Business Support

Don’t forget the Council’s Economic Development team is still here. We are working hard to keep supporting our local businesses to help minimise the impact of Covid-19. Contact us to keep up to date with business support developments.

Lockdown Business Grant 

This fund is to provide financial assistance to businesses that are facing operational and financial challenges caused by the national lockdown announced for Wales as a result of COVID-19.

The purpose of the fund is to support businesses with cash flow support to help them survive the economic consequences of the restrictions put in place.

The grant will be open to applications from the 28th October and will close at 5pm on the 20th November or when the fund is fully committed.

The fund consists of two separate grants:

(1) The Lockdown Non Domestic Rate (Business Rates) Grant and (2) The Lockdown Discretionary Grant

(1) The Lockdown Non Domestic Rate (Business Rates) Grant 

This grant is now closed

(2) Lockdown Discretionary Grant - for eligible businesses that are not liable for business rates. 

The Lockdown Discretionary Grant is now open for further applications.  All applications will be processed on a first come first served basis. Before you submit your application please ensure that you have completed all sections of the application.

Incomplete applications may not be processed and will result in your application being rejected.
Applications will remain open until 20th November or until the grant is fully committed.

Grant amount 1 - a discretionary grant of £1,500 is available to assist businesses that have:
• Been forced to close (as defined by the regulations) as a result of the national firebreak lockdown
• OR are able to demonstrate that the national firebreak lockdown will result in at least a 80% reduction in their turnover for that period

Grant amount 2 - a discretionary grant of £2,000 is available to assist businesses that have:
• Been forced to close (as defined by the regulations) as a result of the national firebreak lockdown
• OR are able to demonstrate that the national firebreak lockdown will result in at least a 80% reduction in their turnover for that period

• AND have been subject to local restrictions for 3 weeks or more up to the 23rd October and experienced at least a 50% reduction in their turnover for that period.

You cannot apply for both grants.

You are not eligible for this grant if:
• You are eligible for, or have received, the Lockdown Non-Domestic Rate Grant from your Local Authority

For further information on this grant please read the Lockdown Discretionary Grant Guidance Document, click here

Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. This may lead to applications not being appraised after they have been submitted if the fund is fully committed.

The Lockdown Discretionary Grant is now open for further applications. All applications will be processed on a first come first served basis. Before you submit your application please ensure that you have completed all sections of the application. Incomplete applications may not be processed and will result in your application being rejected.
Applications will remain open until 20th November or until the grant is fully committed.

Please email the completed application form to business@npt.gov.uk 

(Please note application form will download in a separate window)
Please email the completed application form to business@npt.gov.uk

Freelancer Fund - Phase 3

The Phase 3 of the Freelancer Fund will open for applications on Monday 23 November 2020.

In this phase we will also look to support freelancers who work in events that have been significantly impacted by the Pandemic, including those working in weddings and corporate events, but not sport events. It is the intention that those wedding photographers who have applied and been rejected in earlier phases 

The length of time phase 3 remains open across Wales will depend on the number of applications received across all local authorities.

If there are any accessibility issues for you that might prevent you from completing an online application form please call the Business Wales helpline on 03000 6 03000 otherwise start the tool and follow the simple step by step guide.

To check your eligibility and apply, click here 

Economic Resilience Fund (ERF)

A third phase of the Welsh Government Economic Resilience fund (ERF) has been announced. 

This new phase of the ERF will make funds available to support businesses with projects that can help them transition to the economy of tomorrow. This fund will require match funding from companies and a clear plan about how they will adjust to the post-covid economy. 

Of the total £140 million available; 

  • £20 million will be ring fenced to support tourism and hospitality businesses who are facing particular challenges as they enter the winter months.
  • £60 million will be allocated to support businesses impacted by local lockdown restrictions. 
  • £60 million will be allocated to provide additional support such as increasing lending to via the Development Bank of Wales and initiatives to assist companies in dealing with the impacts of the UK leaving the European Union. 

The Covid-19 related business development grants will be open to micro businesses, SMEs and large businesses. 

