14 January 2021

CORONAVIRUS: Further lockdown grants as businesses face unprecedented pressure

As the pandemic continues to cause havoc across the globe, the UK government have extended various support schemes to businesses and increased access to funding. Are you aware of what you could be entitled to? Read out latest article to find out more...

How we've been helping

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit many businesses hard. As accountants, we have found ourselves very much in an advisory role throughout 2020 and in some cases, we have been offering this advice for free. We have helped our clients access the grants and funding already made available, advised how to diversify their business, crunched numbers for them to evaluate the pros and cons of investments, navigated the furlough scheme with their payroll and helped them to make long term decisions about premises and staffing.

Our business has also changed as a result of the pandemic and we have advised many of our clients to diversify to survive. We have helped to keep client businesses afloat with our expert advice and knowledge and will continue to provide this in 2021.

Business is, at the best of times, unpredictable, and many business owners will be looking for someone who can help them face and overcome the challenges this brings.

Summary of the latest Government support packages

In the meantime, the following is a brief round-up of some elements of the most recent round of funding for businesses, following the announcement of a third national lockdown in England from 5th January, which is expected to last until March. Many clients will need further help in staying afloat through another lockdown and the treasury has announced £4.6bn in lockdown grants are to be made available to businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors.

Since these sectors have once again been forced to close, the grants aim to protect jobs and to attempt to mitigate further damage to the economy.

The main grant is up to £9,000 per property for business in retail, leisure and hospitality. The grants available are as follows:

  • Businesses with a rateable value of up to £15,000 can apply for a £4,000 grant
  • Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 to £51,000 can apply for a £6,000 grant, and
  • Businesses with a rateable value over £51,000 can apply for a £9,000 grant.

Qualifying businesses need to apply for the grants through their local authority, who have been provided with the funds from central government for distribution. The information businesses need to provide in applying for the grant is quite simple, but they may not be aware of the grants’ existence or that they might be entitled to it. 

Any business within the affected sectors which has been legally forced to close, and which is unable to operate remotely, should be eligible for a grant. In common with previous assistance, this is part of a devolved policy with the relevant administrations receiving funds commensurate with the scale of their respective business communities.

Distribution to the devolved administrations is:

  • Scottish Government: £375 million
  • Welsh Government: £227 million
  • Northern Ireland Executive: £127 million

On a wider basis, firms should continue to benefit from the range of government-backed business lending schemes, in addition to the SEISS (Self Employment Income Support Scheme) for those classified as being self-employed.

There is growing pressure from a wide range of organisations including the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) for further support for the thousands of small and medium-sized businesses which have been adversely affected by the pandemic and the associated lockdown measures over the past year. One of the many challenges relates to firms which may not be classified as operating within the sectors targeted by the latest package of measures but which fall within the associated supply chain and are thus adversely affected.

As part of our advisory role during this extremely challenging period, we aim to be proactively identifying what is available for our clients and signposting them towards it.

We can support you!

We understand the difficulties businesses are facing during the pandemic, and have invaluable knowlege to help support you. Get in touch with us today and let us help you and your business during these difficult times. Contact our Director, Nick Bonnello, directly on 0115 964 8860 or email him at nickb@rwbca.co.uk to find out how we can help you across all areas of your business.

The views provided in this article are for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article represents advice of any nature whatsoever. Accordingly, RWB CA Limited does not accept any liability or responsibility for the information contained in this article or any decision or other action that may be taken in reliance upon the information contained within it. RWB CA Limited accepts no responsibility for any errors of fact or opinion and assumes no obligation to provide you with any changes to its assumptions.