COVID-19 Advice for Businesses


Please find below links to official advice in relation to the Coronavirus Covid-19.

Please read the information carefully and we will endeavour to update you as and when we have any more information.

NHS Covid App: https://gov.wales/businesses-urged-prepare-nhs-covid-19-app

Government Updates: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

NHS Updates: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Public Health Wales: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

Advice for employers on dealing with coronavirus and supporting your employees: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

Welsh Government Updates: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-support-businesses

Business Wales Updates: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Grants and Support administered by Flintshire County Council

Coronavirus Firebreak Business Fund

The grant was implemented on a first come, first served basis. Unfortunately, the grant is now fully committed and no further applications are being considered.


 

Flintshire Start up Grant

The Start Up Grant was operated on a first come first served basis. Unfortunately the Start Up Grant is now fully committed and no further applications are being considered.


Cultural Recovery Grant

This is a grant to provide financial assistance to freelancers in the cultural and creative sectors that are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The purpose of the grant is to support freelancers in the cultural and creative sectors facing financial challenges in the period from April 2020 - March 2021. The grant seeks to complement other COVID-19 response measures to support organisations and businesses in Wales as part of the Cultural Recovery Fund.  For more details please see the following page.

 


 

Tourism and Hospitality Advice

UK Hospitality have released their guidance for reopening hospitality in Wales. The document can be found by accessing this link.

https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/WalesGuidance

https://gov.wales/tourism-and-hospitality-businesses-guidance-phased-reopening-html

If you’re self employed

The Self Employed Income Support scheme has been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll now be able to make a claim for a second and final grant (your claim must be submitted on or before 19 October 2020 however). If you’re eligible the second and final grant will be a taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

If you employ people or are paid via PAYE (this can include company directors)

The scheme is open for new applications until June 30 2020 by all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme by or on March 19 2020. Until the end of July the Job Retention scheme will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Please see the following page for further information.

Please note, from July 1 employers will only be able to continue to furlough employees under the scheme that have been furloughed for a full 3 week period to June 30. This effectively means that an employer furloughing an employee for the first time must do so by June 10 (to ensure they will have been furloughed for 3 weeks when the scheme closes for new applications on June 30). Employers will have until  July 31 to make any claims in respect of the period to June 30. Details of how this scheme will change / operate in July, August, September and October can be found below.

Guidance published by HMRC (external link) has confirmed that apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and continue to train. 

How will the Job Retention Scheme change in September and October


September

From September 1 the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay employer national insurance and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

October

During October the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay employers national insurance and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

Gov.uk - Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19) (external link)

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (external link)

The Test, Trace and Protect employer guidance page is now live:

https://gov.wales/test-trace-protect-guidance-employers

Contact tracing and updated TTP questions were published yesterday, links are:

https://gov.wales/contact-tracing-your-questions

https://gov.wales/test-trace-protect-your-questions

Support to businesses paying sick pay to employees

The UK Government is bringing forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows: this refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19

  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
  • the eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Culture, Creative or Sports Sector

Arts Resilience Fund (external link)

Led by the Arts Council of Wales this fund will support artists and arts organisations most in need and least likely to benefit from other support programmes.

PRS Foundation’s Sustaining Creativity Fund (external link)

This fund will look to support outstanding artists, songwriters and composers to create and develop when they need it most via a grant of £750.

PRS Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund (external link)

Open to Performing Right Society (PRS) members of at least two years, who have earned over £500 of PRS royalties in the last two years, this fund will provide successful applicants with a grant of £1000 to music creators (songwriters and composers) to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Authors' Emergency Fund (external link)

Open to writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others this fund is likely to provide grants of up to £2,000 in an effort to help support authors who have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sport Wales – Emergency Relief Fund (external link)

Aimed at for not-for-profit community sport who are facing significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund will provide grants of up to £5,000 to eligible clubs which aim to remain an important part of their communities in the future, with funding to be used to cover expenditure such as:

  • Rent
  • Utility costs
  • Insurances
  • Facility or equipment hire (where there is a fixed cost)
  • Activities or costs that cannot be covered by government funding sources
  • Clubs affected by recent flooding might also have capital costs or cleaning costs that they cannot pay for

If you are a club and believe you require financial support, but are not eligible for this fund, you should email your details to: emergencyrelief@sport.wales

Culture, Creative or Sports Sector

A number of funding schemes have been and are to be made available by the Welsh Government, the Arts Council for Wales and Sports Wales aimed at safeguarding businesses and jobs, some of which have been mentioned in more detail above. The schemes (external link) will look to support artists, arts organisations, sports clubs, music venues, the TV and publishing sector, museums, collections, conservation services, archives, community and public libraries and heritage organisations etc. Limited information has been provided for some of these at present.

Culture Resilience Fund

The Cultural Resilience Fund provides help for museums, libraries, archives, collections and self-employed conservation services, for example conservators and curators who as a result of the coronavirus face urgent short-term pressures to apply by email with an outline of your requirements (no more than 200 words).

