Northumberland County Council and Government are working together to support businesses through this challenging time. Our businesses are vitally important to our county. The council has established a Business Hub with a specialist team who will work hard to support businesses and employers. We will support you both during and after the current Coronavirus outbreak.

This information was last updated on 27 January 2021.


Business support grant updates

Click here to view all grants currently available for application.

NEW Following a review, Dog Grooming businessesthat meet the eligibility criteria, are now able to apply for support through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum. Businesses that have already applied and been declined will be contacted directly by email. 

For those businesses that need to apply, an application should be made as soon as possible, this week, because applications for this fund close on 31 January 2021. Follow this link to the application form.

B
usinesses which are approved for this grant will also be entitled to the follow-on closed schemes for Tier 4, Closed Addendum January 5 and the one-off Closed Business Support Grant Payment and a further email will be sent to them with a link to the shortened application for those grant payments. 

NEW A further grant Additional Restrictions Grant (Taxi) Version 3 has opened for applications this week.  Details are below, but we will be emailing eligible drivers directly, so please look out for an email from the council.
 
SCHEME DEADLINES Applications will close this week for the following schemes: 
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum 
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)  
  • Christmas Support Payment for Wet Led Pubs 
If you think you could be eligible for one of these grants, you must make an application before midnight on Sunday 31 January. 

NEW Grants now open for businesses which have been legally required to close due to national restrictions. For all of the following grants we will be directly emailing all businesses which may be eligible:
  • ​Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Tier 4 - for 31 December 2020 to 4 January 2021
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum - for 5 January to 15 February 2021
  • Closed Business Lockdown Payment

Please be assured that we are processing these grants applications and making payments to eligible companies as quickly as we can. 


Other information on this page:

The Government has announced a number of grant schemes for business which have been required to close due to national lockdown restrictions, and also for those which remained open during the local or national Covid restrictions, but were severely impacted by them.

This page was last updated on 27 January 2021.
 

In Northumberland, the following grant schemes are currently available: 

  • 1 - Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum: Businesses required to close under national restrictions which came into force on Thursday 5 November and ended on Wednesday 2 December 2020. (Scheme now open for applications, and will close Sunday 31 January 2021)
  • 1a – Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Version 2: This grant is to support businesses required to close under Tier 3 restrictions from 2 to 30 December 2020. Please see the relevant section below for details of how this grant will be paid.
  • 1b - Additional Restrictions Grant (Closed):We are using this grant funding to extend eligibility for the schemes above. This scheme has now reopened for more applications.
  • 1c - Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Tier 4 This scheme covers the period from 31 December 2020 to 4 January 2021, when Northumberland was under Tier 4 restrictions. Please see the relevant section before for details of how this grant will be paid. Applications will close on 31 March 2021
  • 1d - Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards: This grant is aimed at businesses which have remained closed and subject to national restrictions. Please see the relevant section before for details of how this grant will be paid. Applications will close on 31 March 2021.
  • 1e - Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment: This is a one-off payment for businesses that have been required to close from 5 January 2021 due to national restrictionsPlease see the relevant section before for details of how this grant will be paid. Applications will close on 31 March 2021. 
  • 2 - Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open): Businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure industry which remained open but were severely affected by the Local COVID: Alert Level: HIGH restrictions in Northumberland from 18 September to 4 November 2020 - this scheme has now reopened for applications and will now close on a new date of Sunday 31 January 2021.
  • 2a - Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) Version 2: This is targeted at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses which have remained open but are severely affected by the Tier 3 restrictions from 2 December 2020. Please see the relevant section below for details of how this grant will be paid.  
  • 2b - Additional Restrictions Grant (Open): We are using this grant funding to extend eligibility for the two grants above, and support more businesses in Northumberland - this scheme has now reopened for more applications.
  • 3 - Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector): Businesses which were required to close in March and have not yet been able to re-open can claim a grant from 1 to 4 November 2020 (Scheme now open for applications). These businesses may also be eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum.
  • 4b - Additional Restrictions Grant (Taxi) Version 3: We are writing to all taxi and private hire drivers who are eligible for this grant, and you can read more in section 4b below. Applications close on February 2021
  • 5 - Christmas Support Payment for Wet Led Pubs. This is a one-off payment of £1,000 for pubs in Northumberland which derive less than half their income from food sales (Scheme is now open for applications, which will close on 31 January 2021).

