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Coronavirus: business support

Restrictions are starting to ease, but you must still remember: Hands. Face. Space. Fresh air. Check the current rules.

Reopening businesses

Restart Grants

The Restart Grant scheme has replaced the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) schemes. No further cyclical payments will be made from these earlier schemes and they are now closed to new applications.

In line with government guidance, the Restart Grant will be distributed from April 2021. In the meantime, we will start the process of assurance checks for eligible businesses. You must tell us if your situation changes and you no longer meet the eligibility criteria.

Eligible businesses include non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, accommodation, personal care, and gyms. Eligible businesses will receive a one-off payment based on their Rateable Value. Full details of the Restart Grants scheme are available on GOV.UK.

All councils are working through the guidance provided by the government about the Restart Grant scheme.

The government states we must carry out a range of third-party checks on all businesses which will receive the Restart Grant, and set up a system which will capture the additional data needed to process the grant. We're working extremely hard to get this in place before the scheduled reopening date for businesses (12 April 2021), We’ve created a fast-track approach for businesses which are eligible and have already been given a 'Closed' grant.

If your business is eligible and has already been given a 'Closed' grant, we'll email you directly with a link and ask you to complete the relevant information so we can process your Restart Grant. Please make sure to check your junk/spam folder if you're expecting an email and it does not arrive.

If you think you're eligible but have not had a previous grant, you'll need to apply for a Restart Grant online.

Our phone lines are still extremely busy and we ask that you do not call us to check on the status of an application, or for information about the Restart Grant. The most up to date information is available on this page.

Grant amounts: non-essential retail

Rateable Value:

  • £15,000 and under - grant of £2,667
  • £15,001 to £50,999 - grant of £4,000
  • £51,000 and above - grant of £6,000

Grant amounts: hospitality, leisure, accommodation, personal care, gyms

Rateable Value:

  • £15,000 and under - grant of £8,000
  • £15,001 to £50,999 - grant of £12,000
  • £51,000 and above - grant of £18,000

Apply

If your business is eligible and has already been given a 'Closed' grant, we'll email you directly with a link and ask you to complete the relevant information so we can process your Restart Grant. Please make sure to check your junk/spam folder if you're expecting an email and it does not arrive.

If you think you're eligible but have not had a previous grant, you'll need to apply for a Restart Grant online.

Pavement licences

Businesses wishing to use their outdoor space can apply for a temporary Pavement Licence to put out temporary removable furniture. There will be no charge for the licence.

Guidance on returning to work

As restrictions on businesses are eased, people return to work, and customers are welcomed back into shops, leisure, hospitality, and service sectors, it's vital that workplaces and public venues remain Covid-19 secure. Workplace health and safety, and health protection laws, will continue to require businesses to implement and maintain risk-based safety measures. This will include enabling social distancing, wearing face coverings (especially for workers whose role brings them into close contact with customers), good hygiene controls, and management of COVID-19 cases.

Guidance for employers and self-employed people on keeping workplaces safe as coronavirus restrictions are eased is available from the HSE.

The government website has advice about going to work during current restrictions, as well as general guidance on current rules.

Helping businesses to reopen safely - videos

Recovery Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme provides financial support to businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the coronavirus pandemic. You can apply to the scheme if Covid-19 has affected your business. You can use the finance for any legitimate business purpose – including managing cashflow, investment and growth.

The Recovery Loan Scheme will run until 31 December 2021, subject to review. Find out more about the Recovery Loan Scheme and apply.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

Find out more about the Kickstart Scheme on GOV.UK or download the Kickstart Scheme guide (PDF).

Government support available

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) 

The scheme provides essential financial support to businesses which have not been able to access it through other Local Restrictions Support Grant schemes.

Please use the flow chart to help you.

 

Grant values

Grants will be based on the Rateable Value (RV) of the business property:

  • properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under - grant of £934
  • properties with a rateable value of £15,001 to £50,999 - grant of £1,400
  • properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or above - grant of £2,100

Where a Rateable Value (RV) does not apply, grants will be awarded based on the annual rental value:

  • businesses with an annual rental value of £15,000 or under - grant of £467
  • businesses with an annual rental value of £15,001 to £50,999 - grant of £700
  • businesses with an annual rental value of £51,000 and above - grant £1,050

A grant of £467 will apply where the above rateable or rental values cannot be assessed for example for market traders or the self-employed (subject to evidence of sufficient fixed costs).

