COVID-19: Support for Employers and Employees

COVID-19 Business Grants and Loans

COVID-19 Business Grants

Below is a list of various Covid-19 related business grants and loans. Please click on the header to reveal more information about the scheme.

Once you have submitted an application, you will receive a confirmation email (check your junk mail if it is not in your inbox), the production of the application reference means that your application has been successfully submitted. Please refrain from contacting us to enquire or chase an application if you are in receipt of your reference number, we appreciate this is a difficult time for everyone, additional calls and emails could lead to further delays.

Additional Restrictions Grant (Discretionary Grant Scheme) - Application process open until to the 23 July 2021

In light of central Government delaying the easing of remaining National Restrictions, and in line with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) guidance, additional support will now be provided to those sectors that continue to be most severely affected by ongoing restrictions.

Businesses that were eligible for Restart Strand 2 Grant funding as they fall into one of the following categories

  • Hospitality
  • Accommodation
  • Leisure
  • Personal Care
  • Gyms

Businesses in these sectors will now be able to receive an ARG top-up payment through the discretionary grant scheme. Payments will be staggered in line with the existing Rateable Value brackets in place for the Restart Grant scheme, with businesses receiving a maximum of £4,500. Please find details of eligible payment amounts in the Additional Restrictions Grant (Discretionary) Policy.

From 1 April 2021 all remaining Additional Restriction Grant funding held by the 3 predecessor councils (Daventry District Council, Northampton Borough Council and South Northamptonshire Council) have been transferred to West Northamptonshire Council.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Businesses must have a registered address in the West Northamptonshire District to be eligible for this scheme. The business will need to be trading within the West Northamptonshire District. Where a business is registered in another council area (although has a presence in the West Northamptonshire Council area) the council will take a discretionary view on a case-by-case basis
  • Businesses must be actively trading or be taking measures to re-open from the 1st April onwards.
  • Businesses which have been forced to close and which are outside of the business rate system, for example shared spaces and market traders, are eligible to apply under this scheme.
  • Businesses while not legally forced to close but which provide goods or services to a business that is mandated to close are eligible to apply for a grant. This could include, for example, businesses which supply the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors or businesses in the events sector. A statement will be required from the company showing that:
    • at least 30% of their revenue comes from businesses required to close, or
    • 30% of normally expected revenue has been lost during the period.

Exclusions

  • Businesses which can continue to trade and can operate their services remotely.
  • Businesses which have chosen to close but are not required to close unless they can demonstrate significant financial impact as a result of restrictions
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments, business rate relief or subsidy payments that equal the maximum levels of Subsidy Allowance permitted.
  • Business which are in administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this discretionary scheme.

Grant payments

The table shows the payment amounts for the period from 1 April 2021 onwards:

Reason for closure Payment amount
Forced to Close or severely impacted businesses that are Non-ratepayers such as shared space or market traders (outside of the business rates listing). £2,667
Forced to close or severely impacted businesses with a rateable value of £15k or under that derive more than 50% of their income from Non-Essential Retail. £2,667
Forced to close or severely impacted businesses with a rateable value of over £15k and less than £51k that derive more than 50% of their income from Non-Essential Retail £4,000
Forced to close or severely impacted businesses with a rateable value of £51k and over that derive more than 50% of their income from Non-Essential Retail £6,000
Forced to close or severely impacted businesses with a rateable value of £15k or under that derive more than 50% of their income from Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care or Gym service sectors. £8,000
Forced to close or severely impacted businesses with a rateable value of over £15k and less than £51k that derive more than 50% of their income from Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care or Gym service sectors. £12,000
Forced to close or severely impacted businesses with a rateable value of £51k and over that derive more than 50% of their income from Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care or Gym service sectors. £18,000

In taking decisions on the appropriate level of grant, we may take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business in question, the number of employees, whether they can continue to trade and the scale of the loss/impact of covid-19.

Evidence required to support an application

Closed businesses applying for ARG funding will be required to make a statement that confirms their eligibility and in addition to this business that are required to close will need to provide evidence of their trading status in the form of a bank statement showing business name, registered address and income details for the last three months.

Open businesses applying for ARG funding will be required to make a statement that confirm eligibility. In addition, the businesses will need to provide evidence to demonstrate that they supply companies which are required to close or that there has been a substantial impact on their income. This will be in the form of a bank statement showing business name, registered address and income details for the last three months along with comparative bank statements covering the same period for the financial year 2019/2020 (pre Covid-19).

