Insights on the key points that every business should be considering whilst continuing to operate in a crisis.
Here you will find information and guidance on government support, additional sources of finance and cash flow management.
Recovery Loan scheme - opened on 6 April and will close on 31 December 2021
On 3 March 2021, the Chancellor announced the launch of the new Recovery Loan scheme which will provide all UK businesses regardless of size access to finance to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and grow.
Further information on eligibility and how to apply is available through our dedicated page.
For early-stage businesses in their first two years of trading, the British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans programme may be of support. This scheme is not specific to COVID-19, however, in light of COVID-19, they are operating as normal and Second loans are also still available to eligible and existing customers.
The Start-Up Loans Programme is available for businesses across the UK. Businesses must be less than 2 years old and can apply for loans of £500 - £25k at any one time.
See all details for the Start-Up loan here.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS)
Both schemes closed on 31 March 2021. For further information on repayment terms and how to manage your finances going forward, click the link - (Finance in the Spotlight - How can you manage debt during COVID-19? | GC Business Growth Hub)
Support for Exporting Businesses
- SME Brexit Support Fund - This scheme was launched on 11 February 2021 and will provide SMEs that are new to importing or exporting with grants up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice. For more information visit the government website.
- General Export Facility (GEF) - On 7 December, the government launched the GEF, a new guarantee scheme designed to provide SMEs with export finance up to the value of £25 million and help them recover from COVID-19. Full details of this scheme can be found through our guide here.
- On 8 September, the government announced a package of new measures to support businesses in the consumer and retail industry to export overseas as part of efforts to help the sector recover from Coronavirus. These include the launch of a Consumer and Retail Export Academy to help businesses export, via a digital learning syllabus. To view the full list of measures announced, visit the government website here.
- If your business exports goods or services and has been impacted by COVID-19 these schemes may also be suitable for you:
- Grants for businesses who complete customs declarations – If you are an importer or exporter, or a business which completes customs declarations on behalf of your clients, there are 3 grants available. These grants support with training that helps your business to complete customs declarations and processes, hiring new staff who focus on customs declarations, and IT improvements.
- GM Export Fund - GC Business Finance provides loans to SMEs looking to trade overseas for the first time or expand their current levels of trade.
- Export Working Capital Scheme - Access to capital finance for export-related projects.
- Export Insurance Policy - Insurance from UK Export Finance to manage risk in challenging markets.
- Direct Lending facility - A loan from UK Export Finance for overseas buyers to finance the purchase of capital goods and/or services from UK exporters.
- The Department for International Trade – Guidance for UK business trading internationally and financial support.
Grant support for businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions
A summary of the different grants available for businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions is available through our guide, here.
Please note that phishing emails seeking to target those eligible for the extended business support grants have been reported. Guidance on recognising phishing emails and texts has been published by the government and additional resources are available through our dedicated Cybercrime awareness during the Coronavirus outbreak page.
All grants are allocated through the local authority, so please review your Local Authority's page to see what is available in your area.
Future Fund: Breakthrough (launching in early summer of 2021)
On 3 March the government announced that it will be launching the Future Fund: Breakthrough. This new £375 million scheme will support the scale-up of the most innovative, R&D-intensive businesses (e.g. those working in life sciences, quantum computing, or cleantech).
Delivered by the British Business Bank via its commercial subsidiary British Patient Capital, the scheme will encourage private investors to co-invest with government in high-growth, innovative firms that are aiming to raise at least £20 million of funding.
To be considered for the scheme you must be a UK based company with significant UK operations.
Further information on the Fund has been published on the British Business Bank website.
UK Research and Innovation funding
Businesses can find out about UK Research and Innovation's Covid-19 related funding and projects through their website here.
National Lottery Project Grants
Arts Council England has reopened the fund with a budget of £77.9 million available until 31 August 2021. Funding is available for individual artists, community and cultural organisations (smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners will be prioritised).
Grants can support projects that directly create and deliver creative and cultural activity and content for audiences, visitors and digital users, and also those that have a longer term impact on strengthening the sector, such as organisational development, research and development and sector support. Grants range from £1,000 to £100,000.
For more information and to apply for funding, visit Art Council England.
Film & TV Production Restart Scheme - this scheme has been extended to 31 December 2021.
On 28 July 2020, Government announced a £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme to support production struggling to secure insurance for Covid-related costs. The Scheme Rules and Explanatory Notes can be viewed by visiting the government website. The application form can be viewed and submitted through this link.
The registration deadline for this scheme is 23:59 GMT on 31 October 2021, and claims will be able to be submitted up to 23:59 GMT on 31 March 2022 for losses incurred up until 23:59 GMT on 31 December 2021.
Green Homes Grant Scheme - The Green Homes Grant voucher scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021.
If you applied to be a registered Green Homes Grant installer before the closing date, your application will still be processed and the government will be in touch to confirm if your application has been successful.
If you are already a registered Green Homes Grant installer, you can continue to carry out work under the scheme provided your customer has been issued a voucher. You must finish the work at least 7 days before the voucher’s expiry date.
In the 2021 Budget, the government announced that they will continue to provide eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with business rates relief over the 2021 to 2022 tax year. You are eligible if your property is a:
- restaurant, café, bar or pub
- cinema or music venue
- hospitality or leisure business - for example, a gym, a spa, a casino or a hotel
Eligible businesses could qualify for:
- 100% off their business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year
- 100% off their business rates bills for the first 3 months of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021)
- 66% off their business rates bills for the rest of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022) - This will be capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties
To find out if you’re eligible, contact your local council.
In the 2021 Budget, the government announced that they will also continue to provide eligible nurseries with business rates relief over the 2021 to 2022 tax year. You could qualify for nurseries discount if:
- you are on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and
- your premises are wholly or mainly used to provide the Early Years Foundation Stage of education
Eligible businesses could get:
- 100% off their business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year
- 100% off their business rates bills for the first 3 months of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021)
- 66% off their business rates bills for the rest of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022) - up to a maximum of £105,000
You can contact your local council if you are not getting a relief you think you are entitled to.
Cash Management Guide
In these challenging times, managing your cash as a business owner is crucial. You can find a guide to managing cash flow from our Access to Finance team here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extension (CJRS) - Funding for businesses to retain staff
On 3 March 2021, the government extended the furlough scheme which will now run until 30 September 2021.
The latest details including eligibility can be found here.
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme – Open until September 2021
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme is a grant for the self-employed, sole traders and partners operating within a partnership trading structure, who have lost income due to coronavirus.
Full details of the scheme can be found here.
If you are Self-Employed, the Greater Manchester EnterprisingYou programme can offer expertise and advice. Find out more here.
Statutory Sick Pay Scheme (SSP) Rebate Scheme
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme allows qualifying employers to claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The online service you can use to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) can be accessed, here.
You can use the scheme as an employer if:
- you have already paid your employee’s sick pay
- you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
- you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
- you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020
Full details on how to check eligibility and claim Statutory Sick Pay paid to your employees due to coronavirus can be found on the government website here.
An overview video of the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme is also available on the government website.
Test and Trace Support Payment scheme - Self-isolation Pay
From September 28, people are required by law to self-isolate. Those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result may be entitled to a payment of £500 under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. You can access the scheme through your Local Authority.
On 10 December, the government announced that you can now also apply for the scheme if you have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace app even if you have not been contacted by NHS Test and Trace by phone, email, letter or text message.
On 22 February, the government announced that the scheme will be expanded to also support parents who are unable to work because they are caring for a child who is self-isolating.
For more information on eligibility and how to claim financial support under the scheme please see here.
The scheme which initially ran until 31 March 2021 will now be extended until the summer.
On September 2, the Government opened applications for the Kickstart Scheme. This scheme aims to create new 6-month job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Any organisation of any size can apply for funding as long as the roles offered are new jobs.
Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.
Originally applications had to be for a minimum of 30 job placements, and organisations unable to offer this many job placements could partner with a Kickstart gateway.
From 3 February 2021, employers can apply directly to the scheme regardless of the number of job placements. However, businesses can also continue to apply through a Kickstart gateway, including those supporting sole traders.
To support businesses, the government has published a series of tips for making a successful Kickstart Scheme application.
To help businesses benefit from Kickstart, the Growth Company has developed three support packages including:
- Being a Gateway organisation - to help businesses access the scheme regardless of how many placements you are able to offer
- Being a Kickstart Service Partner offering on-placement support, such as individual learning plans and careers advice/support
- Employment services - enabling businesses to host placements without having to worry about employment contract and HR-related requirements.
For more information and to register your interest in a Kickstart application, visit the Growth Company's dedicated page.
On July 8, the government announced the launch of a new incentive to encourage employers to create new apprenticeships and hire young people.
Employers hiring an apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 March 2021, will receive a one-off payment of:
- £2,000 for apprentices aged 16 to 24
- £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over
Businesses must apply for these apprentices before 31 May 2021.
In the 2021 Budget, the government announced that the incentive will be extended to September 2021 and the payments will be increased to £3,000 per apprentice hire.
This means that employers hiring an apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021, will receive a one-off payment of £3,000 per new hire. Businesses will be able to apply for incentive payments for these apprentices from 1 June 2021.
For more information on how to apply, visit the government website.
R&D Tax Relief
Research and Development (R&D) Tax Relief
The R&D tax relief scheme is not COVID-19 specific. The scheme is designed to encourage innovation in the UK by allowing businesses to offset research and development investments against corporation tax. For every £1 of identified R&D cost, you could save 26p in Corporation Tax. Find out more here.
VAT and Self-Assessment
Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 and were unable to pay in full by 31 March 2021, you have the option to:
- Join the VAT deferral new payment scheme – businesses must opt-in by 21 June 2021.
- Pay the full amount by 30 June 2021
- Contact HMRC on 0800 024 1222 if you need additional help to pay by 30 June 2021.
A 5% penalty or interest might be charged if you do not pay in full or make an arrangement to pay by 30 June 2021.
VAT deferral new payment scheme
Businesses using the scheme will be able to:
- pay their deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest-free
- choose the number of instalments, from 2 up to a maximum of 11 (this will depend on the date by which they join the scheme)
The government has published guidance on key actions businesses must take before opting in.
Full details can be found here.
Self-assessment - submitting your tax return
The deadline for submitting your online tax return is usually the 31st of January and individuals missing this deadline are charged a £100 penalty. Because of COVID-19 though, HMRC announced that the late filing penalty would be waived provided you filed by 28 February.
Self-assessment - paying the tax you owe
If you complete a self-assessment tax return the deadlines for paying your tax bill are usually:
• 31 January - for any tax you owe for the previous tax year (known as a balancing payment) and your first payment on account
• 31 July - for your second payment on account
Because of Coronavirus (COVID-19), individuals were able to delay making their second payment on account. If you chose to delay, you were able to pay your deferred July 2020 payment on account any time up to 31 January 2021.
• If you were unable to pay in full by 31 January and you owe £30,000 or less you can set up a payment plan to spread the cost of your latest Self-Assessment bill. You can use the self-serve Time to Pay facility to set up monthly direct debits and this can all be done online up to 60 days after 31 January. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021. In addition, if you still haven’t paid in full, or set up a time to pay arrangement, by 1 April, you will be charged a late payment penalty.
• If your Self-Assessment debts are over £30,000, or you need longer than 12 months to pay your debt in full, you may still be able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement by calling the Self-Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822
Full details on Making your Self Assessment payments including Class 2 National Insurance contributions can be found on the government website.
VAT: reduced rate
- The government announced on 8 July 2020 that VAT registered businesses can apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admissions to certain attractions. This reduced rate originally applied to supplies that were made between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.
- On 24 September, the Chancellor extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT for the hospitality and tourism sectors until March 31 2021.
- On 3 March 2021, the government extended the reduced VAT rate until 30 September 2021. To further support businesses a 12.5% interim rate will then apply for a further six months, until 31 March 2022.
You can find further information here.
To stimulate business investment, the government has announced the introduction of the super-deduction, a new 130% first-year capital allowance for qualifying plant and machinery assets.
Key points to consider:
- In order to qualify, expenditure must be incurred by a company within the charge to corporation tax on or after 1 April 2021 but before 1 April 2023
- The type of assets that may qualify include but are not limited to:
- Solar panels
- Computer equipment and servers
- Tractors, lorries, vans
- Ladders, drills, cranes
- Office chairs and desks
- Electric vehicle charge points
- Refrigeration units
- Foundry equipment
- Used and second-hand assets will not qualify for the super-deduction
- Expenditure should not be within any of the eight general exclusions in section 46(2) of CAA 2001, which include exclusions for expenditure on cars and on the provision of plant and machinery for leasing
- Expenditure incurred under a Hire Purchase or similar contract will be required to meet additional conditions to qualify for the super-deduction
More information is available in the published tax information and impacts note.