Enhancements to the scheme

Payments will now be repeated in line with the original award until 31 March 2021.  
(Please note, a lower rate of £467 will apply to cyclical payments where the rateable value is less than £5,001)

Business continuity payment

A single payment is available to Middlesbrough head office-based businesses across all sectors that are not required to close and remain open to customers. The payment is only available to businesses with a premises liability, with a rateable value, and which can demonstrate severe impact and business related fixed costs. Operating on a 'click and collect' basis while the business is required to close is not considered to be a business that is fully open and trading.

Grants available:

  • rateable value of £15,000 or under - grant of £5,000
  • rateable value of £15,001 to £50,999 - grant of £10,000
  • rateable value of £51,000 and above - grant of £15,000

Job retention bonus - businesses as outlined above, which can demonstrate 50+ full time equivalent Middlesbrough-based employees may be entitled to a grant of up to £25,000. Multiple branches of the same business do not qualify.

Eligibility

Eligible businesses include:

  • retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses in shared spaces, where they are not the party liable for Business Rates (for example, a beauty business renting space in a larger salon)
  • retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses which were allowed to open, but were unable to do so, because the main venue they operate in was closed (for example, a cafe in a museum or sports centre)
  • concessionary stall holders in retail centres
  • market traders with regular pitches in Middlesbrough
  • businesses which supply retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
  • sole traders/self-employed without a Business Rates liability
  • businesses which were not legally required to close, but where a large element of the business delivered/provided is not permitted under the regulations, which has resulted in a significant financial impact
  • startup businesses whose trading date made them ineligible for help during the first wave of lockdown support
  • car part/car repair garages and other car services like taxi operatives,
  • nightclubs and other entertainment venues which fall outside of the sector scheme
  • event-related businesses
  • travel/transport businesses, for example coaches and private hire
  • manufacturing businesses
  • cultural services including: dance venues, theatres, concert venues, museums and heritage centres, galleries, performance-led venues, performance production/exhibition, and festival production

Businesses which are running a 'click and collect' service while closed are not eligible.

Consequential payments

Applications will now be considered for the following:

  • Closed businesses which are not legally required to close but have chosen to do so because regulations are preventing customers accessing the business, resulting in no usual service
  • Payment for businesses which were refused a mandatory 'closed' grant as the business failed to comply with the legal requirements to close on the date specified in law. This applies if the business can demonstrate it closed immediately once it became aware of the requirement to close (and in any case within 7 days of the date for closure as specified in law), for example a non-essential retailer

Fixed business costs

Examples of 'fixed business costs' are:

  • rent
  • business-related utilities
  • waste
  • internet and software licences
  • capital equipment rental
  • insurances
  • memberships

A fixed cost is a cost that does not change over the short-term, even if a business experiences changes in its sales volume or other activity levels. This type of cost tends to be associated with a period of time, such as a rent payment in exchange for a month of occupancy.

Apply

As part of your claim, you'll need to submit relevant trading and accounting evidence to show that your business has ongoing, quantifiable business only-related fixed costs/overheads, and a significant drop in income as a result of coronavirus restrictions, and any other relevant information requested on the claim form. Please note, if the business is home based without any fixed business related costs or evidence of impact, it is not eligible to apply.

Please take care to fully answer all of the questions on the online form, provide relevant evidence, and give accurate contact details and bank information. The bank account must relate to the business applying.

These grants are subject to state aid and count as taxable income.

If you've read the guidance and think you're eligible for this grant, we invite you to submit a claim. Our expected turnaround is 14 days if the form is correctly completed.

Cyclical payments will end on 31 March 2021.

Our phone lines are very busy at the moment, so please do not call us to check on the status of your application. We will contact you if we have any questions about your claim.

Get the latest information from the government

The government’s business support website has all the information you need if you're a business owner or a self-employed person. This includes any financial support available, guidance on how to run your business safely, and how to comply with NHS Track and Trace.

Working safely during coronavirus

The government has produced guidance to help employers, employees, and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The guides cover a range of different types of work. Read the government 'working safely during coronavirus' guidance now. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough)

The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until 30 September 2021. Find out more about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The fourth grant will cover the period February 2021 to April 2021, and the online claims service will be available from late April 2021 until 31 May 2021. Find out more about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The fifth and final grant will cover the period May to September. If you're eligible, you'll be able to claim from late July 2021.