Evidence

Information Evidence Required Comment
Payment details Copy of bank statement clearly showing bank account name, business address, sort code and account number and a utility bill clearly showing your business address This must match the name of the business or individual listed on the business rates bill or lease/mortgage agreement
Evidence of a significant fall in income due to Covid-19 including evidence to demonstrate that you supply companies that are required to close  You will need to provide evidence of reduced income. This may include (but is not restricted to):
  • Bank statements
  • Evidence of loss of income such as loss of contract
  • Evidence of loss of income due closure of companies you supply in the form of bank statements, invoices
It is at the businesses discretion what form this evidence takes but it must clearly show the turnover of the businesses for these periods
Evidence of trading from 1 April 2021 onwards Where you have a business rates account this will be enough as the date liable will be used.For businesses that are not rated you will need to provide evidence. This could be in the form of stock orders, sales, lease agreements etc.
Evidence of eligibility under State aid rules This will be done by way of self-declaration on the online application form If you are unsure whether State aid applies to your business, you will need to seek independent legal advice.

To Apply

Apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant

Whilst we understand that this is a very stressful time for businesses and that you would like your application to be processed and payment to be made as quickly as possible, due to the volume of phone calls and emails we are receiving we ask that you please adhere to the below to allow us to process applications as quickly and efficiently as possible.


Local Restrictions Support Grant (Mandatory Scheme) – Closed

Central Government have announced closing dates for the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme:

  • 31/3/2021 - For periods of national and local restrictions up to and including 15/2/2021
  • 31/5/2021 - For the period of national restrictions from 16/2/2021 up to and including 31/3/2021

From 1 April 2021 applications to the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme will only be assessed for the period of National Restrictions 16 February 2021 – 31 March 2021.  The Closed Business Lockdown Payment will not be paid for applications received after 31 March 2021 as this scheme closed on that date.

From  1 June 2021 the application form will be removed from the this website as applications to the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme will no longer be accepted.

In accordance with guidance received from central Government further funding will be provided for a 44 day period (16/02/2021 – 31/03/2021, these payments are pro rata as follows:

  • Rateable Value of exactly £15000 or under = £2,096
  • Rateable Value over £15000 and less than 51000 = £3,143
  • Rateable Value of exactly £51,000 or above = £4,714

How your payment was calculated

If you have received a payment for your Local Restrictions Support Grant but are unsure what amount is for each period, please see below how this is calculated.

Period of Restrictions National or Local Restrictions Rateable Value £15,000 or below Rateable Value above £15,000 and below £51,000 Rateable Value £51,000 or above
5 November 2020 to 1 December 2020 National restrictions – LRSG (Closed) Addendum £1,334 £2,000 £3,000
2 December 2020 to 25 December 2020
Payment amount pro-rata for period (24 days)
Tier 2 restrictions – LRSG (Closed)
Wet led pubs only
£1,143.43 £1,714.29 £2,571.43
26 December 2020 to 30 December 2020
Payment amount pro-rata for period (5 days)
Tier 3 restrictions – LRSG (Closed) £238.21 £357.14 £535.71
31 December 2020 to 4 January 2021 
Payment amount pro-rata for period (5 days)
Tier 4 restrictions – LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4 £238.21 £357.14 £535.71
5 January 2021 to 15 February 2021 
Payment amount pro-rata for period (42 days)
National restrictions – LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards £2,001 £3,000 £4,500
Closed Business Lockdown Payment Paid alongside LRSG (Closed) Addendum: period ending
5 February 2021
£4,000 £6,000 £9,000
2 December 2020 to 25 December 2020 
Payment amount pro-rata for period (24 days)
Tier 2 restrictions – LRSG (Open) 
Hospitality, Leisure, Hotels, B&B only
£800.40  £1,200 £1,800
26 December 2020 to 30 December 2020 
Payment amount pro-rata for period (5 days)
Tier 3 restrictions – LRSG (Open) 
Hospitality, Leisure, Hotels, B&B only
£166.75 £250 £375
  • You will not be paid two amounts for the same period.  If your business qualifies for LRSG (Open) for periods when our area was subject to Tier 2 and/or Tier 3 restrictions, you would not qualify for LRSG (Closed) for the same periods.

Please note: The above dates are periods of restrictions at the time of writing.  Please ensure that you follow current guidance from Central Government regarding your business.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) – Also known as LRSG (Closed)

Businesses in England required to close due to being located in Tier 3 or Tier 4 regions or subject to National Restrictions (Lockdown) and therefore being subject to local lockdown measures will now be able to receive grants worth up to £3,000 every month.

