This information has been updated to reflect the announcements made on the 3rd March 2021.
As you will no doubt be aware Wales is at Alert Level 4, further information regarding these restrictions can be found HERE.
UK Government Support
Please use the Business Support finder to see what support you may be eligible to receive from the UK Government.
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant has been extended. This comes in the form of two grants, each available for three-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. The fourth grant covering lost earnings from February to April will continue be calculated at 80% of average trading profits and will be paid out in a single instalment capped at £7,500. Details about the fourth grant can be found here. The online claims service for the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021.
The fourth grant will take into account 2019 to 2020 tax returns and will be open to those who became self-employed in tax year 2019 to 2020. The rest of the eligibility criteria remain unchanged.
The UK Government has also announced that there will be a fifth and final grant covering May to September. You will be able to claim from late July if you are eligible for the fifth grant.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Extended
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) has now been extended until the end of September 2021 following the Chancellor’s announcement at the Budget. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of their furloughed employees’ wages.
The UK Government will cover 70% of employees wages, up to a cap of £2,187 for July and 60% of their wages up to £1875 for August and September for the time they spend on furlough. This is contingent on employers continuing to pay employees National Insurance and Pension contributions. For more information about changes to the furlough scheme click here.
If you cannot pay your tax bill on time, information on support can be viewed here.
Support for small and medium sized businesses
Your business may be eligible for the following initiatives – please click the links to view further information on the schemes and eligibility:
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme delivered via the British Business Bank. (open until 31st March 2021)
- Bounce Back Loan scheme. (open until 31st March 2021)
- Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees.
Support for larger businesses
Welsh Government Business Support:
Wales has been at Alert Level 4, with a ‘Stay at Home’ message since the 20th December. As a result, further support has been announced by the Welsh Government.
Update on Cultural Recovery Fund:
Freelancers working across Wales’ creative sectors will receive a further round of support worth £8.9 million as set out by the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Lord Elis-Thomas on the 10th February.
This new round of support funding from the Cultural Recovery Fund will mean each of the freelancers already supported will receive an additional £2,500 to support them through this extended period of reduced activity. Please note that this applies to those who have previously received financial support from the Cultural Recovery Fund, it is not applicable to new applicants.
Those who have previously been in receipt of the fund will receive a self-declaration letter, which they will need to respond to for the funding to be released. Further information can be viewed here.
Economic Resilience Fund Restrictions Business Support:
Following the First Minister’s announcement, the Restrictions Business Fund Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) for non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism (NERHLT) sectors has been extended to provide a single top up payment for businesses affected by national restrictions. Discretionary based grant for the period to end of March 2021 will also be available through application via local authorities.
The Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans MS, has recently announced that the rates holiday for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors in Wales will be extended for a further 12 months. The £380m package provides retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with rateable values up to £500k, and charities in Wales with a straightforward year-long business rates holiday – going beyond what has been announced in England – providing a much-needed boost for small and medium sized businesses struggling to cope with the impacts of the pandemic.
Businesses Eligible for the Extended Business Restrictions Fund will receive the following top up:
NERHLT businesses in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) and with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will be eligible for an additional £3,000 payment. Supply chain businesses qualifying for SBRR will also be eligible for this support if they have greater than 40% reduction in turnover during the restriction period.
NERHLT businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000 will also be eligible for a £5,000 payment if impacted by the restrictions. Supply chain businesses in the same rateable value bracket will also be eligible for this support if they have greater than 40% reduction in turnover during the restriction period.
NERHLT businesses with a rateable value of between £51,001 up to £150k who registered and received the ERF Restriction Fund Grant in December/January via their Local Authority will begin receiving payments into their bank account during February. These businesses will not be required to re-register their details
NERHLT businesses with a rateable value of between £150,001 and £500,000 will now be able to register for a one-off £5,000 payment if impacted by the restrictions. Supply chain businesses in the same rateable value bracket will also be eligible for this support if they have greater than 40% reduction in turnover during the restriction period.
Further information on the fund can be found at: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/restrictions-business-fund-extension
ERF Sector Specific Grant:
The ERF Sector Specific Grant is targeted at Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure businesses and associated supply chain businesses with 10 or more staff that will have been materially impacted by a greater than 60% impact of turnover as a result of on-going alert level 4 restrictions between 25 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.
The funds seeks to complement other COVID-19 response measures to support businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations in Wales.
If you have received a grant via the Welsh Government’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to support costs through to 31st March 2021, you are not eligible to apply for this fund.
You can use this tool to check your eligibility for the COVID-19 ERF Sector Specific Grant.
The Sector Specific Grant application phase 2 window will open at 10am on Tuesday 9 March 2021 until 8pm on Friday 12 March 2021.
Further information can be found at: https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/ssgp2
Wales Barrier Grant:
The Welsh Government has put in place a programme of employment and skills support to help people back to work.
Part of this programme includes additional support for individuals considering self-employment. In addition to the existing start-up service, a grant to support unemployed individuals that face greater economic barriers to starting a business is being made available.
This discretionary grant will help up to 600 individuals become self-employed or start a business, between December 2020 and March 2021.
The grant will be open to all unemployed individuals, however priority in allocating funding will be given to those most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak:
- Disabled people
- People from BAME backgrounds
- Young people not in education or training (NEETS) aged 18-24 or a College and University leaver in 2019 or 2020 (see full guidance notes)
The fund opened on the 1st December and further information and guidance can be found HERE
To support businesses who are not registered on the NDR register and with a turnover below £50k, a further £30m phase of the Local Discretionary Fund has also been approved and will provide a £2,000 grant. Businesses will need to submit an application to the fund.
This will provide support to sub VAT sole traders without a property who are materially impacted (>40% reduced turnover) as a result of the restrictions, e.g. cleaners providing services to the hospitality industry.
Application forms for the Local Discretionary Grant can be accessed by visiting the relevant local authority website.
Please note: applications to the Local Discretionary Grant will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. For BCBC residents the grant has now closed for new applications. For RCT residents you can still apply through the link HERE.
Bridgend County Borough Council:
Further details regarding support and guidance from Bridgend County Borough Council can be found here: https://www.bridgend.gov.uk/my-council/performance-plans-and-reports/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information-and-advice/covid-19-business-support/
Rhondda Cynon Taff:
Further details regarding support and guidance from Rhonda Cynon Taff County Borough Council can be found here: https://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Resident/EmergenciesSafetyandCrime/InformationforResidentsCoronavirus/NEWCoronavirusCOVID19latestinformation/SupportandAdviceforBusiness/SupportandAdviceforbusinesses.aspx
I would encourage you to use the eligibility checkers to assess what support you may be eligible for.
If there is anything my office can support you with, please do not hesitate to get in touch with my office