Identify which grants you could be eligible for

The table below will help you to see which grants you could be eligible for. Please click on 'yes'  to go to further details and the applications form. If you are eligible for two types of grant, you will need to fill in both application forms.

Type of Business Local Restrictions Support Grant (OPEN) Additional Restrictions Grant (Open) Local Restrictions Support Grant (SECTOR) Local Restrictions Support Grant (CLOSED (Addendum) Additional Restrictions Grant (Closed)
Rate paying businesses required to close continuously since March (e.g. Nightclubs) NO NO Yes Yes NO
Businesses in the Hospitality, Hotel, Bed & Breakfast or Leisure Sector - Business Ratepayer Yes NO NO Yes NO
Businesses in the Hospitality, Hotel, Bed & Breakfast or Leisure Sector - Non Business Ratepayer NO Yes NO NO Yes
Direct Supplier to Businesses in the Hospitality, Accommodation, or Leisure Sectors NO Yes NO NO NO
Other Businesses required to close during national restrictions (5 November to 2 December) - Business Ratepayer NO NO NO Yes NO
Other Businesses required to close during national restrictions (5 November to 2 December) - Non Business Ratepayer NO NO NO NO Yes


1. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum


This grant scheme is now OPEN for applications. It is called Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) because it is designed to help businesses that have been required to close due to the government’s national restrictions from 5 November until 2 December 2020.
 
To qualify for this grant, your business must be in Northumberland and have been: 
  • open as usual before the restrictions. 
  • providing services in person to customers from the premises. 
  • required to close due to restrictions imposed by government. 
  • liable for business rates for the premises before restrictions started. 
Businesses required to close under national restrictions are: 
  • Non-essential retail such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. 
  • Hospitality such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs. 
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. 
  • Leisure such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, fitness and dance studios, and sports facilities. 
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues and soft play centres. 
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning, nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services. 
  • Community centres and halls 
  • Places of Worship (apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals). (Please note that churches are not subject to business rates so will not be eligible to apply for this grant.) 
You can see more full details of these business sectors on the Gov.uk website here.

Your business will not qualify for support under this scheme if it was in administration, insolvent or a striking off order was made at the time local restrictions started.
 

How much is the grant and when will it be paid?

The amount you get depends on the rateable value of your premises. You will receive support on a rolling 28 day basis for the period that the national restrictions applied, as shown below.
Rateable value of premises Grant payment 28 day restriction period
£15,000 or under £1,334
£15,001 - £50, 999 £2,000
£51,000 or over £3,000

You can find the rateable value of your premises on your latest business rates bill, or you can check it on the central rating list at this link

 

Do state aid rules apply?

The Local Restrictions Support Grant counts towards state aid. The rules are fully explained in the government state aid guidance. By accepting this grant you must confirm that you are not in breach of these rules. If your business received a Small Business Grant, Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant or Discretionary Grant earlier this year please include the details on your application.
 

How to apply 

If you meet the criteria for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum, you can apply online below.  We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment. 


Apply here by midnight on Sunday 31 January 2021

1a. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Version 2

While Northumberland is in Tier 3, many hospitality businesses remain closed.  If your business has remained closed from 2 December onwards you may be eligible for this grant. 
 
Businesses who might qualify for this scheme are those who were successful applicants under the Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed (Addendum) scheme (above) which covered the period 5 November to 2 December. 
 
To make it easier for you to apply, if your business is eligible,  we will email you with a link to a short electronic form. The form prompts you to confirm certain information and complete a declaration. Once we receive a valid form we will process a payment which will cover the 4-week period from 2 December 2020. 
 
 

How much is the grant? 