Middlesbrough Council supports your business

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure, and nursery education establishments

The government has announced these businesses will be supported with a 100% rates discount until 30 June 2021. This means that your business will not need to pay business rates during the first quarter of the financial year 2021/2022.

Updated bills will be issued for ratepayers then required to pay the normal charge or allowed a lesser reduction to 31 March 2022.

66% discount will be available, but this has been capped by the government, which means larger businesses will not qualify for it from all of their rates bills.

Support from Middlesbrough Community Learning

Middlesbrough Community Learning, Middlesbrough Council's apprenticeship, adult learning, and employability service, is reaching out to businesses and support services throughout the Tees Valley, to offer free advice and support.

Their current offer includes:

  • Apprenticeships for new and current staff (including staff on furlough)
  • Middlesbrough Council levy advice, guidance, and access (if eligible)
  • Computing and ICT training (all levels, both classroom-based and online)
  • Recruitment (access to local job candidates, sifting, and interview support)
  • Functional Skills English, Maths and ICT (all levels, both classroom-based and online)
  • Employability programmes (including interview preparation, CVs, self-marketing, self-employment, one-to-one advice)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • English and Maths (entry levels)
  • Distance learning (online access to courses, often used as staff CPD and inductions, including stress management, first aid, risk assessments, mental health awareness, safeguarding, health and safety, alcohol awareness, and more)
  • Training for life and work
  • Volunteering and work experience opportunities with Middlesbrough Council

To find out more, contact Middlesbrough Community Learning on 01642 811400 or email info@mcls.ac.uk.

You can also visit the Middlesbrough Community Learning website and follow Middlesbrough Community Learning on Facebook for job and training updates.

Frequently asked questions

We're creating a fast-track approach for businesses which are eligible and have already been given a 'Closed' grant. If your business falls into this category, we'll email you directly with a link and ask you to complete the relevant information so we can process a Restart Grant for your business.

If you think you're eligible but have not had a previous grant, you'll need to apply for a Restart Grant online.

We must carry out a range of third-party checks on all businesses which will receive the Restart Grant. We're working extremely hard to get this in place before the scheduled reopening date for businesses (12 April 2021).

If you are eligible you can claim an open and a closed grant, however you do need to provide the relevant evidence and information to support your claim. The Additional Restrictions Grant is only available if you haven’t been able to claim any of the others.

All questions on the claim form must be completed and answered. Supporting evidence such as statements, payroll info, loss of income, accounts will be required to be submitted with the claim as directed. Any claims that are incorrectly completed or do not have the relevant information attached will be rejected and you will be asked for further information. This will result in a significant delay to processing your application as correspondence is dealt with in date order.

Whilst the Council distributes the grant, the money is provided by Central Government and must do this in accordance with their guidelines. Whenever the Council is distributing public funds we have to report back to central government on how we have spent public the money and provide information on the businesses we have supported. Although we appreciate this may be frustrating we aim to keep this documentation to the minimum required to complete our reporting requirements.

Yes, we appreciate it is time consuming but your claim forms acts as your declaration that you have met all the relevant criteria for that particular grant.

We will aim to process claims within 14 days of receipt. If we need further information we will email you, if the claim is accepted and paid we will not send any acknowledgement of this and would expect you to check your bank account for receipt.

Our teams are in very high demand, therefore it is really important that they concentrate on processing correctly completed submissions, this ensure funds are distributed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Please follow the flow chart, have a look at the information on the web page and complete the relevant claim form. If there are any issues with the claim we will get in touch with you to discuss further and you will have a point of contact at that time.

Our investment team can direct you to the relevant support to help your business with growth, recruitment, relocation etc please email invest@middlesbrough.gov.uk

Please visit the GOV.UK business section, as additional funding may be available from the government.

Help for businesses is available from the Tees Valley Business Support Line. The support line operates 24 hours, 7 days a week and can provide specific advice to businesses across the region. The service can signpost you other organisations and support to give your business relevant advice.

If you own a business, are an employer, or are self-employed, you can get in touch with the Tees Valley Business Support Line on 01642 662 777 or email support@teesvalley-ca.gov.uk.