Coronavirus

We have set up a dedicated Coronavirus/COVID-19 webpage. Click here or go to www.newcastle.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus: Support for business

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How to access funding

Several schemes have been be made available by government. They include:

  • Discretionary Business Grant Fund – a limited number of small and micro businesses who meet our eligibility criteria were able to apply for a £5,000 grant. Applications for this fund closed at noon on the 15th July 2020. All applications submitted before the deadline will be reviewed, and we aim to process grant payments within 10 working days.
  • Discretionary Business Grant Fund Round 2 – this new scheme will open to applications at 10am on the 27th July. The eligibility criteria for Round 2 differs from Round 1. This scheme will not be open to applications from businesses who have already received a grant through either Round 1 of the Discretionary Business Grant scheme, the Small Business grant fund or the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure grant fund. Further details are listed below.
  • Small Business Grant - £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief.
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant - £25,000 for specified businesses that occupy a property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, and a grant of £10,000 if the rateable value is below £15,000.

Discretionary Business Grant Fund Round 2

The first round of the Discretionary Business Grant Fund closed on the 15th July 2020. Round 2 of the Discretionary Business Grant Fund will open to new applications at 10am on the 27th July 2020.

We have updated our eligibility criteria for the 2nd round, with a new application form. Therefore, if your application has been refused previously, you will need to complete a new application to be considered. To be eligible for an award of £5,000 through this scheme you must satisfy the following conditions, based on your circumstances on the 11th March 2020:

  • Your business must be physically located within Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • You must satisfy one of the following criteria:
    • Your business operated from recognised business premises (e.g. office, industrial unit);
    • Your business was based from home but had a regular commercial property cost based outside of the home, but within Newcastle e.g. storage costs, market licence; room hire; hot desk membership
    • You operated a Bed & Breakfast which pays Council Tax instead of business rates
  • To be considered eligible as a Bed & Breakfast, you must be able to provide at least one form of evidence from the list below:
    • Planning permission for change of use;
    • A fire certificate obtained when setting up the B&B to get business insurance policy and public liability cover;
    • A “hotel and mobile units television licence”, which covers up to 15 televisions and can be purchased online from TV Licensing;
    • A music licence from PPL PRS Ltd, if they have a TV in public areas, such as a bar or breakfast room, which has the sound turned on;
    • A personal and premise alcohol licence, if serving alcohol;
    • Registered with Newcastle City Council’s Regulatory Services
    • An up-to-date accreditation with Visit England or the AA with a star rating
  • You must be able to demonstrate you have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid 19 crisis
  • Your business must not be eligible for any of the following grants
    • Small Business Grant Fund
    • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
    • The Fisheries Response Fund
    • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
    • The Zoos Support Fund
    • The Dairy Hardship Fund
    • North of Tyne Managed Workspace, Community Centres and VCSE Resilience fund
  • Your business must not have previously received a Discretionary Business Grant from Newcastle City Council or any other Local Authority.
  • You must have been trading on the 11th March 2020
  • Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding.
  • Although the UK has left the European Union, the European State Aid rules still apply during the Transition Period. Payment of this grant constitutes State Aid which is being made on the basis of a UK State aid scheme based upon the European Commission’s Temporary Framework for State aid. This can be accessed at COVID-19 Temporary Framework. A condition of this Framework is that the aid can only be granted to undertakings that were not in difficulty (within the meaning of the General Block Exemption Regulation) on 31 December 2019 or to undertakings that were not in difficulty on 31 December 2019, but that faced difficulties or entered in difficulty thereafter as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible businesses must declare that the total aid received under this scheme between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 does not exceed the relevant temporarily increased threshold of €800,000 and that you meet the relevant State Aid requirements. More information on State Aid can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid.

As part of the application process, applicants will also be expected to upload a document that evidences their property cost (e.g. a signed lease; utility bill; room hire charge; market licence) and a copy of their bank statement that corresponds with the property cost.

As funding is limited, it is unlikely we will be able to provide a grant to every business that meets the eligibility criteria. We will continue to award grants until we have fully allocated our available funding; though we have the right to close the scheme at any point.

Apply for Discretionary Business Grant

Small Business Grant

To be eligible for a Small Business Grant, the business must:

•    have been in receipt of small business rates relief or rural rate relief on 11 March 2020.
•    have a property with a rateable value of less than £15,000

Each recipient will be entitled to receive one grant per property.

You are NOT eligible if your:

  • property is unoccupied
  • property is occupied for personal use, or is a car park or parking space
  • business was in liquidation or dissolved as of 11 March 2020

Important

If you failed to register with us for business rates by 11 March 2020 you must email business.rates@newcastle.gov.uk with your details. In order for you to be considered for the grant you will also need to provide us with copies of:

  • Your signed lease
  • Your utility bills
  • Your rent payments

This may delay your award for a grant while we confirm your entitlement.

Our business rates team is receiving a high volume of applications to register for business rates in order to access grants. Verification checks are required which adds to the time for processing, Please bear with us as we are working through these as quickly as we can.

More information about eligibility can be found here.

To request a grant click the link below.

You will need:

Grant request

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

To be eligible for a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, the business must:

  • As of 11 March 2020, have been entitled to a discount under the business rates Expanded Retail Discount Scheme had the scheme still been in force.

Note, Charities which would otherwise meet the criteria but whose bill for 11 March 2020 had been reduced by a local discretionary award are eligible.

Each recipient will be entitled to receive one grant per property. 

You are NOT eligible if the:

  • property is unoccupied
  • property is occupied for personal use, or is a car park or parking space
  • business is eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund
  • business was in liquidation or dissolved as of 11 March 2020
  • property has a rateable value of £51,000 or more

Important

If you failed to register with us for business rates by 11 March 2020 you must email business.rates@newcastle.gov.uk with your details. In order to be considered for the grant you need to provide us with copies of the following:

  • Your signed lease
  • Your utility bills
  • Your rent payments

This may delay your award for a grant while we confirm your entitlement. 

Our business rates team is receiving a high volume of applications to register for business rates in order to access grants. Verification checks are required which adds to the time for processing, Please bear with us as we are working through these as quickly as we can.

More information about eligibility can be found here

To request a grant click the link below

You will need:

Grant request

Once your form is submitted, all eligible businesses will receive payments directly into their bank account within five to ten working days.  The length of time depends on what further verification checks we need to do.  We will be in touch with all businesses who have received a grant, although it is likely payments will be in your account first.

If there are issues with your registration, our business support team will be in touch. More information about the grant fund can be found here.

Citylife Business Support

Tailored advice to help SME’s to adapt to new challenges and safeguard jobs

Citylife Business Support is a new service for SME’s who have be adversely affected by COVID-19.

Funded though the £1.5 million Capacity Fund that was granted to Newcastle City Council by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, it is part of the city’s commitment to supporting businesses, voluntary and community organisations and unemployed residents who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.  Read more here

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is now taking applications for 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 6 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:

  • public-sector bodies
  • further-education establishments, if they are grant-funded
  • state-funded primary and secondary schools

 

If you’re already claiming funding

You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

If you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under 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 apply

Please go to  https://bit.ly/BounceBackLoanApply

Business rates relief

Those retail, hospitality and leisure businesses who pay business rates will also be able to benefit from a 12-month payment holiday this year. This process will be automated, and businesses do not need to contact the council

Further help and advice

We have a specialist team who can provide support for businesses during this difficult time. Use the button below to enter your details and our team will be in touch within two working days. Please email businesssupport@newcastle.gov.uk.

Government support for businesses

The Chancellor has set out a package of measures to support businesses through disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme deadline today (10 June) 

Today (10 June) is the deadline for Coronavirus Job Retention Schemewhich is the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee to complete the full three-week furlough cycle. The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June.

From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June. This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be the 10 June (today)in order for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.     

From 1 July the scheme will only be available to employers that have previously used the scheme in respect of employees they have previously furloughed. 

This does not mean that an employee has to be furloughed on the 10 June in order to be furloughed after 1 July – 10 June is simply the last date at which an employee could be newly furloughed and complete a full three-week period prior to 30 June. Employees who had completed a full three-week furlough at an earlier stage would also be in scope for furlough from 1 July 

From 1 July, the number of employees an employer can claim for in any claim period cannot exceed the maximum number they have claimed for under any single previous claim under the current CJRS. So, for example, if an employer had made three claims prior to 1 July, for 12, 24 and 20 employees, the maximum number they could claim for in any claim period following 1 July would be 24, as this is the largest previous claim. 

Please note that people on paternity and maternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be eligible for the government’s furlough scheme even after the 10 June cut-off date, as announced by the Treasury yesterday (9 June). The full announcement can be found here: https://bit.ly/CJRSParents 

Further details of the CJRS scheme can be found here: https://bit.ly/HMTFactsheet

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay

Government has set up a new Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme which will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees for businesses with fewer that 250 employees. The repayment will cover up to two weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • Have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms;
  • Cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms; or
  • Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.

The online service to reclaim SSP is not live yet, and HMRC will announce when the service is live. Please go here for more information

For more information about these measures, including eligibility requirements, please visit the government’s website GOV.uk.

Support for charities

The Government has announced that charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.

For further information please see the Chancellor's announcement.

Advice and support for self employed people

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is now open for claims. If you’re eligible, you’ll be given a date when you can claim between 13 and 18 May. You can check your claim date online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

You can find all the information on Self-employment Income Support Scheme here.

In addition, we have pulled together FAQs relating to the scheme, which can be found here.

Guidance for employees

The Government’s national advice for staff, including on working from home and sick pay, can be found on it’s COVID-19: guidance for employees page.

Advice for businesses in Newcastle

The North East Growth Hub has provided a COVID-19 Toolkit to help businesses plan for and respond to the virus.

Frequently asked questions

Our Economic Development Team is providing answers to frequently asked questions here.

Care and support providers

We are working with providers to identify issues and jointly agree actions and mutual expectations for the delivery of key care and support services across the city.

Find out more on our Coronavirus: Information for Care and Support Providers page.

Safeguarding adults

Information for professionals and volunteers working with vulnerable adults can be found via our safeguarding adults page.

General business support

We also continue to offer our usual support for businesses (though subject to some service disruption) – Details of this can be found via our Business support in Newcastle page.

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