  • Micro businesses (employing between 1 and 9 people) will be able to apply for up to £10,000 on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 10%. 
  • SMEs (employing between 10 and 249 people) will be able to apply for up to £150,000 on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 10% for small business (1 to 49 staff) and 20% for medium sized (50 to 249) business. 
  • Large businesses (employing 250+ people) will be able to apply for up to £200,000 on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 50%. 

Companies that received grant funding through phases one and two of the ERF, or Non-Domestic Rate linked support, could also be eligible for phase three of the ERF. 

Full details of eligibility are currently being prepared by Welsh Government and an eligibility checker will be available for those seeking to apply the week commencing 5th October 2020. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The Government has released the latest information on the next phase of the Job Retention Scheme.

From 1st October 2020 - The Government contribution will be reduced to 60% of wages, up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours the employee does not work. Employers must make up the difference of 20% to bring furlough payments to 80% of wages (up to a cap of £2,500) for unworked hours, whilst also covering NIC and pension contributions for furloughed wages.

Find out more information on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Update: Please note that as of 24 September, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) will be extended until 30 November 2020.

A new temporary loan scheme, covering a variety of different products such as loans, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance, delivered by the British Business Bank. Launched to support primarily small and medium sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. Further details can be found at: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils

Government Financial Support Package for Innovative Firms

UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package. The comprehensive package includes:

  • a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms called the Future Fund, which provides government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors
  • £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loans
The Bounce Back Loan scheme is now open for applications.

Key details:
• Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.
• The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.
• Loan terms will be up to 6 years.
• The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
• The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders

Details on how to apply are here: https://bit.ly/BounceBackLoanApply

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund

The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund offers grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative provides one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.

https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/about-the-trust/coronavirus-response/enterprise-relief-fund

Pen Y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund

Pen Y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund is making emergency, fast-track funding available for organisations in the Fund area (the upper reaches of the Neath, Afan, Rhondda and Cynon Valleys).

There will be two funds:

  • Survival Fund: to provide emergency cashflow funding for organisations at risk of closure
  • Project Fund: to support additional services that meet immediate community needs

Pen Y Cymoedd also has grants available for businesses:

  • Micro fund – up to £5,000 – this is a one stage application
  • Vision fund - £5,001 to £25,000 – this is also a one stage application
  • Vision fund + - £25,001 upwards – this is a two stage application

 

Support for Self-employed, Sole Traders and Freelancers

Support opportunities and resources to help businesses through the COVID-19 crisis please click here 

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The UK Government has announced a package of support for the Self Employed impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, bringing support to the same level as that for employees.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme will pay a taxable grant of 80% of average annual profits over the last 3 years up to £2,500 per month. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.

The most recent information on the support announced by the UK Government can be found on their website.

HMRC Self-employment eligibility tool

This week HMRC will start contacting customers who may be eligible for the new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. The scheme will allow customers to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500, equivalent to three months’ profits.

Customers can claim if they’re a self-employed individual, or a member of a business partnership, their business has been adversely impacted by coronavirus.

Customers can check eligibility using the self-employed checker tool.

*Individuals should not contact HMRC, if eligible, you will be contacted*

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the Self-employment Income Support Scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes.

Employers can apply for direct cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal – with the money expected to land in their bank accounts within six working days.

The link to the online portal can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-up-and-running

Universal Credit

You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant. You should record the grant as part of your self-employment income, and it may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get. This will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.

 

Support for the Creative & Leisure Sectors

For support opportunities and resources to help businesses through the COVID-19 crisis please click here 

Freelancer Fund - Phase 3

The Phase 3 of the Freelancer Fund will open for applications on Monday 23 November 2020.

In this phase we will also look to support freelancers who work in events that have been significantly impacted by the Pandemic, including those working in weddings and corporate events, but not sport events. It is the intention that those wedding photographers who have applied and been rejected in earlier phases 

The length of time phase 3 remains open across Wales will depend on the number of applications received across all local authorities.

If there are any accessibility issues for you that might prevent you from completing an online application form please call the Business Wales helpline on 03000 6 03000 otherwise start the tool and follow the simple step by step guide.

Check your eligibility and apply here 

£1m Cultural Resilience Fund

To respond to short-term pressures and recovery actions on a grant application basis for

  • museums
  • collections
  • conservation services
  • archives
  • community and public libraries .

