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Coronavirus - resources for business

Business support

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

The next round of ARG funding is now open for applications. 

Please note, due to limited funds, applications can only be made during the following application window - 9am on July 14, 2021 to 5pm on Aug 11, 2021. After this period, applications will be assessed and grant amounts will be determined. Payments will be made week commencing August 2, 2021. Payment amounts will be confirmed by email from our GOV Notify account. 

This fund relates specifically to the re-opening of businesses in line with the Government roadmap, and particularly if the business has been impacted by the decision to delay Stage 4 of the roadmap. 

The following will be considered when processing grant applications and determining grant amounts

• Businesses with fixed property costs that are specifically excluded from the business rates system, or are not the direct ratepayer and are therefore not eligible for the Restart Grant, including B&Bs registered for council tax or small businesses in shared spaces with fixed costs who provide in-person services, including hair and beauty businesses

• Freelance and mobile businesses, including caterers, event organisers, personal care and wedding related businesses

• Transport and travel businesses, including coach and group travel operators, couriers and travel agents

• Wholesalers or supply chain companies supplying the non-essential retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, including breweries

• Sector specific businesses that are impacted following the decision to delay Stage 4 of the government roadmap, including those businesses that have received a Restart Grant, such as theatres and nightclubs

• Any other business not covered above with fixed costs, which is able to demonstrate that they have been severely impacted by the phased lifting of restrictions and/or postponement of reopening linked to the Government roadmap only. Or, where they have been mandated to isolate by a test and trace service, due to testing positive or because they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive, and they must close the business completely. Businesses will be asked for further evidence if applying under this section.

Exclusions

• Businesses that are not based in Copeland, or where the majority of trade operates outside of Copeland

• Businesses that are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made

• Businesses that have already received grants that equal the maximum permitted levels of subsidy

• Businesses that are attempting to use ARG funding as a wage support mechanism, rather than direct support for the business

• Residential landlords, as it is appropriate for tenants in arrears to access the relevant government support such as Universal Credit and Housing Benefit to help with housing costs.

Tax

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Additional Restrictions Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax. Payments made to businesses before April 5, 2021 will fall into the 2020/21 tax year. Payments after April 6, 2021 will fall into the 2021/22 tax year. Unincorporated businesses will be taxed when they receive the grant income. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction you must declare it as income with the Department for Work and Pensions and Copelands Benefits team.

Pre-Payment Checks

Councils must carry out pre-payment checks on businesses before awarding any grant payments. This includes a check of the business status and the business bank account, which will delay the payment process.

Documentation or information required before you start

Please note, as this is a new scheme, all businesses must provide the information below (including if the below has been supplied previously)

• A business rates account number, or council tax reference for B&B businesses

• A unique business identifier such as Company Number, Charity Number, VAT reference, National Insurance number, Unique Taxpayer Reference, Self-Assessment or Partnership Number

• A bank statement dated in the last 2 months

• A utility bill for the business dated in the last 2-3 months

• A figure for fixed ongoing business related costs, along with a description

• The cumulative total of all previous Covid-19 funding received.

Apply here 

Restart grant

The Restart grant supported 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 were lifted. The grant scheme has now closed.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed premises)

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed premises) was for businesses that were required to close under restrictions imposed. This scheme has now ended.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (open premises)

This grant was for businesses that were open but impacted by Tier 2 restrictions but not required to close. Copeland’s scheme supported the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sectors. This grant scheme has now closed.

Closed Business Lockdown Payment

The Closed Business Lockdown one off grants of between £4000 and £9000 were available for the retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. This grant scheme has now closed.

Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs

A one off payment of £1,000 for wet-led pubs. This grant scheme has now closed. 

Business Grant Subsidy Allowance (State Aid)

The EU State Aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted in the UK following the end of the Brexit transition period (December 31, 2020). View our updated guidance in relation to Business Grant Subsidy Allowance

Expanded Retail and Nursery Discount - Business Rates from July 1, 2021

Business rates relief for retail, leisure, hospitality and nursery sectors.

Following the 100 per cent discount that was applied during the 2020-21 financial year, at the Budget on March 3, 2021, the Chancellor announced that a 100 per cent discount will apply for the first three months of the financial year 2021-22, this discount will cover the period April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.

From July 1, 2021, a 66 per cent discount will apply for the remainder of the 2021-22 financial year.

The 66 per cent discount applicable from July 1, 2021 is subject to a ‘cash cap’. This means a ratepayer may only receive up to the following cash caps of Expanded Retail Discount in 2021-22, ignoring any relief for the period before July 1, 2021:

· £2 million for ratepayers which were mandated by the Government to close their business on January 5, 2021, due to the pandemic

· £105,000 for all other ratepayers

To  clarify, businesses that receive less than £2 million in Government aid (for those forced to close) or less than £105k (for those not forced to close), between July 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, are eligible for the 66 per cent discount. Any business that received Government support exceeding these totals will not be eligible for the 66 per cent discount.

Full guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief/retail-discount and https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief/nurseries-discount

Bills were issued with the 66 per cent discount, to eligible businesses, on July 12, 2021. For businesses that have been asked to submit a declaration confirming the cash cap will not be exceeded, please do so here.

Other support and guidance

Other support and guidance is available via the following websites:

·        Federation of Small Businesses(link is external)

·        Cumbria Growth Hub(link is external)

·        Cumbria Chamber of Commerce(link is external)

·        Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership(link is external)

·        Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster(link is external)

·        Cumbria Tourism(link is external)

For a Workplace Resource Pack from Public Health England, incuing inormation on how to manage and report a positive case, workplace testing, and hygiene, click here.

For further information on making a workplace secure, click here.

Tourism businesses

Tourism businesses can also contact our Tourism Officer, Katie Read, at katie.read@copeland.gov.uk for one-to-one advice on cancellation policies and rights, changes to business rates etc. If you haven't already, please sign up to Katie's Covid-19 Tourism Business emails, by emailing katie.read@copeland.gov.uk.

Food and drink premises

For detailed Government guidance for food businesses click here. This includes coronavirus and food information, food hygiene guidance, employee sickness, social distancing and guidance for takeaways. Our Environmental Health team has also prepared guidance in line with Government advice.

The Beer and Pub Association has produced a practical guide for pubs that are showing the Euro 2020 football games.

Other

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has produced an information page and a leaflet on fire safety for businesses.

If you have not been contacted and would like to discuss your trade waste requirements, please email tradewaste@copeland.gov.uk

You can find out more about the Government Kickstart Scheme here which provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.