Please Note: The local lockdown is triggered when the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care requires the closure of businesses in a local area under regulations within the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the grant, a business that was open as usual and providing in-person services to customers must have been required to close due to local COVID-19 restrictions.

Businesses are also eligible if they have had to adapt their business model to provide a reduced service, such as takeaways or click and collect. If the main part of the business (before government restrictions) is to provide takeaways or click and collect services, then the business is not eligible for this grant.

Your business will not qualify for support under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) schemes if it:

  • has been able to continue to operate during the lockdown because it does not depend on providing direct in-person services from its premises
  • has chosen to close
  • has reached the state aid limit; or
  • is in administration, insolvent or a striking off order was made at the time local restrictions started

How much is the grant?

Rateable value of premises

Grant payment per four weeks

£15,000 or under

£1,334 per 28 day period

£15,001 - £50,999

£2,000 per 28 day period

£51,000 or over

£3,000 per 28 day period

You can find the rateable value of your premises on your latest business rates bill.

Please note: for any period of restrictions that lasts less than 28 days the payment amount is calculated on a Pro Rata basis when an Authority is moved between Tiers (either up or down) midway through a 28 day period.

For the National Restrictions that commenced on the 5 January 2021 central Government have already confirmed these restrictions will last for 6 weeks to the 15 February 2021 (42 days), funding will be provided for the full 6 week period on successful application.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) - Also known as LRSG (Open)

This is available to businesses whilst the South Northamptonshire district is subject to Tier 2 restrictions. Whilst businesses may not have been mandated to close in Tier 2 they have been severely impacted. There are different levels of payment based on the Rateable Value of the business. It is a payment for every full 14-day period the district remains in the restriction, the payment amount is calculated on a Pro Rata basis when an Authority is moved between Tiers (either up or down) midway through a 14-day period.

Local Authorities have been provided with additional funding to support businesses for periods that they are in high (Tier 2) alert level areas. These businesses are not subject to enforced closures but are severely impacted by the restrictions on socialising.

The funding South Northamptonshire Council received is based on the number of hospitality, hotel, Bed & Breakfast and leisure businesses in the area. See Local Restrictions Support Grant Policy and Appendix A.

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants of up to £934 per 28-day period
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15,000-£51,000, grants of up to £1,400 per 28-day period
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51,000, grants of up to £2,100 per 28-day period
  • This is equivalent to 70% of the grant amounts given to legally closed businesses in Tier 3 (worth up to £3,000/month) 28-day period

State aid rules

The Local Restrictions Support Grants (closed) and (Open) count towards state aid. The rules are fully explained in the government state aid guidance. By accepting this grant, you must confirm that you are not in breach of these rules.


How to apply

You can no longer apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant as the scheme is now closed

All businesses wishing to claim the Local Restriction Support Grant will have to complete an online form (below) and the following information will be needed:

  • Business rates account number
  • The 2017 List Rateable Value of the property (you will find this on your latest business rates bill)
  • Copy of a bank statement dated within the last 3 months showing account name, address, sort code and account number

Before starting to complete your application form, please check that you have this information to hand. Please note that we will need all of this information before we can make a grant payment.

After submission of your online form, a grant payment should normally be processed and paid within a fortnight.

You only need to complete one application form to cover all available funding periods from the 02/12/2020 through to the 15/02/2021, we will determine your eligibility for the relevant Tier periods based on the information that you provide in your application.

Whilst we understand that this is a very stressful time for businesses and that you would like your application to be processed and payment to be made as quickly as possible, due to the volume of phone calls and emails we are receiving we ask that you please adhere to the below to allow us to process applications as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

PLEASE NOTE: In line with central Governments guidance, funding for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) scheme is being paid at a rate of 70% of the LRSG (Closed) schemes level and the scope for businesses that are applicable to the funding is significantly reduced. Please view the policy which is included on this page, which details the types of businesses eligible for LRSG (Open) funding. Given the limited funding available and central Governments guidance, the only business types eligible are those within the Hospitality, Hotel, Bed & Breakfast and Leisure categories. Non-essential Retail businesses are not eligible.

Please note all previous applicants for the period 05/11/2020 to the 02/12/2020 will have to re-apply for further available funding.

Payments

As with other COVID-19 business grants, local grants to businesses will be treated as taxable income.