If your business is eligible, during this period you'll receive the following payment amounts: 
Rateable value of your property Payment per 14-day restriction period
Less than £15,000 £667
More than £15,000 and less than £51,000 £1,000
More than £51,000 £1,500

If you haven’t applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum and think you could be eligible, please complete the form in section 1 above. If you are eligible, you will then be contacted about (Closed) Version 2.
 

1b. Additional Restrictions Grant (Closed)

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is being used to allow more businesses in Northumberland to be supported from the Local Restriction Support Grant (Open) and the Local Restriction Support Grant (Closed) Addendum schemes. 
 
The Additional Restrictions Grant (Closed) will support businesses in the categories in the (Closed) Addendum scheme above, which were closed from 5 November to 2 December, but which do not have a rateable value (do not pay business rates) and can demonstrate that they have a minimum of £200 a month of non-residential* fixed property costs.

A full list of what businesses are included can be found here.

Businesses must also have been trading on 4 November 2020.  They must also not be classed as ‘home-based’with the exception of B&Bs, which can include *residential property costs.


How to apply  

If you meet the criteria for the Additional Restrictions Grant (Closed) you can apply online below. We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment.


Apply here 
Please follow this link to apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant (Closed)

 


1c. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Tier 4

This scheme will provide additional financial support to businesses that were legally required to close by Government during the Tier 4 restrictions between 31 December 2020 and 4 January 2021.
 
These include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses, and a full list can be found on the Government website here.
 
To make it easier for you to apply, if your business is eligible, we will email you with a link to a short electronic form. The form prompts you to confirm certain information and complete a declaration. Once we receive a valid form we will process a payment which will cover the five day period, as below.
 


How much is the grant?

If your business is eligible, during this period you'll receive the following payment amounts: 
Rateable value of your property Payment for the five-day restriction period
Less than £15,000 £238.21
Between £15,000 and £50,999 £357.14
More than £51,000 £535.71

 
If you haven’t applied for a previousLocal Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendumand think you could be eligible, please complete the form in section 1 above. If you are eligible, you will then be contacted about the subsequent Closed grants, including this one. Please apply as soon as possible, as applications for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum must close on Sunday 31 January 2021. 
 

1d. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards 

This scheme is an extension to the above Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Tier 4 scheme and will provide financial support to businesses that were legally required to close by Government during the current national lockdown, which started on 5 January 2021 
 
These include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses, and a full list can be found on the Government website here. 
 
The grant will be for a 42-day period covering 5 January to 15 February 2021. 
 
To make it easier for you to apply, if your business is eligible, we will email you with a link to a short electronic form. The form prompts you to confirm certain information and complete a declaration. Once we receive a valid form we will process a payment which will cover the forty-two-day period, as below. 
  
You can read the full guidance for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards here.


How much is the grant?

If your business is eligible, during this period you'll receive the following payment amounts: 
Rateable value of your property Payment for the five-day restriction period
Less than £15,000 £2,001.00
Between £15,000 and £50,999 £3,000.00
More than £51,000 £4,500.00

If you haven’t applied for a previous Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum, and think you could be eligible, please complete the form in section 1 above. If you are eligible, you will then be contacted about the subsequent Closed grants, including this one. Please apply as soon as possible, as applications for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum must close on Sunday 31 January 2021.
 

1e. Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment

This one-off payment is part of the package announced by Government to support businesses which have been required to close from 5 January 2021 due to national restrictions 
 
It is for businesses which have been legally required to close, including non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.  A full list can be found on the Government website here. 
 
To make it easier for you to apply, if your business is eligible, we will email you with a link to a short electronic form. The form prompts you to confirm certain information and complete a declaration. Once we receive a valid form we will process a payment, with the amounts shown below. 
  

How much is the grant?

If your business is eligible, you'll receive the following one-off payment amount:
Rateable value of your property Payment
Less than £15,000 £4,000.00
More than £15,000 and less than £51,000 £6,000.00
More than £51,000 £9,000.00

Eligibility will be in line with the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum If you think you could be eligible, and haven’t yet made an application, please complete the form in section 1 above. If you are eligible, you will then be contacted about this support payment. Please apply as soon as possible, as applications for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum must close on Sunday 31 January 2021.
 

2. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)


This scheme has now reopened for applications, and will now close on Sunday 31 January 2021.

 
Businesses in the hospitality, hotel, bed and breakfast and leisure sectors which remained open but were adversely affected by the local restrictions which came into force in Northumberland on 18 September could be eligible for a grant under this scheme.
 
Eligible business will be able to claim a grant for the period from 18 September to 4 November 2020, and applications can be made retrospectively.
 
To qualify for this grant, a business must be in Northumberland and have been:  
  •  open as usual before the restrictions.  
  •  providing services in person to customers from the premises.  
  •  have remained open but been severely impacted by the local restrictions 
  •  liable for business rates for the premises before restrictions started. 
Your business will not qualify for support under this scheme if it was in administration, insolvent or a striking off order was made at the time local restrictions started. 


How much is the grant? 

The amount you get depends on the rateable value of your premises. If you are covered by the scheme, you will receive the payment for the full period you were affected, as follows: 
 
Rateable value of premises Total payment per week Total payment for 7 weeks from 18 September to 4 November 2020
£15,000 or under £233.50 £1,634.50
£15,001 - £50,999 £350.00 £2,450.00
£51,000 or over £525.00 £3,675.00

You can find the rateable value of your premises on your latest business rates bill, or you can check it on the central rating list here.
 

Do state aid rules apply? 

The Local Restrictions Support Grant counts towards state aid. The rules are fully explained in the government state aid guidance. By accepting this grant you must confirm that you are not in breach of these rules. If your business received a Small Business Grant, Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant or Discretionary Grant earlier this year please include the details on your application.
 

How to apply

If you meet the criteria for the Local Restictions Support Grant (Open), you can apply online below before midnight on Sunday 31 January 2021. We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment.

Apply here

Please follow this link to apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

 

2a. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) Version 2

If your business was able to re-open when the county moved into Tier 3, but it is severely impacted by the restrictions, you may still be eligible for support from 2 December onwards under this scheme.
 
Businesses who might qualify for this scheme are those who were successful applicants under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) scheme (above) which covered the period 18 September to 4 November (before the national lockdown).
 
To make it easier for you to apply, if you business is eligible, we will email you with a link to a short electronic form. The form prompts you to confirm certain information, including information about a loss in income due to Covid-19, and completion of a declaration. Once we receive a valid form we will process a payment which will cover the 4-week period from 2 December 2020. 
 
You can read the full guidance for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) Version 2 here.
 

How much is the grant? 

If your business is eligible, during this period you'll receive the following payment amounts: 
Rateable value of your property Payment per 14-day restriction period
Less than £15,000 £467
More than £15,000 and less than £51,000 £700
More than £51,000 £1,050

If you haven’t applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) for the period 18 September to 4 November, and think you could be eligible, please complete the form in section 2 above by no later than Sunday 31 January 2021. If you are eligible, you will then be contacted about (Open) Version 2.
 

2b. Additional Restrictions Grant (Open)

 
Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is being used to allow more businesses in Northumberland to be supported from the Local Restriction Support Grant (Open) and the Local Restriction Support Grant (Closed) Addendum schemes.
 
As in the (Open) scheme above, the Additional Restrictions Grant (Open) is aimed at businesses operating in the hospitality, hotel, bed and breakfast and leisure sectors which have remained open between 18 September and 4 November 2020, but were severely impacted by local and national restrictions. The difference with the Additional Restrictions Grant (Open) scheme is that it can also support: 
  • Businesses which don’t have a rateable value (don’t pay business rates) but still incur non-residential* fixed property costs of over £200 per month 
or
  • Businesses which directly supply other businesses in the hospitality, hotel, bed and breakfast and leisure sectors, and incur non-residential* fixed property costs of over £200 per month
Applicants must also have been trading on 17 September 2020 and have remained open but have been severely impacted by restrictions. They must also not be classed as ‘home-based’, with the exception of B&Bs, which can include *residential property costs. 


