Sector Specific funding, Treasury Financial Support and Further Financial Support available during COVID-19

Today’s website item is a companion piece to yesterday’s article on how the £750 million budget
earmarked for the not-for-profit sector by the Chancellor on 8 April 2020 has so far been allocated.  Here we look at Sector Specific funds, Treasury Financial Support and Further Financial Support.

1. Sector Specific Funds

2. Treasury Financial Support

o Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. If you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough.

Employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked. Only employees that you have successfully claimed a previous grant for will be eligible for more grants under the scheme.

From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked.

o Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. You can claim a grant if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and your business has been adversely affected due to coronavirus. Applications for the first grant closed on 13 July.

Applications for the second and final grant are now open. This grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

o Business Loan Interruption Scheme £330 billion worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses and charities and social enterprises with trading revenues. All viable small and large businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.

o Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Businesses as well as certain charities and social enterprises in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors (such as charity shops) will be eligible for a cash grant for each property that has a rateable value below £51,000. These organisations may also be eligible for a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year via the Expanded Retail Discount. Many charities already receive substantial rates relief via Charitable Rate Relief.

o Coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund Small and micro organisations, including charities, with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Scheme. Organisations based in England with fewer than 50 employees that have fixed building costs (e.g. rent) and have been impacted by coronavirus can apply for grants of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000.

o HMT Future Fund A package of measures to support pre-revenue firms such as innovative and competitive companies in the tech and creative sectors. These bridging loans, as well as extra support from Innovate UK a the British Business Bank. The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020.

3. Further Financial Support

o £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts is to be unlocked to help charities, social enterprises and individuals in vulnerable financial circumstances during the coronavirus outbreak. Of the £150 million:

o £10 million will be brought forward for Youth Futures Foundation to help organisations who support unemployed, disadvantaged young people across the country into jobs. They will be launching an Emergency Levelling Up Youth Fund to support young people from hardest hit communities; and will expand their Development and Impact grants programme to rapidly increase youth employment provisions.

o £45 million will be deployed by Big Society Capital to allow better access to investment including emergency loans for charities, social enterprises and some small businesses facing cash-flow problems and disruption to their trading following the coronavirus outbreak.

o Fair4All Finance will use £65 million to increase access to fair, affordable and appropriate financial products and services for those struggling financially, particularly in light of the coronavirus outbreak. This includes an expanded Affordable Credit Scale-up Programme, which aims to improve the access and availability of affordable credit, and other initiatives for those in financially vulnerable circumstances.

o £30 million will go to Access – The Foundation for Social Investment who will support social enterprises helping people in vulnerable circumstances. They will make up to £10 million available for emergency support through social lenders while also developing a wider programme of recovery finance for the social sector. Both initiatives will work alongside Big Society Capital and other social lenders, and will enable a wider range of organisations to access affordable and flexible finance.

o The National Lottery Community Fund is accelerating up to £300 million of lottery funding to address the current crisis. This is not new money, but it will get funding quickly to frontline organisations to support communities and individuals affected by COVID-19.

o National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal distributes funding to 46 UK Community Foundations across the UK, including Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. The Community Foundations provide grant funding to eligible organisations within their community. Eligible organisations include charities, parish & town councils, and religious organisations who are providing immediate relief as part of the COVID-19 response.

Devolved administrations

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available:

o Northern Ireland
o Scotland
o Wales

In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support:

o LEP Growth Hubs