New Grants and Support for Businesses (21st December 2021)
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has now (on the 21st December 2021) announced that additional support will be available for businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant. Recognising that the rise of the Omicron variant means some businesses are likely to struggle over the coming weeks, it has been announced that:
•Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses
• Government will also cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK
• £30 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling more cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the winter
Additional Restrictions Grant
A further round of Additional Restrictions Grants will now also be available for business.
The criterial for the eligibility of this grant is currently being developed. Again, a further applications process will be required to administer this grant
The Councils COVID Business support pages will be updated once this eligibility criteria and application has been developed.
Existing Support (Prior to December 2021)
Coronavirus (COVID‑19) support and advice on the main Bath & North East Somerset Council website:
Recovery Loan Scheme
The Recovery Loan Scheme is to help businesses of any size access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period. You can get up to £10 million, but the actual amount offered will be at the discretion of participating lenders. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender, but you will still be responsible for your debt.
The scheme ends on 30 June 2022.
From 1 January 2022, different rules apply:
- the scheme will only be open to small and medium-sized businesses
- the maximum amount of finance available will be £2 million per business
- the guarantee coverage that the government will provide to lenders will be reduced to 70%
Businesses trading in the UK can apply. You need to show that your business:
- would be viable were it not for the pandemic
- has been adversely impacted by the pandemic
- is not in collective insolvency proceedings (unless your business is in scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol in which case different eligibility rules may apply)
Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to COVID-19
You can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
Time to pay arrangement
If you cannot pay your tax bill on time because of coronavirus, you may be able to set up a Time to Pay Arrangement with HMRC. This lets you spread the cost of your tax bill by paying everything you owe in affordable instalments.
You might be eligible if your UK business:
- pays tax to the UK government
- has outstanding tax liabilities
VAT Reduction for Hospitality, Accommodation and Attractions
You may be eligible for a 12.5% reduced rate of VAT until 31 March 2022 if your business is in the hospitality, hotel or holiday accommodation sector. Check here to see if you are eligible.
Art Fund network grants
Provide funding to support Subject Specialist Networks (SSNs) and other curatorial and professional networks in sharing expertise across the museum sector, for the benefit of collections and audiences. Visit the website to view their open funding programmes, including their new Respond and Reimagine grants to help museums, galleries and cultural organisations respond to the immediate challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis.
Youth Music has announced an Emergency Fund to offer additional support to music-making organisations affected by coronavirus.
CITB Skills and Training Fund
CITB Skills and Training Fund has been refreshed and now encompasses two strands supporting; micro and small companies (up to 100 employees), medium sized businesses (up to 250 employees) to become a wider offer for employers. CITB has adapted to the COVID-19 situation by amending the scope of activity that will be supported offering more flexibility on what businesses can apply for.
The fund comprises of two streams:
- A Skills and Training fund for micro and small businesses where businesses can apply for a maximum of £10,000 (full details and how to apply) depending on the size of the employer.
- A Skills and Training fund for medium-sized businesses where employers with up to 250 employees are eligible to receive up to £25,000 (full details and how to apply).
Based on employer need the fund will allow businesses to define then address their particular challenges. The focus has broadened from productivity and innovation, to helping employers with business sustainability and skill retention – key concerns for the construction industry in the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment.