Coronavirus: Support for Businesses and the Self-Employed

Latest advice and information to support businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Last updated: 3 July 2020, 11:00

Opening your business

If you are planning to open your business please review the COVID-19 Tool kit which aims to help Lincolnshire businesses become COVID-19 secure, resume trading safely, and protect their staff and customers as lockdown is eased.

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

Please note this scheme will close to new applications on Friday 7 August at 5.00pm to ensure all payments are made before the closing date of Friday 28 August 2020. This fund is aimed at small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund and who are struggling to survive due to the Coronavirus shutdown but are unable to access other grant funding.

The grants fall into three categories

  1. Category One - Grant of £25,000: Businesses in Retail, Hospitality and Leisure that were registered for business rates and in occupation of the same premises with a rateable value between £51,250 and £79,500. As defined in the Expanded Retail Discount guidance
  2. Category Two - Grant of £10,000: Businesses which are registered for business rates and in occupation of the same premises with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £49,999
  3. Category Three – Grant of £5,000: Businesses occupied a premises, or part of a premises, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payment below £51,000.

The following gateway questions will need to be answered in order to access the full application form. Only businesses that can answer yes to all of the questions are eligible to apply to the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund:

  • Your business fits into either category one, two or three, where appropriate is registered for business rates and you can evidence this
  • Your business was trading on 11 March 2020, is not in administration, is still in your ownership and occupies a property in West Lindsey
  • Your business employs between 1 and 50 people and turns over less than £10.2m a year and meets the definition of a small or micro business
  • Your business can provide evidence of the annual property related costs that it incurs
  • Your business can demonstrate that it has suffered significant reduction in income as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown
  • Your business has not received any COVID-19 related grants (except Self Employment Income Support).

Before commencing with the application process please ensure you review guidance to ensure have ALL your business information and supporting evidence available. For an application to be validated it must contain all necessary information. If an application is not complete and is awaiting further information, the scheme may be fully committed whilst this takes place. Therefore it is imperative that all information is provided at point of submission

Support for retailers

Guidance, detailing the measures retailers should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards are available below.

Toolkit

  1. HSE: Working safety guide
  2. HSE: Talking with your workers
  3. Gov.uk: Staying COVID-19 secure
  4. HSE: Risk assessment template and examples
  5. Checklist for Businesses

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) partnership

To provide help to our small-business community, West Lindsey District Council has partnered with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), who are able to provide smaller businesses in the district with information to respond to the challenges they are facing due to COVID-19.

Membership benefits include: free business banking, 24/7 legal advice, HR support, tax guidance, late payment and financial help, insurances, health and safety information plus healthcare.

You can find out more by visiting the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) website.

Discounted one-year membership promotion

As part of West Lindsey District Council’s partnership with The Federation of Small Businesses we are offering business owners an £80 discount on a one-year FSB membership.

Business Support

Latest information on funding and resources for businesses affected by COVID-19 are available on the Business Lincolnshire website.

From accessing government funding to guidance on the next steps your business should take, Business Lincolnshire expert advisers are available to offer advice and support during this challenging time.

Email businesslincolnshire@lincolnshire.gov.uk to get in touch today or register your enquiry by calling the Covid-19 Information and Advice helpline on 01522 782189 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

VisitBritain / VisitEngland have also created a Covid-19 Advice Hub for tourism and event businesses. They are feeding in industry concerns to Government via the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group and will be sharing practical advice as soon as it becomes available, publishing the latest announcements and industry information on this page. You can also keep up to date locally through Visit Lincoln.

Government Support for Self-Employed

For information on the new self-employment income support scheme please visit:

Government Support for Business

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay Relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

For the latest information and full details on the above Schemes visit the dedicated Government Business Support webpages.

Business rates holidays for retail, hospitality and leisure sector

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.

In relation to the business rates holidays, no action is required from businesses. West Lindsey District Council will apply the business rates holiday to your bills. For more information please check the council’s Business Rates webpages.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is open for applications and supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities and can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cash-flow.

Key features

  • Up to £5m facility:
    The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m, available on repayment terms of up to six years.
  • No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme:
    No fee for smaller businesses. Lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme.
  • Interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months:
    The Government will 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 borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

Any business interested in applying to CBILS should talk to their bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss their business plan with them.

Full details can be found at www.british-business-bank.co.uk/CBILS.

Please also refer to these documents for key details:


For the latest news and announcements on support for business please visit the visit the government's Covid-19 business support website.

Contact

If you need further guidance please get in contact with the Growth Team at growth@west-lindsey.gov.uk.