus burden on local people. Find out more here.

Liverpool Council

Call centre lines are open 8am-6pm seven days a week 0151 233 3001. Or contact online here. Find out more here.

Liverpool Without Walls Hospitality Fund

Liverpool Without Walls, Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool City Council’s project to create outdoor areas for bars and restaurants in the city’s centre to create a “Winter-proof café culture”. Businesses on the pedestrianised areas of Bold Street and Castle Street will be able to add semi-permanent structures and electric heaters to their outdoor seating areas.

The pilot project was launched in July as hospitality venues began to reopen post lockdown. Allowing bars and restaurants to extend their space into the pavement and onto closed roads on Bold Street and Castle Street enabled them to extend their covers while social distancing and mixing regulations remain in place.

Find out more here.

Marketing Liverpool

Information for business with particular focus on the Visitor Economy sector. Find out more here.

Mersey Maritime

Information and online events with particular focus on the Maritime sector. Find out more here.

Sector Specific Support

Our Sector Champions have outlined what support is available in specific sectors, we will update this as and when more information becomes available. Find out more here.

Sefton Council

Information on Sefton Council’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Find out more here.

St Helens Chamber

Advice and support for businesses in St Helens. Contact 01744 742444 or 01744 742087 or find out more here.

St Helens Council

Information on St Helens Council’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Find out more here.

The Women’s Organisation

Local Growth Hub partner supporting business in Liverpool City Region. Find out more here.

University of Liverpool

Growth Catalyst is an innovative seven-month leadership development programme designed specifically for owners and senior managers of SMEs in the Liverpool City Region, to help the business grow. The programme is uniquely designed to provide both personal and business growth. Find out more here.

Wirral Chamber

Advice and support for business in Wirral. Contact the support line on 0151 650 6982 or find out more here.

Wirral Council

Information on Wirral Council’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact 0151 666 5050 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or find out more here.

General business advice/support

Advice for employers

Guidance on government schemes

Business continuity

Media

  • UNICEPA – Sign up for daily updates

Finances

  • British Business Bank – guide to support businesses experiencing financial challenges as a result of COVID-19.
  • Companies House – Guidance for filing accounts during the COVID-19 outbreak, including what to do if you cannot file your accounts on time
  • Crowdfunder – Free fundraising for businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Financial Reporting Council – advice to companies and auditors on Coronavirus risk disclosures
  • Sifted – Advice for Start-ups

Webinars

  • For a list of webinars which may be useful for your business click here.

Although we aim to provide you with the highest quality information, Growth Platform does not endorse or guarantee third party advice. Growth Platform cannot attest to the accuracy of the advice and information offered on third party sites. Linking to a website does not constitute endorsement by Growth Platform.

Maintaining Cash Flow

Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business and is critical to sustaining your business through this difficult period. This tip sheet has been put together to help identify areas which may help you in your efforts to free up cash.

Download our cash flow template here.

Employee Management and Support

Employees are a business’s most valuable assets. This tip sheet has been assembled to help advise, support and manage your staff during this turbulent period.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources

It is important to remember that people deal with things in different ways. This tip sheet has guidance and advice to support mental health and wellbeing.

Working safely during COVID-19

The latest guidance from Government to safely return to the workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Government guidance on staying at home

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19 you also must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, you must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms.

For full details please click here.