How to apply 

If you meet the criteria for the Additional Restrictions Grant (Open) you can apply online below. We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment. 



3. Local Restriction Support Grant (Sector) 


This grant is now open for applications. Businesses which were required to close in March and have not yet been able to re-open, for example nightclubs, are eligible for a grant effective from 1 November 2020 under this scheme. 

Businesses required to close in March 2020 and remain closed under national restrictions are: 
  • Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques 
  • Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars 
Please note: This scheme will only cover the period from 1 to 4 November 2020, and if your business is in these categories you may also be eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum. 
 
To qualify for this grant, a business must be in Northumberland and have been:   
  •  open as usual before the restrictions, ie up to 2March 2020.   
  •  providing services in person to customers from the premises.   
  •  have been legally required to close due to national restrictions from 24 March 2020, and remained closed since that date.  
  •  liable for business rates for the premises before restrictions started.  
If you have adapted your business and as a result been able to open at some time since 24 March, for example changing it from a nightclub to a bar, then you will not be entitled to this grant.  You may however be eligible for support under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) or Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) schemes. 
 
Your business will not qualify for support under this scheme if it was in administration, insolvent or a striking off order was made at the time local restrictions started. 
 

How much is the grant? 

The amount you get depends on the rateable value of your premises. You will receive support for the 4-day period of closure from 1 November 2020 to 4 November as follows: 
 
Rateable value of premises Value of payment
£15,000 or under £191.00
£15,001 - £50,999 £286.00
£51,000 or over £429.00

 
You can find the rateable value of your premises on your latest business rates bill, or you can check it on the central rating list at this link
 


Do state aid rules apply? 

The Local Restrictions Support Grant counts towards state aid. The rules are fully explained in the government state aid guidance. By accepting this grant you must confirm that you are not in breach of these rules. If your business received a Small Business Grant, Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant or Discretionary Grant earlier this year please include the details on your application. 

 

How to apply  

If you meet the criteria for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector), you can apply online below.  We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment. 


Apply here
Please follow this link to apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)

 

4. Additional Restrictions Grant (Taxi) 

  
It is a one-off payment for self-employed licensed taxi and private hire drivers who have suffered loss of income due to wider Covid-19 restrictions having an impact on their trade. 
 
To qualify for this grant, you must be a taxi or private hire driver licensed by Northumberland County Council and: 
  • been licensed by Northumberland County Council on 18 September 2020;  
  • have not already received a Covid19 Local Restriction Support or Additional Restrictions Grant  from the County Council; and  
  • not received Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) during the period 18 September 2020 and 1 December 2020.  
Your will not qualify for support under this scheme if you are bankrupt, or have they received a Statutory Demand or Bankruptcy Petition since 18 September 2020.
 

How much is the grant and when will it be paid? 

This grant is a one-off payment of £500, and will be paid after an applicant has been assessed as eligible for the grant scheme.
 

How to apply   

If you meet the criteria for the additional restrictions grant (Taxi) in the scheme guidance, you can apply online below.  We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment.   

Applications closed at midnight on Sunday 3 January 2021


Please note: If you meet the criteria for both taxi grants, you can apply for both. 



4a. Additional Restrictions Grant (Taxi) Version 2:

To qualify for this grant, you must be a taxi or private hire driver and have been licensed by Northumberland County Council on 18 September 2020. 
 
You will not qualify for support under this scheme if you are bankrupt, or have they received a Statutory Demand or Bankruptcy Petition since 18 September 2020. 
  

How much is the grant and when will it be paid?  

This grant is a one-off payment of £200, and will be paid after an applicant has been assessed as eligible for the grant scheme. 
  

How to apply    

If you meet the criteria for the Additional Restrictions Grant (Taxi) Version 2 in the scheme guidance, you can apply online below.  We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment.    

  

Applications closed at midnight on Sunday 3 January 2021


Please note: If you meet the criteria for both taxi grants, you can apply for both. 

4b. Additional Restrictions Grant (Taxi) Version 3

Version 3 of the Additional Restrictions Grant (Taxi) is a one-off payment of £500 to support self-employed taxi drivers within Northumberlandas a contribution to continued fixed costs. 
 
