Coronavirus: 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.

All accommodation providers should be closed unless prior authorisation has been given by Welsh Government or Neath Port Talbot Council to reopen. If you receive any enquiries from key workers or vulnerable people you will need to get the relevant approval. Requests for accepting specific bookings should be sent directly to tourism@npt.gov.uk where the enquiry and a certificate of exemption will be issued to confirm the booking is eligible.

Update 6/7/20

Guidance has been issued by Visit Wales in relation to how tourism businesses can re-open to visitors. The guidance can be found via this link ‘Visitor Economy Guidance’ and must be adhered to in order to safely manage the reopening of the tourism industry in Wales. This 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 businesses may wish to consider completing the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard which enables 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.

Coronavirus: guidance for tourism and hospitality businesses for a phased and safe re-opening

A list of Frequently Asked Questions relating to accommodation closures within Wales has been provided by Welsh Government, these can be accessed via the Business Wales Website

Economic Resilience Fund (ERF)

This fund is now closed.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

On 12 May the UK Government extended the furlough scheme to the end of October 2020. The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and then changes will be introduced to allow more flexibility from the start of August.

In particular, from 1 July, employers can bring employees that have previously been furloughed back to work, for any amount of time or any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30th June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30th June. This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10th June. Employers will have until 31st July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30th June.

Key dates for changes are outlined below:

  • 10th June 2020 - This will be the LAST DAY on which an employee can be furloughed for the first time in order that they can complete the minimum three week period before the scheme closes to new entrants.
  • 30th June 2020 - The original scheme will close to new entrants.
  • 1st July 2020 - The second phase of the scheme commences. From this date, the scheme will only be available to cover the wages of employees who were furloughed at some point under the first phase. At the same time, employers will be able to bring back furloughed employees on a part time basis, with the furlough scheme contributing to 80% of their salary (subject to the relevant cap) for their normal hours not worked.
  • 31st July 2020 - Employers claiming under the first phase must have completed and submitted all claims for the period up to 30th June 2020.
  • 1st August 2020 - From this date the scheme will no longer cover the costs of employers NIC and pension contributions on furloughed wages - employers will need to cover this cost.
  • 1st September 2020 - The Government contribution will be reduced to 70% of wages, up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month for the hours the employee does not work. Employers must make up the difference of 10% to bring furlough payments to 80% of wages (up to a cap of £2,500) for unworked hours, and also cover NIC and pension contributions on furloughed wages.
  • 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

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

 

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.

 

Cultural Recovery Fund

Organisations in the culture and heritage sector can find out here if they are eligible to apply for financial support from the Welsh Government’s £53 million Cultural Recovery Fund

£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).

Arts Council of Wales Funding Guidance for the Creative Sector

The Arts Council provides advice on funding support for artists and arts organisations and offers support to those most in need. Links  - https://arts.wales/funding/coronavirus and https://arts.wales/funding/coronavirus/coronavirus-support

£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.

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

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