To further understand how the Super deduction works and how it impacts your business watch our on-demand Super deduction webinar.
Guidance relating to taxable expenses and benefits provided to employees during coronavirus (COVID-19)
The government has released guidance on the Income Tax treatment of certain expenses and benefits paid to employees because of coronavirus. More information including guidance on how to report these to HMRC is available on the government website.
Import tariffs on a number of COVID-19 medical products have been suspended
On 16 December, the government announced that import tariffs on medical products used to help fight against coronavirus have been suspended, lowering costs on these critical items for organisations across the UK.
The new measures, which ensure no tariffs will be due on imports of goods including face masks, gloves and other protective equipment, will come into effect from 1 January 2021 and are planned to last for 12 months until 31 December 2021. These will be subject to ongoing reviews.
The Trade Credit Insurance Guarantee - extended to 30 June 2021
On May 13, the Government announced that it was finalising a scheme to provide the continuance of trade insurance cover.
In summary, Trade Credit Insurance usually covers business-to-business transactions, particularly in non-service sectors such as manufacturing and construction. It insures suppliers selling goods against the company they are selling to defaulting on payment. Due to Coronavirus and financial challenges, these suppliers risk having credit insurance withdrawn, or premiums increasing to unaffordable levels. The scheme is intended to temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, covering most of the market.
Further details were released on June 4, stating the scheme would provide up to £10 billion of government guarantees, and is available on a temporary basis for nine months, backdated to 1 April 2020 running until 31 December 2020.
On 29 December, the scheme was extended to 30 June 2021 and approved under relevant state aid rules.
Full details can be found through the government website.
QUALIFYING BUSINESSES CAN ACCESS MORE THAN ONE FORM OF SUPPORT.
Businesses and self employed people can use the government's latest business support finder tool to determine what financial support is available to them during the pandemic.
Past financial schemes - currently not available
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports small and medium-sized businesses, with an annual turnover of up to £45 million, to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 10 years.
The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. This means smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
There are over 40 accredited lenders. If one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders within the scheme. If you are based in the North West our sister company GC Business Finance are an accredited provider of CBILS -find out more here.
Full details of this scheme can be found here.
If you’re not sure if CBILS funding is right for your business you can contact our Access to Finance team for impartial advice here.
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) - this scheme closed on 31 March 2021
The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) was announced on 3rd April 2020 and is a scheme that is designed to provide debt finance of up to £200m for larger businesses (with a turnover of more than £45m) across the UK, which are experiencing lost or deferred revenues as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The initiative supports a range of products from term loans and overdrafts to invoice finance and asset finance. On 24 September the government extended the scheme to 30 November 2020 for new applications. On November 2, the government further extended the application deadline to 31 January 2021. On December 17, the Chancellor extended the scheme to 31 March 2021.
Full details of the loan scheme can be seen here.
Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS) - this scheme closed on 31 March 2021.
BBLS is a scheme aimed at UK-based micro businesses which are experiencing lost or deferred revenues as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Loans range from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover; the maximum loan amount is £50,000 and the UK Government will provide a guarantee of 100%. The launch date was Monday 4th May.
On 24 September the Chancellor extended the scheme to 30 November for new applications and introduced new flexible repayment terms. On November 2, the government further extended the application deadline to 31 January 2021.
On December 17, the Chancellor extended the scheme once again to 31 March 2021.
You can find more information on BBLS through our dedicated page here.
If you are based in and trading from Greater Manchester, our sister company GC Business Finance (GCBF) are an accredited provider of BBLS and may be able to support you if you have been unable to access a loan through your current banking partner.
In November 2020, GC Business Finance became the first lender in the UK accredited to provide BBLS to be backed by a local authority, managing £10m of emergency funding from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
For more information, visit the GCBF website.
Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund - this scheme closed on 31 March 2021.
The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is a fund for social enterprises and charities that are improving people’s lives across the UK who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19. It was established to make the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme more easily accessible to these organisations.
The fund is being run by Social Investment Business (SIB) and provides loans for working capital for business models interrupted by COVID-19. SIB has announced that £4m worth of grant funding has also been made available to be used alongside the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund to support charities and social enterprises based in and delivering the majority of their impact in England. RRLF closes to new applications at 11.59 pm on Wednesday 31 March 2021.
Further information on eligibility criteria and how to apply for the RRLF is available on the SIB website, here.
