Covid-19: Support for businesses
January 2021 - national lockdown
From 5 January 2021, the country entered its third national lockdown. In response to this, closed businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant per business rated property 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
The local restrictions grant team are identifying and emailing eligible businesses to ensure those mandated to close receive a business support grant. Please ensure you respond to emails from firstname.lastname@example.org to receive grant support.
Discretionary grant support
The Discretionary Grant Fund 2, providing financial support for the November/December 2020 national Covid-19 restrictions, is now closed.
Details of new discretionary funds for the new national Covid-19 restrictions (announced in January 2021) will be posted here shortly.
Herefordshire Council will not accept deliberate manipulation or fraud, and any instances will be actively investigated. Any business who falsifies their records or dishonestly provides inaccurate information to gain grant money, will face prosecution. The council reserves the right to recoup funds and claw back any grants paid in error.
- Kickstart Scheme - 100% funding for employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people (age 16-24) who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. All of the costs are covered by central government.
- The Job Support Scheme helps individuals and businesses deal with the challenges created by coronavirus (Covid-19) by helping employers retain their employees.
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension the Government will provide a taxable grant covering 40% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £3,750 in total.
For information on other grants and funding available for businesses in Herefordshire please visit our Covid-19: Grants and funding for businesses page.
Government guidance on reopening your business.
Business rates support
If you own a business you may be eligible for help in one the following ways:
- If you don't already pay over 12 monthly instalments then you can apply to have your monthly instalments extended to finish paying them in March 2021. If there is not enough time to make a payment in April, then your instalments can be extended over the remaining 11 months. To request this, please email email@example.com quoting your Business Rates account reference number
- Central Government have also announced a Business Rates discount called 'Expanded Retail Relief' to businesses fulfilling the criteria. We have awarded this discount to eligible businesses and revised bills have been issued. If you have not received notification of a nil balance and believe you should be entitled to this discount, please email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting your Business Rates account reference and stating why you should be eligible for the discount
- If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are not entitled to any of the above options, you may be eligible for hardship relief. Find further information, including an application form on our business rates hardship relief page
- No business rates payable for 12 months extended to retail, leisure and hospitality businesses of all sizes
- Business rates relief for nurseries for 12 month period
Herefordshire Council is working with the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (Marches LEP) to support the business community throughout the coronavirus outbreak through our joint business support service, the Marches Growth Hub. You can contact the growth hub at email@example.com
Business support and advice
All of us in Herefordshire Council understand that this is a difficult time for you, your business, and your employees. Government measures and advice are being updated as the situation develops so we encourage you to visit these pages and links regularly for the latest position.
We urge all Herefordshire businesses to do everything they can to limit the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus). Please ensure you and your staff follow government guidance to ensure social distancing.
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by Covid-19, including:
- Coronavirus Future Fund - this scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak
- Bounce Back Loans Scheme a new 100% government-backed loan scheme for small businesses
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, to support small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance
- Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) to support larger businesses
- Self-Assessment enhanced payment plans
- A dedicated helpline has been set up to help self-employed individuals receive support with their tax affairs and discuss bespoke Time to Pay arrangements. Call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559
- Further information for the self-employed including increased tax credits and Employment Support Allowance
- Claiming Universal Credit
Other business support
- For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. Find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - HMRC will reimburse 80% of wages, up to £2,500 per month to safeguard workers from being made redundant, backdated from 1 March 2020 for at least three months
- People receiving tax credits will continue to receive payments even if working fewer hours or furloughed due to Covid-19. For further details see the tax credits news story on GOV.UK
- Government have also granted permission for pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways as part of their coronavirus response
- Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of Covid-19 will be protected from eviction. Further details for commercial tenants are now available
- Government guidance and eligibility criteria on the schemes listed above
For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is the Government Coronavirus Business Support Portal.
The Business Support Helpline 0800 998 1098 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) is for businesses in England, of all sizes, to speak directly to an advisor.
Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.
The Marches Growth Hub calendar has a list of training and events to help support your business.
Fastershire - New FREE courses to help get your business online.
Other useful links include:
- Herefordshire Council Coronavirus - Latest updates
- Marches Growth Hub
- Fastershire delivering broadband and business support in Herefordshire in partnership with Herefordshire Council
- Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce
- Federation of Small Businesses
- Support for businesses from outside government
We recognise that aside from financial and business support you, your employees or people in your supply chain, may want to access mental health and wellbeing advice. Please visit WISH mental health and wellbeing for details of the local advice and services.