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How to Access Government Support for Creative Businesses - Covid-19

The impact that Covid-19 has had on creative business has been unprecedented in recent times. Eat Work Art’s priority is to ensure that the wider creative community are empowered with knowledge about the financial relief measures set out by the Chancellor. 

Below is a practical guide for anyone within the creative industries on eligibility and access to the Covid-19 business support that many creative practitioners and businesses will be able to access to support them through this challenging time. 

Many of the below measures are applied automatically through local councils and as such require no action from businesses. Others, such as the Business Interruption Loan Scheme require an application via an accredited provider, see below for full details. 

 

1. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 

 

Scheme Features 

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities. The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.
  • More information on terms here

Eligibility

Smaller businesses from all sectors can apply for the full amount of the facility. To be eligible for a facility under CBILS, an SME must:

  • Be UK based in its business activity, with turnover of no more than £45m per year
  • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty.

If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.

How to Apply 

CBILS is available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders and partners, which are listed on the British Business Bank website.

In the first instance, businesses should approach their own provider – ideally via the lender’s website. They may also consider approaching other lenders if they are unable to access the finance they need.

Accredited lenders are as follows:

 

2. Small business grant funding of £10,000 

 

Scheme features 

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs

Eligibility

You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property

How to access the scheme

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

The local authority of Netil House and Hackney Downs Studios is London Borough of Hackney

The local authority of Old Paradise Yard is London Borough of Lambeth

 

3. Grant funding of £10,000-£25,000 for Retail and Hospitality Businesses

Link to apply HERE.

Scheme features 

  • The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
  • Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 and under will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme

  • You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.
  • Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.
  • The local authority of Netil House and Hackney Downs Studios is London Borough of Hackney
  • The local authority of Old Paradise Yard is London Borough of Lambeth

 

4. A statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs

 

Scheme features 

The government is currently working to bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme can be found here 

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based
  • your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020

How to access the scheme

A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

Further information is expected on how self-employed people are to be able to claim statutory sick pay.

 

5. A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England

 

Scheme features 

The government will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

 

6. Postponing of Income tax and VAT returns via HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

 

Scheme features 

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Eligibility

You are eligible if your business:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

How to access the scheme

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

If you’re worried about a future payment, HMRC suggest you call nearer the time.

 

7. Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

 

Scheme features 

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

You will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

 

If you are an Eat Work Art Resident and require further information on these measures please get in touch with our Covid-19 Resident Support team via Front of House. 

Added
24th March, 2020