To apply email CultureAndSport.Covid19@gov.wales with an outline of your requirements (no more than 200 words).

£8m Sport Resilience Fund

To support sports clubs and partner networks which play such a vital role in ensuring the nation is able to remain active and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that sport brings. More information 

£750k Emergency Relief Fund

To support the smallest and most vulnerable independent sector sport, museum and heritage organisations with cash flow and other critical issues.

This includes two grant programmes administered by the Welsh Museums Federation and Sport Wales.

£250k Digital Library Resources

  • To help public libraries provide digital resources to the public
  • Gives people resources to read and engage with whilst self-isolating

Visit Funding Wales’s dedicated coronavirus webpage to find out what grants and finance opportunities are currently available to charities, community groups and social enterprises. Funding Wales is a funding search platform created by Third Sector Support Wales.

Click here for more information: https://funding.cymru/pages/coronavirus-latest/

 

The Council's Work Station is able to support recruiting companies fill local job vacancies. If you would like to speak with one of our Employer Liaison Officers please get in touch 01639 684250 / workstation@npt.gov.uk

Other Support, Guidance and Information

For the latest guidance on returning to work safely, useful toolkits for businesses, downloadable signs, etc., visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/

To tackle the spread of Coronavirus, Welsh Government have produced Keep Wales Safe at Work guidance for employers and employees – last updated 28th July 2020

VAT Deferral will defer Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.

Time to Pay Service can provide support to business and self-employed people with outstanding tax liabilities.

Business Wales have launched a series of FREE webinars adapted on how business can react to the changing times due to Covid-19 Coronavirus, these include:

  • Importance of diversification in troubled times & How to diversify quickly
  • Recovery And Growth, Planning Post Coronavirus Trading
  • Accessing Business Finance

To book yourself onto a webinar please visit Business Wales Event Finder.

Business Wales continues to provide up to date information on how businesses and employers should deal with COVID-19 issues and highlights the support that is available from both the UK and Welsh Government. To access visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

A range of useful information for businesses is also available via Gov.uk website: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-individuals-and-businesses-in-wales

Buy Local NPT is a council initiative aimed at supporting our local businesses and communities in these difficult times. You may be a business that wants to support local communities with food or shopping deliveries, or you may be looking to partner with another business to supply services for local people. If so, then register today.

How the new NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme can help protect your staff and your business (for businesses in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot)

If any of your staff are showing signs of Coronavirus, getting tested for the virus is essential.

It will help reduce spread of the virus, help us trace others who may be affected and enable those who test negative to return to work more quickly.

What we would like you to do:

  • Help keep your staff safe by following Welsh Government Coronavirus advice
  • Raise awareness among your staff about the NHS Test Trace Protect service
  • Encourage your staff to get tested if they have symptoms of the virus
  • Help us trace people who have come into close contact with someone who's tested positive
  • Share with your staff links to our local health service and Welsh Government websites about the virus
  • You can find useful posters and other downloads for your workplace here 

Details about the Testing and Tracing service, how it operates and where our testing centres can be found are on the Swansea Bay University Board website

More information about Test, Trace, Protect, including advice for businesses and employees, can be found on the Welsh Government's website

By working together we'll be able to play our part in enabling the Welsh Government to ease lockdown restrictions and encourage economic recovery in our communities, and together we'll help keep Swansea and Neath Port Talbot safe.

Find out more about the Welsh Government's response to Coronavirus here

Child minders, nurseries, crèches and out of school clubs can apply for up to £5,000 to cover loss of income between 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.

The grant is a one-off, non-repayable payment provided by Welsh Government. 

https://gov.wales/apply-childcare-providers-grant-coronavirus

Covid Safe Measures for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector 

Welsh Government guidance on how the tourism and hospitality sector can operate safely during the Covid-19 pandemic is available on the Welsh Government websiteThis guidance places a responsibility on each business to carry out a risk assessment and set up the necessary safe working procedures in order to comply with the guidance. 

In addition to this guidance tourism and hospitality businesses may wish to consider completing the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard which enables individual businesses to demonstrate that they are adhering to government guidelines around Covid-19. More information on this mark is available on the Good to Go website.