To qualify for this grant, you must be a self-employed taxi or private hire driver and have been licensed by Northumberland County Council on 18 September 2020.  
  
You will not qualify for support under this scheme if you are bankrupt, or have they received a Statutory Demand or Bankruptcy Petition since 18 September 2020.  
 
Businesses who qualify for this scheme are those who were successful applicants under the Additional Restrictions Grant Taxi Version 1 and / or Version 2. 
 
In order to reduce the administrative burden we will email all successful businesses with a link to a shortened electronic form for completion. 
 
The form prompts applicants to confirm of certain information including their Northumberland County Council issued licence number and make a declaration. Applications must be made by 15 February 2021.



5. Christmas Support Payment for Wet Led Pubs


This grant scheme is now OPEN for applications. It is a one-off payment for pubs in Northumberland which derive less than half of their income from food sales 
 
To qualify for this grant, you must be a pub in Northumberland which derives less than half of your income from food, and have been 
  • open to the general public; 
  • allowed free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided; 
  • allowed drinking without requiring food to be consumed; 
  • permit drinks to be purchased at a bar; and 
  • Been liable for business rates in Northumberland on 1 December 2020. 
Your business will not qualify for support under this scheme if it was in administration, insolvent or a striking off order was made at the time local restrictions started.
 

How much is the grant and when will it be paid?

This grant is a one-off payment of £1,000, and will be paid after an applicant has been assessed as eligible for the grant scheme.
 

Do state aid rules apply?

The Christmas Support Payment for Wet Led Pubs counts towards state aid. The rules are fully explained in the government state aid guidance. By accepting this grant you must confirm that you are not in breach of these rules.
 

How to apply

If you meet the criteria in the Christmas Support Payment for Wet Led Pubs scheme guidance, you can apply online below.  We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment.    

Further support

Other support for businesses

The council is also exploring other support which could be made available for businesses or sectors not covered by these schemes.

You can find out about all of the support currently available to businesses here.

Information about support for businesses impacted by Covid-19 is also available on the Governments website here.

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

This information was last updated 18 December at 10:02.

 

What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

Employers have been able to claim for 80% of their employees wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
 

Furlough extended until 30 April 2021 - updated 17 December

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021. Click here to learn more about the scheme. 

Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021.

You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.
 
We’ve heard from lots of self-employed residents who are worried about their current situation. Here you can find out how to claim for a grant if you are self-employed.

This information was last updated on 30 November at 13:48.

 

 

Third grant available for applications - 30 November

Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme - If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) you may be eligible to claim the grant.

  • To make a claim for the third grant your business must have been impacted by coronavirus on or after 1 November 2020
  • You can make a claim for the third grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first or second
  • You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021
To find out if you are eligible for this grant and how to claim, please click here.
 


Further support for self-employed announced - 5 November 

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.

Click here for the full announcement from the Chancellor.

From 28 September, people who are legally required to self-isolate will be fined if they breach the regulations.

Self-isolation enforcement

The penalty will start at £1,000 for a first offence but could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offenders.  These fines will also apply to employers who refuse to allow staff the time off work to self-isolate.

Click here for more information from Government on the new legal duty to self-isolate.

 

Self-isolation support

You could be eligible for a £500 support payment if you are legally required to self-isolate.

Click here to see if you're eligible and apply for the payment.
Here you can find information about working safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

This information was last updated on 3 December at 16:42.

 


Shops and branches - updated guidance

Updated guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments - 3 December

Following further research on transmission patterns, you no longer need to separately store goods that have been returned or donated for 48 hours before they are displayed again. 
 

Businesses' duty to NHS Test and Trace

Latest announcment from government on 9 September 2020 on businesses' upcoming mandatory duty to NHS Test and Trace.

Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days. Core COVID-19 Secure requirements will be mandated for hospitality businesses, and egregious breaches enforced. The government has also published simplified COVID-19 Secure guidance - click here to view.
 

