Additional financial support
A variety of funds have been created to help businesses throughout the pandemic as well as the Bank of England vowing to buy short term debt from large companies.
These measures have been explained below including details on how to access the support and eligibility requirements.
Discretionary grants for dissolved businesses
Details have been published regarding how to apply for a discretionary grant where a company can be restored (dissolved for less than six years).
A maximum claim of £3,000 can be recovered and only one grant payment will be made per dissolved company.
This relates to the Bona Vacantia by law where all the assets of a dissolved company automatically pass to the Crown.
This grant allows for a limited claim, without the need to restore the company.
Further details are provided on the government’s website.
£20m grant boost
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government announces £20 million new funding to help businesses across England get back on track and recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Small and medium sized businesses can access grants between £1,000 – £5,000 for new equipment and technology and specialist advice.
The support will be fully funded by the government with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially.
The funding has been allocated to Growth Hubs within each LEP area in line with the current ERDF Programme.
Some local allocations include:
- Greater Lincolnshire – £507,928
- Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – £720,398
- Humber – £357,993
- Leicester and Leicestershire – £408,785
Grants can be used to help businesses access specialist professional advice such as HR, accountants, legal, financial, IT and digital, and to purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify.
Details on how to apply should be available from the LEPs shortly.
This scheme, which opened for applications on 20 May, will issue convertible loans between £125,000 and £5m to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The scheme initially provided government loans to UK-based companies, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors and were suggested to be a possible suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
On 30 June, the government increased the scope of businesses eligible to apply to include those who have participated in accelerator programmes.
Further details and full headline terms can be found here.
Sustainable Innovation Fund
The government have unveiled a £200 million support package to help innovative businesses bounce back.
The boost is to help businesses across the UK drive forward cutting-edge new technology and recover from the impacts of coronavirus.
This government investment is to support innovations ranging from AI systems managing city traffic flow to the latest reusable packaging materials.
Research & Development intensive businesses are urged to apply for funding to turn ingenious ideas into new technologies.
This funding forms part of a wider £750 million package of grants and loans announced in April and sits alongside the £500 million Future Fund.
Businesses can apply for support through the Sustainable Innovation Fund here.
Corporate Financing Facility
Under the Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.
This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.
It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.
Your business must be based in the UK and needs to:
- Make a material UK contribution
- Be investment grade rated (or equivalent) as at 1 March 2020
- Not be PRA or FCA-regulated
- Not be a public undertaking (there is additional guidance for some specific types of entities on the Bank of England website).
- There is no requirement to have previously issued Commercial Paper.
How to access
The scheme is now open for applications here.
More information is available from the Bank of England here.
Support for Charities
£750m of funding has been made available for the charity sector; £370m going to smaller, local charities paid through funding bodies and £360m going directly to charities, specifically to those helping people in need. This will cover hospices, abuse charities and charities protecting vulnerable children, amongst others.
The government has provided general advice to the charity sector which can be viewed here.
Manage financial difficulties in your charity caused by coronavirus
The government have released guidance about COVID-19 related financial difficulties in charities and how to work through them.
This guidance specifically covers financial advice, considering the best interests of the charity and what to do if your charity cannot continue to operate because of the financial problems caused by COVID-19.
Full guidance, last updated on 26 June, can be found here.
Support for arts, culture and heritage organisations
The government have announced a £1.57 billion support package to support arts, culture and heritage organisations.
£1.15bn is going to England; £880m in grants and £270m in repayable loans. Northern Ireland is to receive £33m, £97m to Scotland and £59m to Wales.
The remaining funds are to go to national cultural institutions and to refund the restart of construction of cultural infrastructure paused by the pandemic.
Support for dairy farmers
A new fund will enable eligible dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
With some dairy farmers facing financial difficulties and excess milk, the new fund will provide support for those most in need. Eligible dairy farmers will be entitled to up to £10,000 each, to cover 70% of their lost income during April and May to ensure they can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare.
It also comes as the government backed a £1 million campaign to boost milk consumption and help producers use their surplus stock.
Eligibility criteria has not been confirmed so far.
Small Business Discretionary Fund
A discretionary fund of £617 million has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.
This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and represents a 5% uplift to the previously announced grant schemes.
Businesses must be small, under 50 employees and must be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.
How to apply
Local authorities have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000.
They have been asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. However, local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses on local economic need.
- Note that the exclusion to SEISS claimants has been removed (26/05/2020).
Links to local council application forms can be found below.
Not sure which council district your business sits in?
You can use the Government local council locator here
Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates
There will be a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
This includes businesses on the Ofsted early Years Register and used wholly or mainly for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage. The property must be based in England.
How to access
No action is required. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020.
Support for zoos and aquariums
If you run a licensed zoo or aquarium in England and are experiencing severe financial difficulties because of lost revenue, you can apply for a grant of up to £730,000.
Full details of eligibility and how to apply can be found on the government’s website here.
Other funding sources
Many charities and other funding organisations have launched funding programmes to help support businesses and other entities through the coronavirus pandemic. Each will have its own criteria, eligibility and application process. Some UK wide examples include:
- The Coronavirus Emergency Fund from Charities Aid Foundation (UK) for smaller charities and similar organisations.
- The Emergency Fund from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support heritage organisations.
- The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise relief fund that aims to support young entrepreneurs impacted by the virus.