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Coronavirus Grant support available for business, employers and employees


Posted – 14 Jan 2021

There are a number of Government coronavirus grant support schemes designed to provide support in and out of lockdown for businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  These cover different periods of time and different situations:

!! 26th January – update!! 

New grant scheme for Stockport’s ‘large and strategic’ employers
Stockport Council has today launched the Business Grants Support scheme specifically aimed at supporting Stockport’s large and strategic employers. Grants of up to £150,000 per business are available, with applications required by 28th February 2021. Businesses will be considered if they are based in Stockport with over 50 employees and have a strategic impact on the local economy (businesses with less than 50 employees will be considered in exceptional circumstances where there is exceptional contribution demonstrated to the economic vibrancy locally).  Please consider the application guidance and check the eligibility criteria on the following web page:  www.stockport.gov.uk/support-scheme-for-large-strategic-employers 

Stockport Council has announced it is expanding its discretionary grant schemes to support a greater range of businesses affected by the pandemic.

The support will see businesses outside of the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors become eligible for both the Stockport Additional Restrictions Grant scheme and the Local Restrictions Support Grant for Open Businesses, affecting organisations that were impacted during the lockdown from 5th November to 2nd December, and subsequent periods of lockdown. Support will be backdated to the first date of eligibility.

The discretionary schemes allow councils to support businesses that have missed out on other support as they do not have a business rates liability. Stockport Council is adding a number of sectors to those already eligible for the schemes; these are:

  • Children’s nurseries
  • Travel agencies and travel businesses
  • Aircraft and aerospace businesses/suppliers
  • Events businesses with premises costs
  • Education sector suppliers
  • Kennels/catteries with premises costs
  • Businesses which have a significant fleet cost of multiple vehicles
  • Supply chain businesses from sectors other than hospitality and leisure, that have separate business premises outside of the home, and which have had their trade substantially negatively impacted because of reduced/limited trading of end point businesses.

To be eligible for the Stockport Additional Restrictions Grant scheme bus also meet the following criteria:

  • Businesses that have been significantly negatively affected by being forced to close by national restrictions announced on 31 October 2020 and that came into force on the 5th November 2020, where companies are not covered under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Scheme but have significant fixed costs which are not related to employment.
  • Businesses which are strategically important and/or provide a significant number of jobs.
  • Business with premises and fixed property costs. Those businesses which effectively work from home have not been included as the ARG guidelines prohibit wage support and direct the self-employed to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) or Universal Credit.
  • Businesses with a registered address in the Stockport Borough Council area have been eligible for this scheme. The business will need to be trading within the Stockport Borough.
  • The business must have been actively trading on and before the 4 November 2020.

The following businesses have not been eligible to receive a grant, and this continues to be the case:

  • Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely and/or online;
  • Businesses in areas outside the scope of the localised restrictions as defined by Government;
  • Businesses that have chosen to close but are not required to;
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State Aid permitted under the de-minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework;
  • Businesses that were/are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made at the date of the local lockdown; and
  • Businesses that are still subject to national closures (e.g.: nightclubs) as they are covered by other schemes.
  • Businesses that are subject to enforcement action for not complying with Covid-secure operating practices.

Businesses will need to be able to demonstrate that they have fixed property costs and demonstrate a loss in income as a result of the pandemic.

The Council has not yet received funding for the Local Restrictions Support Grant for Open Businesses scheme for the period following the end of the lockdown on 2nd December 2020. Once confirmation of funding from central government has been received, Stockport Council will resume accepting applications and making payments.

The Council is also working on ways to make repeat payments for eligible businesses to eliminate the need to reapply. If your business has already successfully applied and received payment for either of the discretionary grant schemes, please do not reapply for additional periods of restrictions as this may delay future identification and processing of repeat payments.

Further information on the schemes will be updated on the Stockport Council website.

Local Restricted Support Grants:

You can apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant online if your business was forced to close due to:

  • Tier 3 restrictions from 23 October to 4 November
  • National restrictions from 5 November to 1 December
  • Tier 3 restrictions from 2 December to 30 December

You should only complete the online form if you have not received a payment for the Tier 3 or national restrictions before 30 December 2020.

For full details of those businesses who are eligible or not-eligible for grant funding, visit Stockport Council’s website HERE

Update 5th January:

Following the return to lockdown / Tier 5 restrictions from 5th January 2021, the Government announced a further £4.6 billion in new lockdown grant funding support for some impacted businesses based on a per-property basis including:

  • One-of top-up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses of up to £9,000. 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 £15,001 to £51,000
    • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
  • A further £594 million discretionary fund* in addition to the £1.1 billion Local Discretionary Support Grant funding worth up to £3,000 per month (as outlined above) and the extension to April of the furlough scheme

*If your business has been forced to close due to Tier 4 restrictions from 31 December 2020 or due to national restrictions from 5 January 2021 you may be eligible to apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Applications will open soon.
This information is based on government guidance and may be subject to change.

Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses (Tier 3 – 23 October to 4 November): Businesses that were required to close from 22 October 2020 under local Tier 3 restrictions are eligible to receive funding until the start of national restrictions on 5 November 2020. Businesses must have been closed for the whole of the 2 week payment cycle to be eligible. The amount businesses receive will be based on their rateable value. It is not based on eligibility for rate reliefs, for example Small Business Rate Relief. Businesses that have a rateable value:

  • of £15,000 or less will receive £667per 14 day restriction period
  • between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive £1,000per 14 day restriction period
  • of £51,001 or more will receive £1,500per 14 day restriction period

The payment that businesses will receive will be equivalent to the number of days that the business was closed.

Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses (national restrictions – 5 November to 1 December)
Businesses that were required to close from 4 November 2020 under national restrictions are eligible to receive funding until 2 December 2020. Businesses will receive grant funding in 4 week payment cycles starting from 4 November 2020. Businesses must be closed for the whole of the 4 week payment cycle to be eligible. The amount businesses receive will be based on their rateable value. It is not based on eligibility for rate reliefs, for example Small Business Rate Relief. Businesses that have a rateable value:

  • of £15,000 or less will receive £1,334 per 28 day restriction period
  • between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive £2,000 per 28 day restriction period
  • of £51,001 or more will receive £3,000 per 28 day restriction period

Eligible businesses – you can find out if your business is eligible on GOV.UK.

Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses (Tier 3 – 2 December to 30 December) Businesses that were required to remain closed from 2 December 2020 under the new Tier 3 restrictions are eligible to receive funding for each 14 day period that Tier 3 restrictions last. Businesses will receive grant funding in 2 week payment cycles starting from 2 December 2020. Businesses must be closed for the whole of the 2 week payment cycle to be eligible.  The amount businesses receive will be based on their rateable value. It is not based on eligibility for rate reliefs, for example Small Business Rate Relief. Businesses that have a rateable value:

  • of £15,000 or less will receive £667per 14 day restriction period
  • between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive £1,000per 14 day restriction period
  • of £51,001 or more will receive £1,500per 14 day restriction period

You’re responsible for letting Stockport Council know if the business’ circumstances change after 2 December 2020, or if the business becomes ineligible for the grant, for example if the business becomes insolvent.  Subject to State Aid limits, businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible premises. Eligible businesses – you can find out if your business is eligible on GOV.UK.

You can apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant online at https://www.stockport.gov.uk/start/apply-for-the-local-restrictions-support-grant.

Who will receive the funding?
The person responsible for paying Business Rates for the premises will receive the grant.

If your business is not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant, you may be eligible for the Discretionary Grant Schemes.

The Discretionary Grant Schemes are the:

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses)
  • Additional Restrictions Grant 

Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses)

Hospitality and leisure businesses can apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses) if they have been negatively impacted by the local restrictions, for example, if there’s a risk of job losses. Businesses include:

  • pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes that offer food and drink to be consumed on the premises
  • hotels and bed and breakfasts that provide visitor accommodation, not including Air BnB
  • leisure businesses including recreation, entertainment, sports and tourism
  • supply chain businesses for the hospitality sector

This is a discretionary grant. Your business will only be considered for the grant if it meets the required criteria. This grant is not available for loss of income to support wage or employment costs. Businesses that have a rateable value:

  • of £15,000 or less or no specific rateable value will receive up to £934 per 28 day national restriction period
  • between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive up to £1,400 per 28 day national restriction period
  • of £51,001 or more will receive up to £2,100 per 28 day national restriction period

Apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant

Additional Restrictions Grant
You can apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant if your business:

  • does not directly pay Business Rates and was forced to close due to the national restrictions from 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020 or
  • supplies the hospitality and leisure sectors and has been severely impacted by the national restrictions

This is a discretionary grant. Your business will only be considered for the grant if it meets the required criteria.  Eligible businesses that do not pay Business Rates will receive a fixed grant of up to £1,000 for the 28 day national restrictions period.

Businesses that supply the hospitality and leisure sectors that were not forced to close, will receive a grant. Businesses that have a rateable value:

  • of £15,000 or less or no specific rateable value will receive up to £934per 28 day national restriction period
  • between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive up to £1,400per 28 day national restriction period
  • of £51,001 or more will receive up to £2,100per 28 day national restriction period

Apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant

If you need to apply for both discretionary schemes, you’ll need to complete a separate online application for each scheme. The application form is the same for both schemes.

Information about the grant schemes, eligibility and the online application form are available at this link – Discretionary Grant Schemes – Stockport Council

Tax

Grant income received by a business is taxable. Businesses will need to include the Local Restrictions Support Grant as income on their tax return. Only businesses that make an overall profit, including grant income will be subject to tax.

If you’re self-employed, you are not eligible for the discretionary grant schemes. You can visit Stockport Council’s web page to find support if you’re self-employed.

Government update 13th January 2021: 

Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG), Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), Christmas Support Payment (CSP) for wet-led pubs: guidance for local authorities
This is guidance for local authorities on paying grants to support businesses during the November to December 2020 national lockdown and periods of local restrictions – Business support package for the January 2021 lockdown: guidance for local authorities added.

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