A message to businesses 

Director of Public Health Elizabeth Morgan recently issued a letter to Northumberland Businesses outlining the key actions to take and resources to use to keep our businesses COVID secure and safe. 

An important note on the use and meaning of tests for businesses

We have noticed that some businesses are responding to the occurrence of a COVID case in one of their staff by asking their remaining staff to be tested and then allowing them back to work if negative. This should not be done as test results may be negative while contacts are actually incubating the disease.

If other staff are considered to be contacts within the guidance, they must self-isolate for 14 days and should only be tested if they become symptomatic.

Extended staff testing should only be undertaken at the request of the Health Protection Team and the Team’s advice should be sought in the first instance.

See here for governement guidance on NHS Test and Trace in the workplace.
 

Useful Government guides on working safely - last updated 1 December

There are guides covering a range of different types of work on the gov.uk website. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe:

Please note: There is different guidance for public transport operators and for remaining safe in the following:
 

Early outbreak managment for businesses

There are some resources on managing early outbreaks of COVID-19 for various business. Please click here to be redirected to our dedicated page on early outbreak managment strategies. 
Find guidance about COVID-19 outbreak management for your business.

This information was last updated 7 September 2020.

Please find the guidance related to your business:

Food & drink workplace resources

Residential workplace resources

Commercial workplace resources

Institutions resources

Travel resources

Resources for hotel, B&B & holiday rental accomdation owners

The following leaflet should be used by Northumberland's hotel, B&B and holiday rental accomdation owners. It provides information for guests on what to do if they have COVID-19 symptoms while visiting Northumberland. Business owner's should print off the guide and make it available to guests. 

Click here to view the guide on what do if you have COVID-19 symptoms while visiting Northumberland.

From Thursday 24 September, some business will need to display the official NHS QR code posters to make it easier for people to check-in at different premises once the app is rolled out nationally. These posters will help trace & prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can read the latest government announcement on QR codes here. 

 

Which venues in England should display the official NHS QR code poster? 

If your business or venue falls into one of the sectors or categories that should provide a customer log, then you are also now expected to display an NHS QR code poster at your venue when the app launches nationally. This applies if you provide: 
  • hospitality services, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés 
  • tourism and leisure services, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks 
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors 
  • facilities provided by Local Authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres 
  • places of worship, including use for events and other community activities
     
If you have a venue outside of these categories that is visited by members of the public and has a space where people congregate, then we also encourage you to create a QR code poster for the entrance to that venue.
 

Please note: If individuals choose to check-in using the QR code poster they do not need to log in via any other route

 

Offices 

QR code posters for offices are only likely to be needed where there is a high amount of external visitors or where workers cannot easily be identified or notified (for example by email) if there was a potential outbreak linked to the site.
 

How many official NHS QR code posters do I need?

If your business, organisation or event operates across multiple venues, you will need to create at least one poster for each unique location.  
 
You should display posters at all entry points to your venue, including where you may be currently collecting visitor details for NHS Test and Trace, or NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect. You should use the same poster at each of these points unless you have a very large venue. 
 
The number of posters you will need will depend on the size of your venue. 
 

How to create a coronavirus NHS QR code poster for your venue

Businesses can create a QR code poster on the government website - click here to get started.

The above link will allow you to create a QR code poster to display in your venue. Get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavrius (COVID-19). 

The NHS have also created a guide on how to create a QR poster for your venue, which you can view here.

You should create and display a QR code if you are: 
  • a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public 
  • an event which is taking place in a physical location 
If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service. 
 
If you do not have a printer, you can show the QR code on a display screen, such as a TV or tablet. Make sure it’s within reach so visitors can scan it with their mobile phones.
 
 

NHS QR code posters - FAQs

If you operate a very large venue, such as a conference centre, stadium or music venue, you may need to create separate NHS QR code posters for different areas within the venue.  
 
We suggest that you create NHS QR code posters for different entrances, spaces, or seating and viewing areas if they are areas where people are likely to congregate for more than 15 minutes and be less than 2 metres apart.  
 