CCFF for Large Companies
Covid Corporate Financing Facility
The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF, the Facility) was announced on the 20th of March. The Bank of England will buy short-term debt from large companies, providing funding to businesses by purchasing commercial paper of up to one-year maturity. It will help businesses across a range of sectors to pay wages and suppliers, even while experiencing severe disruption to cashflows. It is available for companies, and their finance subsidiaries, that make a material contribution to the UK economy.
The scheme will close for new purchases from eligible issuers with effect from 23 March 2021. This means that the Facility will make no purchases of CP after 22 March 2021. The CCFF will close to new applications from counterparties and issuers looking to become eligible on 31 December 2020.
On 9 October 2020, HM Treasury and the Bank announced an enhanced process to monitor and review CCFF issuers' credit quality in advance of the closure of the CCFF.
Cultural Hardship Fund for Freelancers - Applications closed on Tuesday 2 March 2021
The Savannah Wisdom Foundation has created a discretionary fund to support freelancers within the arts, cultural and creative industries in Manchester impacted by COVID-19. Individual freelancers can apply for grants of £1,500.
To be eligible for the scheme, you must be a resident of or business based in Manchester. If you live in Greater Manchester but can evidence your freelance work is primarily in Manchester, then you may still be eligible to apply.
New entrants to freelance work in the sector are also eligible as long as they can provide details of 8 weeks (5 weeks for disabled applicants) of relevant freelance work during the period January 2019 to March 2020. However, individuals that have received funding from the Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will not be eligible.
Full details on eligibility and how to apply are available through Manchester City Council's website.
Youth Covid-19 Support Fund - Applications closed on 19 February 2021
The Youth Covid-19 Support Fund will provide grant funding to grassroots youth clubs, uniformed youth groups, and national youth and umbrella organisations. It has been designed to help to mitigate the impact of lost income during the winter period due to the coronavirus pandemic, and ensure services providing vital support can remain viable.
Grants are available for essential business costs incurred between 1 November 2020 and 31 March 2021 and these can include staff salaries as well as fixed/operational costs (i.e. rent, utility costs, insurances, facility or equipment hire and others).
To apply for a grant you must be one of the following:
• a registered Charity
• an incorporated not for profit organisation
• an incorporated Community Interest Company
Full details on eligibility and how to apply are available through the Fund's dedicated website.
Developing your Creative Practice (DYCP) - Applications for Round 9 closed on 18 February 2021
This fund supports the development of independent cultural and creative practitioners. Individuals can apply for £2,000 to £10,000 to focus on their cultural and creative development, and reach the next stage in their practice. To be eligible for DYCP, applications must demonstrate a clear development opportunity. This could be for a period of research, time to create new work, travel, training, developing future ideas, networking or mentoring.
An overview of the fund including guidance for applicants is available on Art Council England's website.
Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas - round 2
To support independent cinemas in England whose businesses have been unavoidably interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to be disrupted upon re-opening, the government launched round 2 of the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas.
The Fund is administered by the British Film Institute (BFI) and the deadline for applications is midday on 1 February 2021.
For more information and to apply for the fund visit BFI's dedicated website, here.
Future Fund - The scheme closed for new applicants on 31 January 2021.
The government's Future Fund will provide loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. The scheme which is being delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank, launched on May 20, 2020, and was initially open until the end of September 2020. On 24 September the Chancellor extended the scheme to 30 November for new applications. On November 2, the government further extended the application deadline to 31 January 2021.
On 30 June, the government expanded eligibility for the fund allowing companies which have substantial UK economic presence (half or more employees UK based or half or more revenues from UK sales) but have been required to incorporate their ultimate parent company in a non-UK jurisdiction solely in order to participate in an Accelerator Programme to also qualify.
Culture Recovery Fund - second round
On Friday 11 December 2020, the Government announced a further round of Culture Recovery Fund investment as part of its £1.57 billion support package for the arts, culture and heritage sector in the UK. £300 million in grants (applications for the grants closed on 26 January) and £100 million in repayable finance (applications closed on 7 January) will be made available to support organisations’ transition back to usual operating mode from April 2021. Further details are available through Art Council England.
Innovate UK Loans - Applications closed on 13 January 2021.