Community Interest Companies and Not-for-profit Organisations

The Voluntary Services Emergency Fund (external link) is to enable those groups and organisation’s that are providing vital support to groups such as: people in isolation, the elderly, carers, people struggling to access food etc to either continue or scale up that vital work at this time of crisis.

There is no VAT reg requirement and awards are based upon the ability to demonstrate a need and the funding being able to meet that need and create an impact.

The Third Sector Resilience Fund (external link) is to help organisations stay in business and provide cash flow support to help organisations through the current crisis. It is not to replace lost funding but it is to aid survival of organisations that would otherwise have to close because they don’t have access to other funds (such as reserves) to see them through the next 6 months.

There is no VAT registration requirement nor the need to evidence a percentage drop in income/turnover and it is based on need to survive.

This fund is focused on supporting those that have predominately lost donation/fundraising income or are not eligible for the Welsh Gov Resilience Fund because of eligibility reasons.

Flintshire Local Voluntary Council (FLVC) (External link) are co-ordinating the volunteer response to Covid-19. They are working tirelessly to help those most vulnerable within our communities, and are doing such a fabulous job.

Emergency Funds - CV-19 - Community Action Organisations Support

The Local Action Groups in rural Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham have funds available to support community enterprises, charities, formal community groups and public sector organisations in rural areas of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham to enable them to adjust their frontline community support in the context of the of current and ever-changing Corona Virus outbreak. These funds are available through Cadwyn Clwyd.

Organisations can apply for up to £3000 for eligible costs to develop new approaches in providing support for services. For further information please contact Donna Hughes – 01490 340500 or donna.hughes@cadwynclwyd.co.uk.

Charity regulators publish coronavirus guidance

Guidance aimed at Charity trustees (external link) regarding operating during the coronavirus outbreak has been made available by the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Guidance includes financial support which is available, holding meetings online or by telephone, reporting serious incidents and keeping people safe etc.

Charities Aid Foundation coronavirus emergency grant for small charities

Launched by the Charities Aid Foundation the £5 million emergency grant (external link) for small charities which have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak provides grants of up to £10,000 for charities with an income of £1 million or less, to cover core costs, staffing, volunteer costs, supplies and equipment, communications or other critical charitable activities.

Filing extension for charities that are due to submit annual return

The Charity Commission for England and Wales (external link) has announced that any charity that needs an extension to their annual return deadline can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one. 

Coronavirus guidance for community interest companies

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CICs) (external link) has published guidance about how CICs can manage the impact of the outbreak.

£26 million to help small charities in Wales

The Welsh Government have announced that thousands of small charities within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector can claim a £10,000 business support grant to help them respond to the financial challenges of Covid-19.

All ratepayers eligible for charitable relief or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) relief, operating in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors occupying properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less can now apply. The scheme will be closing for new applications at 5pm on June 30 2020.

New loans to support businesses affected by COVID 19

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Delivered by the British Business Bank, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (external link) looks to support small and medium sized businesses and provides access to a variety of different products such as loans, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims), no charge to businesses or banks will be applied for this guarantee. The first 12 months will be provided on an interest free basis, with the government covering these payments.

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan (external link) will help small and medium sized businesses borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 over a period of up to 6 years. 100% of the loan will be guaranteed by the UK government with no fees, interest or repayments being applicable for the first 12 months. To qualify businesses must be based in the UK, have been negatively affected by Coronavirus and not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on December 31 2019. You won’t be able to apply if you’ve already had a loan under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, however you will be able to transfer this into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, until November 4 2020.

Coronavirus Future Fund

The Coronavirus Future Fund (external link), will provide loans ranging between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies (subject to at least equal match funding from private investors).

The loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Eligibility criteria also specifies that a business must have previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third-party investors in the last 5 years.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Via the Large Business Interruption loan scheme (external link) businesses with a turnover of over £45 million per year can apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million can apply for up to £200 million of finance. The government will provide lenders with an 80% guarantee on individual loans, for which commercial rates of interest will be applied. To be eligible the borrowing proposal must be considered viable by the lender if not for the coronavirus pandemic, with the lender also believing the loan will enable the company trade through this period of  short to medium term difficulty.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (large businesses)

The Corporate Financing Facility (external link) will operate for at least 12 months and will be delivered by commercial lenders and backed by the Bank of England. It will see the Bank of England buying short-term debt from large companies affected by COVID-19, offering support by allowing companies to finance their short-term liabilities. 

HMRC Support

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). For further information please visit the GOV.UK website.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESS (FSB)

FSB’s Coronavirus Hub – for further information please visit:

www.fsb.org.uk/coronavirus

FSB membership benefits are vast and new members can start benefitting straight away – for further information please visit:

https://www.fsb.org.uk/join-us/membership.html

GENERAL SUPPORT FOR YOU DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Have you been effected by the current pandemic sweeping the country? For information on employment, mentoring, citizens advice, benefits, family information services and housing please follow this link.