Latest information about grants, furlough and loans

Here are some updates on financial support as the Government has issued further guidance on grants, furlough and loans available to businesses.

Grants for businesses closed due to National Restrictions – open for applications

The Government has issued guidance around the Grants for businesses which have closed due to the latest National Restrictions (current lockdown) which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-business-is-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-grant-due-to-national-restrictions-for-closed-businesses   These grants are now available to apply for via Blackburn with Darwen Council website: https://blackburn.gov.uk/coronavirus/support-business

Additional Restrictions Grants (Discretionary Grants) – will open for applications shortly

The guidance around these grants is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant  These grants are primarily designed to help businesses which have been impacted by Coronavirus restrictions but which haven’t been required to close, don’t pay Business Rates directly to the Council, and have high fixed property costs.  The scheme for these grants is currently being finalised by the Council and will be available very soon.  I will let you know when they are available to apply for but you can also keep checking https://blackburn.gov.uk/coronavirus/support-business for updates.

Local Restrictions Support Grant for Open Businesses (LRSG (Open)) – awaiting further details

Grants will be available to support businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local restrictions (Local COVID alert levels: High or Very High) since 1 August and the guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-local-restrictions-support-grant-for-open-businesses

Local councils will exercise discretion regarding allocation of this funding but it will be based on the rateable value of the property on the date of the start of the local restrictions, and the Government say they anticipate local councils will provide funding under the following tiers, unless there is a local need to deviate.

  • 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 £934 for each 28 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 £1,400 for each 28 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 £2,100 for each 28 day period.

Businesses that are not required to close but are impacted may continue to receive funding under LRSG (Open) if restrictions are increased to Local COVID alert level: Very High.

The Council is awaiting further details on this before being able to set up the application and allocation process, and I’ll keep you updated.

Local Restrictions Support Grant for Closed businesses (LRSG (Closed)) – awaiting further details

Grants will be available for businesses that were open as usual and were then required to close due to local restrictions (local COVID alert level: Very High) and the guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-local-restrictions-support-grant-for-closed-businesses   Eligible businesses will be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period they are closed due to local restrictions.

The grant will be based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of local restrictions as follows:

  • 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. If your business is closed for 28-days, or 2 payment cycles, it will receive £1,334, £2,000 or £3,000, depending on the rateable value of the property.

The Council is awaiting further details on this before being able to set up the application and allocation process, and I’ll keep you updated.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LSRG (Sector)) for nightclub-dance-hall-or-adult-entertainment-businesses – awaiting further details

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LSRG (Sector)) supports businesses that have been closed due to the national restrictions introduced in March 2020, and which have not been able to re-open.  The guidance is available here:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-nightclub-dance-hall-or-adult-entertainment-business-is-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-grant-due-to-national-restrictions Importantly the guidance states ‘This funding is available from 1 November 2020 and is not retrospective.’  

The grant will be based on the rateable value of your property on 1 November 2020 as follows:

  • 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. If your business is closed for 28-days, or 2 payment cycles, it will receive £1,334, £2,000 or £3,000, depending on the rateable value of the property.

The Council is awaiting further details on this before being able to set up the application and allocation process, and I’ll keep you updated.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – furlough extended

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until 31 March 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. For periods from 1 November onwards, you can claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as you have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. The government will review the scheme in January 2021.  

You can find updated guidance on which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Guidance on calculating how much you can claim is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/calculate-how-much-you-can-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

You can claim here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Top-up loan funding available with Bounce Back Loans

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 amount. You must request the top-up by 31 January 2021.  More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan

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