Additional Information – Closed Business Lockdown Payment – Scheme Closed 31 March 2021

In addition to the above central Government announced on the 5 January 2021 a further, one-off payment, grant scheme to provide support 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 £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

The Closed Business Lockdown Payment will also be paid, if applicable, as part of your application for the Local Restriction Support Grant.

Please note: The above dates are periods of restrictions at the time of writing.  Please ensure that you follow current guidance from Central Government regarding your business.


Restart Grant (Mandatory Scheme) 01 April 2021 onwards - Closed

From 1 July 2021 the application form will be removed from our website as applications to the Restart Grant scheme will no longer be accepted after 30 June 2021. This is a date set nationally by central Government and we have no discretion to accept late applications

To support the recovery of the high street as Government trading restrictions are relaxed, the Chancellor has announced the one-off payment 'Restart Grant'. This grant will replace the Local Restrictions Support Grant from April 2021 onwards for eligible businesses.

This scheme is available to qualifying non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, accommodation, gym and sports and personal care businesses.

One-off payment amounts

Non-essential retail businesses

Rateable value One-off grant received
£15,000 or less £2,667
£15,001 to £50,999 £4,000
£51,000 or above £6,000

Qualifying hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business properties

Rateable value One-off grant received
£15,000 or less £8,000
£15,001 to £50,999 £12,000
£51,000 or above £18,000

Exclusions

Please see below lists of exclusions for the Restart Grant scheme. These lists are not intended to be exhaustive and it will be for local authorities to determine those cases where eligibility is unclear.

Non-essential retail exclusions

  • food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, corners shops, off licences
  • breweries
  • pharmacies, chemists
  • newsagents
  • animal rescue centres and boarding facilities
  • building merchants
  • petrol stations
  • vehicle repair and MOT services
  • bicycle shops
  • taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • education providers including tutoring services
  • banks, building societies and other financial providers
  • post offices
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical practices
  • veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • agricultural supply shops
  • garden centres
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • wholesalers
  • employment agencies and businesses
  • office buildings
  • automatic car washes
  • mobility support shops

Hospitality exclusions

  • food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes)

Leisure exclusions

  • all retail businesses
  • coach tour operators, tour operators
  • telescopes

Accommodation exclusions

  • private dwellings
  • education accommodation
  • residential homes, care homes
  • residential family centres
  • beach huts

Gym and sports exclusions

  • home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds

Personal care exclusions

  • businesses that only provide personal care goods, rather than services
  • businesses used solely as training centres for staff, apprentices and others
  • businesses providing dental services, opticians, audiology services
  • chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services which incorporate personal care services, treatments required by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health

Following receipt of guidance confirming that this scheme is available to qualifying Non-essential Retail, Hospitality, Leisure, Accommodation, Gym and Sports and Personal Care businesses we are now able to launch the Restart Grant scheme, businesses that previously applied for and received Local Restriction Support Grant funding will be contacted directly inviting application. Due to additional payment checks required by central Government payments will not be made until the week commencing 19 April 2021 onwards.


Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Government will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • for hospitality, as hotels, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

More information on eligibility is set out in the expanded retail discount guidance.

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to provide this support. They will do this as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge using the business rates calculator.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise known as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is available until the end of October.

Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

See HMRC's step by step guide on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

Government will bring forward legislation to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • this refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  1. Your business is UK based
  2. Your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020

How to access the scheme

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Support for businesses paying tax – HMRC’s Time to Pay

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Eligibility

You are eligible if your business:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

How to access the scheme

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

If you’re worried about a future payment, please call nearer the time.


Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to six years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

Eligibility

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019

Who cannot apply

The following businesses are not eligible to apply:

  • banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector bodies
  • further-education establishments, if they are grant-funded
  • state-funded primary and secondary schools

If you’re already claiming funding - If you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.

How to access the scheme

Apply through the Government website.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply.

See here for support for large businesses through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Under the new COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Eligibility

All non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible.

How to access the scheme

The scheme is now available for applications. More information is available from the Bank of England.

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction.

These measures will mean no business will automatically forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment up until 30 June.

There is the option for the government to extend this period if needed.

This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent. Commercial tenants are protected from eviction if they are unable to pay rent.

Eligibility

All commercial tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are eligible.

How to access the scheme

The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent. It will last until 30 June, with an option for the government to extend if needed.
More information on commercial tenant eviction ban

South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP)

SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Advisers can provide guidance to employers on the different types of funding streams available and advise on which is best for the business outside of the grants administered by us.