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Advice for businesses about coronavirus

As the situation with coronavirus is developing, we want to keep our local businesses up to date with current support for businesses.

 

General business support

We remain committed to supporting our local businesses to help minimise the impact of Covid-19 and will keep this page up to date.

Key up to date on the latest business support announcements from:

 

Firebreak lockdown grants

Welsh Government has launched two lockdown grants to help businesses survive the economic consequences of the Welsh national lockdown imposed as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19). The online application form will be available here from Wednesday 28 October.

  1. The Lockdown Non-domestic Rate Grant - for eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations that are liable to pay business rates as of 1 September 2020.
    Swansea Council aims to make automatic payments to eligible businesses wherever possible using information obtained during the payment of the last round of Non-Domestic Rate grants, earlier this year.
    Only businesses that are eligible for the new NDR grant but did not get the previous NDR grant, will need to fill in an application form.
     
  2. The Lockdown Discretionary Grant - for eligible businesses that are not liable to pay business rates.

To check if you are eligible or to apply please visit: www.swansea.gov.uk/firebreakgrants

 

Freelancer Grant (cultural sectors)

The Welsh Government have launched the Freelancer Grant to help freelance professionals survive the economic consequences of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Update (28 October): We have fully allocated the funds currently available to the local authority and your name can now be added to a reserve list. Welsh Government are looking at options to secure more resource for the fund. Please email freelancergrant@swansea.gov.uk to register on the reserve list.

 

Economic Resilience Fund

Phase 3 of this fund is intended to support businesses in Wales with development projects to assist with recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and future sustainability.  You can view examples of eligible projects here.

The business development grants will be open to businesses of all sizes:

  • Micro businesses (1-9 employees) can apply for up to £10K - there will be discretion for grant awards of up to 100% for Tourism and Hospitality micro businesses.
  • SMEs (10-249 employees) can apply for up to £150K - there will be discretion for grant awards of up to 100% for Tourism and Hospitality micro businesses.
  • Large businesses (employing 250+ people) can apply for up to £200K on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 50%.

If the project is creating new jobs for young people (under 25) you may be eligible for a higher level of award.

The grant fund will be open for applications from the week commencing 26 October 2020 and remain open for four weeks or until funds are fully committed.

The funding is to cover the period from October 2020 to 31 March 2021.

To check if you are eligibly or to apply please visit: fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/erfphase3

 

UK Government Covid-19 Business Loans

The UK Government is extending four temporary loan schemes that were designed to support UK businesses that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

More businesses will now be able to benefit from the:

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) 
  • Future Fund

The schemes will be extended to 30 November 2020 for new applications. For further information on these loan schemes please visit the British Business Bank website.

 

Job Support Scheme (Job Retention Scheme Furlough)

The current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will come to an end on the 31st October 2020. The will be replaced by the new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from ‌‌1 November 2020 to protect jobs where businesses are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the UK Government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand. 

You (the business) will continue to pay the wages for the hours your staff work. For the hours not worked, you and the UK Government will each pay one third of their usual wages (capped at £697.92 per month). You will need to meet your share of the pay for unworked hours and all your National Insurance contributions and statutory pension contributions, from your own funds. This means that employees will receive at least two thirds of their usual wages for the hours not worked

To be eligible, employees must: 

  • be registered on your PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020, this means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee must have been made to HMRC on or before 23 September 2020
  • work at least 33% of their usual hours, the UK Government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold after the first three months of the scheme

The Job Support Scheme will be open to employers across the UK even if you have not previously applied under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which closes on 3‌1‌‌ ‌‌October 2020.

For further information please visit the GOV.UK Job Support Scheme.

 

Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to you (the employer), for each eligible employee that you furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021.

You'll be able to claim the bonus between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021. You do not have to pay this money to your employee.

You can still claim the bonus if you make a claim for that employee through the Job Support Scheme. Guidance on the Job Support Scheme will be published soon.

 

Support for the self-employed (SEISS)

Support for the self-employed (SEISS)

UPDATE: The UK Government announced that the grant is being extended from 1 November 2020, this means the self-employed support will now be extended until 30 April 2021.

Self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits.

To check if you're eligible to receive a government grant worth up to £7,500 please use the HMRC's online checker tool: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

Individuals are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue trading, and they:

  • earn at least half of their income through self-employment
  • have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
  • traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self-Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year

For further information on the SEISS grant please visit: www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

 

Protection for business who miss rent payments

Government extends support to stop business evictions this year. Commercial tenants will be protected from the risk of eviction until the end of 2020 helping businesses to protect jobs.

Please visit the UK Government website for further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-extends-support-to-stop-business-evictions-this-year

 

HMRC support on VAT and PAYE

Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19) - www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

HMRC Debt Repayment Plan for your Outstanding Taxes - www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc

HMRC helplines
HMRC have also set up a help line specifically for the self employed and businesses who will be struggling due to COVID19, including giving advice on tax and benefits you can claim for. The helpline can be reached on 0300 456 3565.
If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC's helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222.

 

Are you a local business offering home deliveries, collections or takeaways?

We've brought together a list of local businesses supplying food and other essential items via delivery or collection during the coronavirus pandemic: Deliveries and takeaways - suppliers of food and essential items in Swansea

If you are a local business offering delivery or collection of food and other essential items to residents of Swansea let us know so we can add you to the list: Submit information on what food/essentials you can supply

 

Guidance for drivers from Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

With an increase in deliveries as more people order items online the HSE is making sure that the driver's welfare is being looked after.

Drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work. Those who already provide reasonable access to toilets and handwashing facilities should continue to do so. Preventing access is against the law. 

There has also been a temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of drivers' hours rules for drivers involved in the delivery of:

  • food
  • non-food (personal care and household paper and cleaning)
  • over the counter pharmaceuticals

Drivers should not be expected to drive while they are tired. Employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees, other road users, and anyone involved in loading and unloading vehicles.

You can find more detailed information at:

 

Sunday trading

Swansea Council is relaxing Sunday trading laws to help give key workers and vulnerable people more time to get essential goods.

Under existing laws, shops above a certain size are restricted to six hours trading time on Sundays.

The council's Trading Standards has written to a large number of stores in the city to confirm it would not be enforcing current trading laws during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

It means shops affected by the restrictions can choose how long they open from Sunday 5 April 2020.

 

Helpline for the Social Business Sector in Wales

The Wales Co-operative Centre has launched a Covid-19 Helpline for the social business sector in Wales.

Social Business Wales and its team of expert advisors are on hand to provide help with enquiries about cash flow, HR, digital platforms, marketing and communications and a range of other areas that might need re-thinking in light of the coronavirus.

They can provide advice via telephone or through video conferencing, you can contact them by telephone on 0300 111 5050 or email sbwenquiries@wales.coop if you need support.

For further information please visit the Social Business Wales website.

 

Voluntary Services Emergency Fund

A new grant scheme to enable voluntary organisations providing vital support during the Coronavirus crisis to continue and expand their work.

Grants will support not for profit organisations working at a community scale, up to a national level in Wales, and can be between £10,000 - £100,000.

For full information and to apply, visit the WCVA website.

 

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

A new online service 'The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme' for small and medium sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to current or former employees.

For further information please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Be Active Wales Fund

From Sport Wales:

  1. To protect clubs and community organisations or groups that are at immediate financial risk and need support
  2. To provide financial support to help prepare clubs and community organisations or groups to restart, respond to, or grow participation, in direct response to Covid-19.

If you need help with this application please email nia.parry@swansea.gov.uk.

More information: www.sport.wales/beactivewalesfund/

 

COVID-19 Business Impact Survey

The Regional Learning and Skills Partnership are currently working with businesses across South West & Mid Wales to understand how the pandemic has affected them.

This has been a difficult and unprecedented time for many and we want to gather enough intelligence to inform Welsh Government of the support needed by businesses to properly recover. This survey is the primary method of gathering this information and should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.

We would be grateful if you would take some time to complete it and support us in our bid to support you. The survey closes on 20 November - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DNKBQ8K

Guidance for hospitality businesses

From 6.00pm on 23 October 2020 to 9 November 2020 all restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses are required to close.

Firebreak lockdown grants

Welsh Government has launched two lockdown grants to help businesses survive the economic consequences of the Welsh national lockdown imposed as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19). The online application form is now available.

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