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Coronavirus - resources for business

Business Support 

 

Closed Business Lockdown Payment

The Closed Business Lockdown Payment is a one-off grant for eligible businesses that have been forced to close during the lockdown period beginning January 5. The payment will be awarded in addition to Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) payments.

Eligibility criteria

Businesses that are eligible are those that have been mandated to close by Government and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.

Businesses must have been trading the day before national restrictions came into force to be eligible to receive funding under this scheme. Where businesses were closed due to restrictions that preceded the national restrictions, it is accepted that those businesses are still trading.

If a business is required to close its main, in-person service but adapts its business to operate takeaway, click and collect or online with delivery services, it will be considered closed and be eligible to receive grants under this scheme because its substantive business must close.

Applications

If businesses have received support from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) scheme since November 5, they will not need to apply for the Closed Business Lockdown Payment. The payment will be made automatically on or around January 20, 2021.

If a business has not yet applied for Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) please apply now. The Closed Business Lockdown Payment will then be awarded in addition to the LRSG (closed) grant. New applications for this scheme will close on March 31, 2021.

All businesses that are automatically paid will receive an email confirmation from our Business Rates team via GOV.UK Notify.

Payments will be made as follows:

Rateable Value

Closed Business Lockdown Payment amount

15,000 or less

£4,000

15,001 and less than 51,000

£6,000

51,000 or greater

£9,000


Exclusions

·        Businesses that are able to conduct their main service because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely (e.g. accountants, solicitors).

·        Businesses in areas outside the scope of the national restrictions, as defined by Government, are also excluded.

·        Businesses that have chosen to close but have not been required to will not be eligible for this grant.

For the avoidance of doubt, businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Tax

Grant income received by a business is taxable and will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed premises)

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed premises) is for businesses that are required to close under restrictions imposed by the UK Government. This includes closures enforced while under a national lockdown, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4. For more information on business that are required to close visit the closing certain businesses and venues in England webpage.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant is a mandatory grant for businesses that have a rateable value. Please note the scheme is not based on eligibility for rate relief. 

Eligibility criteria

To qualify, your business must be in Copeland and has been:

  • open as usual and providing in-person services to customers prior to local/national restrictions being imposed.
  • required to close due to restrictions imposed by Government for a consecutive period of no less than 14 days because of regulations made under the (Control of Disease) Act 1984.
  • paying business rates for the premises before restrictions commenced.
Businesses that have already applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (since November 5) do not need to re-apply for this grant, as we already have details on file. Payments will be made within 14 days of restrictions being imposed, and every two weeks until restrictions are lifted.

Payments will be made as follows:

Rateable Value

14-day period

28-day period

42-day period

15,000 or less

667

1,334

2,001

15,001 and less than 51,000

1,000

2,000

3,000

51,000 or greater

1,500

3,000

4,500


Pubs and bars

From December 2, wet pubs, bars and other venues selling alcohol that don’t serve substantial meals must stay closed.  These business that are required to stay closed will continue to receive support, fortnightly, for as long as restrictions remain in place.

Public houses, bars or businesses serving alcohol for consumption on the premises (without a substantial meal) that have not yet applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant since November 5, please apply now to enable regular payments to be made during the restriction periods.

If your substantive business has closed, however, you are operating a take-away service, you can still apply.

Exclusions 

  •         The period of local restrictions is less than 14 days
  • The business can continue to trade and is not required to close by Government due to restrictions
  • The business has chosen to close but not been required to
  • Businesses which 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 in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Tax

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Local Restrictions Support 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.

Apply

You can apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant if:

  • You have previously been awarded a Small Business or a Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant. We aim to fast track your application as soon as you confirm some important details via the application process below.
  • You haven’t been awarded any of the above grants previously, however you now qualify. 

Apply now

Christmas Support Payment of £1000 for wet-led pubs

The Christmas support payment is a one off payment of £1000 for wet-led pubs upon entry to Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions.

For the purposes of this grant, pubs should under normal circumstances (without local or national restrictions) be described as: open to the general public, allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided, allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed and permit drinks to be purchased at a bar.

Pubs also need to declare that they derive under 50 per cent of their income from food sales – as this will determine that the pub is wet-led.

Exclusions:

  • Restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, snack bars, guesthouses, boarding houses, sporting venues, music venues, festival sites, theatres, museums, exhibition halls, cinemas, concert halls and casinos
  • Pubs that derive over 50 per cent of their income from food sales
  • Businesses in areas moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2 or 3 after December 29
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de minimis, the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework and all other UK schemes under the terms of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made

Businesses must have been trading before the national restrictions were imposed on November 5, 2020.

This scheme will close on December 29, 2020. Final applications must be received by January 29, 2021.

Businesses that are also in receipt of other Local Restrictions Support Grants – for example LRSG (Closed) – can receive this grant.

Apply now

Will grants be subject to tax?