Innovate UK is providing up to £210 million in loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and third sector organisations that have a challenge in continuing innovation activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These range between £250,000 and £1,600,000 and are open for:
- applicants continuing existing projects with an Innovate UK award
- applicants with a new project that follows on from a project with an Innovate UK award (completed in the past 36 months)
- applicants continuing, completing or following on from innovation activity that has not been supported by an Innovate UK award in the past 36 months
For further information on eligibility criteria and how to apply for an Innovate UK loan, please see the government website.
Thriving Communities Fund - Applications closed at 12 pm (midday), 8 January 2021.
The Thriving Communities Fund, totalling £1.4 million is being delivered by Arts Council England and provides grants ranging from £25,000 to £50,000. It aims to support local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations working on projects that bring together place-based partnerships to improve and increase the range and reach of available social prescribing community activities – especially for those people most impacted by COVID-19 and health inequalities.
Small Business Grants Fund & Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund - Both Funds are now closed.
Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all eligible businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.
Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) eligible businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for a cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 per property.
Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.
Full details of both schemes can be found here.
The scheme is being administered by the Local Authorities and payments have been reaching businesses since the beginning of April. Many Local Authorities have launched on-line forms to enable businesses to upload information needed in order to process the payments, so we recommend that you view your business’ Local Authority website to understand its claim process. You can find contact details for Greater Manchester Local Authorities and the North West here.
Innovate UK Grants & Loans
Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme would provide £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms. £200 million of grant and loan payments were for its 2,500 existing Innovate UK customers on an opt-in basis. An extra £550 million were also made available to increase support for existing customers and £175,000 of support were offered to around 1,200 firms not currently in receipt of Innovate UK funding. The first payments were made by mid-May. You can find more information here.
On 27 June, HMG unveiled a £200 million package to help innovative businesses bounce back. The Sustainable Innovation Fund will be open to companies across the UK to help companies recovering from the impact of Coronavirus, to keep cutting-edge projects and ideas alive. This funding, delivered through Innovate UK, forms part of a wider £750 million package of grants and loans announced in April to support innovative firms.
Businesses could apply for grant support by visiting the Innovate UK website, Round 1 of the competition which opened on June 29 and had a closing deadline on July 29. Each organisation working alone or in a collaboration could claim a maximum of £175,000.
Within the Sustainable Innovation Fund there is also up to £10 million available for ‘SBRI phase 1’, which is meant to help UK businesses and the public sector recover from COVID-19. It is expected that projects in this phase to range in size up to total costs of £60,000, including VAT. The competition opens on Monday 29 June and closes August 5.
The Sustainable Innovation Fund is now closed.
COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant - Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the grant have now closed.
On 3rd April 2020, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced a £3.25m fund to support food redistribution organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The support aims to ensure that people in need and those belonging to vulnerable groups get the necessary food supplies, whilst minimising food waste.
The COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant scheme will be made available through the Resource Action Fund administered by sustainability not-for profit WRAP and will be delivered in three phases, with the first one commencing on the 3rd April and the other two on Thursday 9 April. Additional details on the new grant scheme can be seen here.
Small Business Recovery Fund - Expression of interest deadline closed
On July 30, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government announced a £20 million fund to help SMEs across England get back on track. Businesses were able to apply for grants between £1,000 to £3,000, with grants of £5,000 available in exceptional circumstances. The grant had to support the purchase of either professional advice, or the purchase of new technology and equipment to help with business recovery. The deadline for Expressions of Interest for the Small Business Recovery Grant was Wednesday 9th September at 5pm.
Culture Recovery Fund: Grants programme - The fund closed for applications on September 4 2020.
The Culture Recovery Fund is open to arts and cultural organisations, including charitable and non-profit organisations as well as private organisations and commercial for-profit ventures. Local Authorities, Universities and other Public Sector bodies who run or maintain cultural services can also apply. You can find more information on eligibility and how to apply for a grant at Arts Council England. Grants are from £50,000 up to £3 million.
Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grants (T-TRIG) - The grant programme closed for applications on October 11 2020.
Creative transport start-ups with a focus on decarbonisation or COVID-19 recovery can bid for the Department for Transport's Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grants (T-TRIG). The grants programme will be delivered by The Connected Places Catapult and SMEs can apply for 100% funding for a project within scope.
This page is intended to be a summary of the financial support package provided to businesses and the self-employed during the COVID-19 difficulties. It will be updated as soon as practically possible after new information is made available by Central Government and its partners, but we cannot be held responsible for errors and omissions that may occur.