Covid 19 business grant update

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.

Follow the links to see the latest updates from Government, find financial support for your business and click here if you are self employed.

The Government has set up a business support helpline on 0300 456 3565. This is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.

Visit the Wychavon website for the latest information on COVID grant funding.  Please also see below for information about the national lockdown grant schemes.

Cllr. Richard Morris.
Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for economic growth and tourism


National Lockdown Business Support Grant Scheme 5 January 2021

The Government has introduced a new support scheme for businesses with a business rates account that have been forced to close during the national lockdown introduced on 5 January 2021.

If you have already successfully applied for, or received, a grant from the 5 November to 2 December 2020 lockdown then you do not need to apply again. This is because we are attempting to make payments to businesses automatically with the information we already hold. In a small number of cases automatic payments will not be possible because we need additional information.

You are advised to check your bank account regularly to see if payment has been made. If you have not received payment by 28 January 2021 then you will need to apply again by filling in the Coronavirus Business Support Grant Application Form.

The National Lockdown Business Support Grant Scheme 5 January 2021 has two parts to it.

One-off Bonus Grant – Closed Business Lockdown Payment

Businesses forced to close on 5 January 2021 by national lockdown restrictions may qualify for a one-off grant. The amount received will depend on the rateable value of the business property.

Rateable values of 15,000 and under will receive £4,000

Rateable values of 15,001 to 50,999 will receive £6,000

Rateable value of 51,000 and above will receive £9,000

Local Restrictions Support Grant ‘Closed’

As well as the Closed Business Lockdown Payment, businesses forced to close on 5 January 2021 may qualify for a grant that will be paid every 42-days national restrictions are in place. The amount received will depend on the rateable value of the business property.

Rateable values of 15,000 and under will receive £2,001

Rateable values of 15,001 to 50,999 will receive £3,000

Rateable value of 51,000 and above will receive £4,500

The initial payment you receive under this scheme will combine both amounts (so a minimum of £6,001 and maximum of £13,500). After the first 42-day period has passed, if restrictions are still in place, you will only receive the Local Restrictions Support Grant ‘Closed’ payment (between £2,001 and £4,500).

Payments of the above have already started to be made to eligible businesses. The automatic payment will also include an additional sum which represents a pro-rata grant for the five-day period that the district was in Tier 3 restrictions – 31 December 2020 to 4 January 2021.


Tier 2 and 3 restrictions support – 2 December 2020 to 4 January 2021

There are two funding schemes available to businesses either forced to close, or legally allowed to open but severely impacted, by Tier 2 and 3 restrictions in place from midnight on 2 December 2020 and 4 January 2021.

Businesses forced to close by Tier 2 or 3 restrictions can receive money from the Local Restrictions Grant (Closed) scheme

Tier 3 payments will be made on a pro-rata basis for the five-day period they were in force (31 December 2020 to 4 January 2021. Before that Worcestershire was in Tier 2)

Businesses legally open during Tier 2 and 3 restrictions, but severely impacted, will qualify for ‘Open’ support funding if they received grant funding during the National Lockdown in place between 5 November 2020 and midnight on 2 December 2020.

If you have already applied for Tier 2 restrictions support, we are processing these applications now. If you have not already submitted an application you can apply for either scheme by filling in our Coronavirus Business Support Grant Application Form.


Additional Restrictions Grant (discretionary funding scheme)

We are making funds available to support businesses that do not qualify for the main support funding schemes outlined above.

If you do not have a business rates account and you have been forced to close or can legally stay open but your business has been severely affected, they you can apply for this scheme.

You can also apply if you have a business rates account and can legally stay open during national lockdown restrictions, but your business has still been severely affected.

This scheme covers restrictions in place during the following periods.

National Lockdown from 5 January 2021

National lockdown in place between 5 November and midnight on 2 December 2020

To help us support as many businesses as possible, the amount of grant awarded will be proportionate to the impact of coronavirus restrictions on the income of a particular business.

The following types of businesses may qualify for an Additional Restrictions Grant:

Businesses with a rateable value involved in the supply chain to businesses within the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors that have been forced to close by government.

Businesses without a rateable value involved in the supply chain to businesses within the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors that have been forced to close by government.

Businesses without a rateable value within the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors that have been forced to close by government.

Applications will be prioritised on the following criteria:

Businesses who have either been forced to close or whose trading has been severely affected, with a subsequent reduction in income. Eg hospitality and leisure

Businesses with large, fixed costs who have been unable to offset these either through grants received or through furlough payments.

Businesses who employ a significant number of employees.

Businesses that contribute towards the social fabric of their communities, who if they were

Businesses that have already successfully applied for Additional Restrictions Grant funding will receive automatic payment for the January onwards whilst we remain in lockdown and therefore do not need to reapply.

You can apply for an Additional Restrictions Grant here.


Wet-Led Pubs Christmas Support Payment

An additional support payment, of £1,000, was made available during Christmas 2020 for wet-led pubs – those that were unable to open because they do not serve food (substantial meals) – during the period of Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions. Qualifying ratepayers will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 on top of any previous grant support they may also be eligible for.

You cannot apply for this funding if:

You get more than 50% of your income from food sales.

You were not trading on 30 November 2020. This was during the national lockdown period so if you were closed, but would have been open without the national restrictions, then you are considered as trading for the purposes of this scheme and can still apply.

This scheme closes for new applications on 29th January 2021

You may be asked to supply evidence you receive less than 50% of your income from food sales to prove your pub is wet led. To apply for this support funding please email businessrates@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk


Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

www.gov.uk/coronavirus


The information available to businesses is changing regularly. We will continue to provide information as soon as we receive it. If you know of any businesses that would benefit from receiving these updates, please let them know they can sign up to our e-newsletter.

A message from the Director for Public Health in Worcestershire

Dear Residents,

I know that the news of a new lockdown for England, will be frustrating and upsetting for many people. Worcestershire has tried very hard to keep Covid-19 cases down, and many of you have made sacrifices to protect yourselves and others. We have all had to make changes to the way we live our lives in recent months, and that included over Christmas, when so many were not able to spend time with loved ones.

But some stark realities remain for us all. Worcestershire’s infection rates are at the highest we have ever seen. In the past 7 days alone, the county has 1,888 positive Covid-19 cases, which is more than all positive cases seen during May, June, July, August and September 2020 combined. I am concerned about this level of spread, and the risk it poses to our health and the lives of our vulnerable and elderly residents. We need to act now to protect one another, prevent the virus spreading further and reduce the demand on our hospitals.

The pandemic continues to dominate our daily lives, cases are rising nationally and we know the new variant of Covid-19 spreads very quickly. Our NHS is also facing considerable pressure on its services. All of these factors have led to the government’s announcement of a new lockdown across England. This means once again, we are facing tough restrictions on our way of life. I know this is hard, but by doing as we are asked, we are saving lives. The restrictions have been brought in to protect every one of us.

Please now stay at home, don’t go out unless you need to, for example to buy food or collect medicines. The Government has set out the clear limitations of the lockdown and I ask you to read the restrictions and follow the rules. You can read a full explanation of all the restrictions on the government’s website; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

Once again, Worcestershire County Council’s Here2Help service is available to anyone who needs support or is clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding). If you have no-one to turn to for help, our service can respond and provide help such as collecting medicines and getting shopping. You can reach the service online; https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help

If you are on the Government’s shielding list, you will be receiving guidance about what to do now. It is key that you socially distance, and you reduce your physical contact with others. The governments webpages are updated regularly and you can read detailed guidance at; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

While we are all at home, please do remember to check on vulnerable or isolated residents. Just a phone call or a text message can provide a vital link to the outside world, and can ensure those who need comfort or help, have someone to turn to.

You will know that a programme of vaccination has begun nationally, and we are already seeing Worcestershire residents receiving the first doses. This process is being co-ordinated by central Government, and following a strict order for administering the doses. Worcestershire County Council is supporting NHS colleagues to ensure the roll-out is progressing. The vaccines are safe, and if you are called forward to receive one, I strongly urge you to do so. In the meantime, please keep following the rules, wear face coverings, wash your hands, keep your distance. These simple measures help reduce the spread of the virus.

We are all in this together. Throughout the pandemic, you have shown your resilience, kindness and compassion for others. We have seen many examples of people supporting one another, lending a hand or going the extra mile. The situation has demonstrated how working together, we are able to support one another and get through. I am asking you to do this once again. The single most important thing you can do for everyone, is to stay home. Please do this for yourself and for others. We all want to protect people who are precious to us, our family and friends. Let’s take care of each other, and work together.

Thank you for doing this. Our actions now will hopefully bring brighter days for us all in 2021.

Best wishes
Dr. Kathryn Cobain