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Christmas Support Payment will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (open premises)  - Period, Dec 2 - 30 

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (open premises) is for businesses that are not required to close under restrictions imposed by the UK Government, but are severely impacted.

As Copeland entered Tier 4 on December 30, the LRSG (open) is currently available between December 2 and December 30. LRSG (open) ceases to apply as soon as Tier 4 or national restrictions are imposed, as relevant businesses will receive funding from LRSG (closed). If Copeland moves back to Tier 2 or 3, this scheme will re-open

Rateable Value

14- day period

28-day period

29-days (December 2-30)

£15,000 or less

£467

£934

£967

£15,001 and less than £51,000

£700

£1,400

£1,450

 £51,000 or greater

£1,050

£2,100

£2,175

The Government has asked councils to prioritise businesses within the hospitality, hotel, B&B and leisure sectors.This support is to help kickstart recovery for businesses that are not legally required to close but are severely impacted by the restrictions under Tier 2 and 3. This support will take the form of a grant funding scheme during financial year 2020/21.

Businesses with and without rateable values will be able to apply for this grant.

Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

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, are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Tax

Grant income received by businesses is taxable. Local Restrictions Support Grants will need to be included as income in the tax return for the business. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Apply now

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for business that are severely impacted

The Additional Restrictions Support Grant is a discretionary grant scheme to help those businesses that have been forced to close since November 5, but have no rateable value, or those which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19.

Three types of business are eligible:

1)     Businesses mandated to close that don’t pay business rates i.e. B&B’s paying council tax

2)     Businesses that can remain open but have been severely impacted – 70% of the grant amount paid to a closed business will be paid

3)     Businesses that have received support under the Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed premises. A top-up payment under the Additional Restrictions Grant fund will be paid. Please note, top-up payments will only be processed as soon as all businesses that have not yet received funding under points 1 and 2 above have been assessed. (Eligible under national lockdown, Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions only at present).

Additional Restrictions Grant - National lockdown, Tier 3 and Tier 4 restriction payment amounts

All grants will be paid as follows:

Employees

Business mandated to close that don’t pay business rates

Businesses that can remain open but have been severely impacted

Top up payment under Additional Restrictions Grant for businesses that have received funding under Local Restrictions Support Grant

10 or under

£1,334

£934

£500

11-25

£2,000

£1,400

£750

26+

£3,000

£2,100

£1,000

This is a cash limited fund based on population and will be available any time Tier 3, Tier 4 or national restrictions are imposed. Both businesses with and without a rateable value can apply. 

Please note, as Copeland entered Tier 4 on December 30, all those that have recently received support under this scheme will receive a further payment, which is effective from December 30. Once our funding allocation has been spent, no further awards will be made and any outstanding applications will be rejected.

As this is a discretionary scheme, there is no formal appeals process. The Council will re-consider a decision where it is clear that an error has been made, but only when funding is still available.

Apply

You can apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant by completing the application form below. To support your application, you will need to provide a Business Bank Statement which should be no more than two months old. Please note, your application cannot proceed without uploading this evidence as requested.

Apply now

More information

You can find more information on the businesses required to close and those permitted to stay open by visiting the Government website

If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the Business Rates team at business.rates@copeland.gov.uk or on 01946 598300.  

State Aid

All grants count toward state aid limits. The de minimis state aid limit is EUR 200,000 over a three-year period. If the business has reached that threshold, it may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework, please see further guidance here. The limit for the framework is EUR 800,000. For aid for uncovered fixed costs under Section 3.12 of the Temporary Framework, the maximum level of aid is EUR 3 million.

You will be required to confirm that you have not exceeded the relevant state aid threshold and, if you are applying under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework, that you were not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on December, 31, 2019. Please see further guidance here. 

The ‘undertaking in difficulty’ test does not apply to small and micro companies (less than 50 employees and less than EUR 10 million of annual turnover) unless they were already in insolvency proceedings, have received rescue aid that has not been repaid, or are subject to a restructuring plan under state aid rules.

The Euro equivalent of the Sterling aid amount is calculated using the Commission exchange rate applicable on the date the aid is offered.

Expanded Retail Relief Scheme 

Relief for retail, leisure and hospitality sectors

This relief is available for businesses within the above sectors. Business rates relief will be automatically applied to eligible accounts.

For all businesses in the above sectors, 100 per cent relief is available until March 31 2021, irrespective of rateable value.

You can find detailed Government guidance on business eligibility here. 

If you would like to pay the discount amount received back to Government, you can find further information here.

Government guidance

·        The Government's own page on business support related to coronavirus can be found here.

·       Up to date Government guidance regarding grant support can be found here. 

·        For up-to-date and detailed Government guidance on how businesses can operate safely, click here.

·        You can find out how to claim from the Goverment for wage costs here. The Government has a 'support finder' tool to help businesses and self-employed people find financial support. 

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)

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 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.

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