NHS QR code posters should be displayed at the entrances to these different spaces within the venue. This will allow contact tracing and public health advice to be more precise. 
 
Any notifications to app users will not mention the name of the venue, only that that the user was at a venue recently where they may have come into contact with coronavirus. 
 
The Northumberland Covid Business Response (NCBRP) programme has been designed to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic to recover and restart

It is funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Covid-19 Capacity Fund and delivered by Advance Northumberland on behalf of the County Council and the Northumberland Business Hub.

There are two strands to the programme:
 

Business Advantage

This provides access to 12 hours of 1-2-1 coaching or consultancy for businesses looking to explore new methods of business delivery, increase productivity or become more resilient. It is open to large businesses and SMEs across the county.
 

Digital Advantage

This support will enable SMEs from across the county to introduce digital tools into their day to day business activity. These tools include e-commerce websites and proactive digital marketing campaigns to expand and reach new customers. Businesses in the hospitality sector could have the chance to create bespoke apps fully funded for their business.

For more details and to register your interest go to: www.northumberlandbusinessresponse.co.uk or email business@advancenorthumberland.co.uk
Find out more about pavement licence available now for businesses recovering and reopening after the coronavirus lock down.

This information was last updated 6 Jan 2021

 

What is a pavement licence?

New legislation called the Business and Planning Act 2020 came into force on 22 July 2020 allowing businesses to apply for a Pavement Licence to place removable furniture on certain highways adjacent to their premises for the purposes of selling/serving and/or consuming food and drink outdoors. Pavement Licences are a temporary measure brought in under the provisions of Part 1 of the 2020 Act. The intended aim of this new legislation is to support businesses serving food and drink (including - but not limited to - bars, restaurants and cafes) to survive the pandemic. These measures will remain in force until 30th September 2021. 

Government guidance - pavement licences

Click here for guidance issued by the Government for the new pavement licenses (outdoor seating proposal). The guidance refers to 5 days for both the consultation and determination periods, however this has been updated to 7 days in Act itself.

The Government’s new pavement licensing regime expects that:

  • All businesses that place seating and furniture on the pavement are required to formally apply to the Council for consent, irrespective of whether this is a new arrangement or their historic practice.
  • There will be a non refundable application fee up to a maximum of £100 for the pavement licence. Northumberland County Council has however decided to waive this fee to help support businesses.
  • Applicants need to demonstrate that they are able to place seating and furniture on the pavement whilst maintaining a clear 2 metre width of pavement to ensure safe passage for pedestrians, in accordance with Government guidance.
  • The licence is only temporary and will end on or before 30 September 2021, by which time other pavement licensing arrangements will have been put in place by the local authority under the Highways Act 1980.

The Council and pavement licences

Northumberland County Council wants to do all it can to safeguard public health while supporting our economic recovery. The Council recognises that current social distancing guidelines will have considerable impact on the capacity of cafes, pubs and restaurants to accommodate customers. The Council also recognises that there may be some existing practices in relation to the placement of furniture on the highway that may not comply with this new legislation. 

This process should be used only when applying to use a pavement adjacent to the premises for the purposes of selling/serving and/or consuming food and drink outdoors.

Please note - a pavement licence DOES NOT:

  • permit the sale of alcohol, so if you do also wish to serve alcohol as part of your business, you must hold a separate Premises Licence under The Licensing Act 2003 in addition to any Pavement Licence granted.
  • allow the use of other parts of the highway such as parking bays, roads, etc. If this is something you want us to consider then contact us via email at pavementlicence@northumberland.gov.uk providing details of your specific request. Please note that you must be willing to meet any costs associated with legal orders and traffic management arrangements etc for use of other parts of the highway, if you wish us to consider such requests.

Please click on the drop down boxes below to apply for a pavement licence and learn more:

Please ensure you have read the ‘Pavement Licence Information Sheet’ for detailed information on the legislation, statutory guidance, the application process, size and layout requirements, furniture, etc.
 
All applications must be submitted electronically using the online application process.
 
All Pavement Licences granted by the Council are subject to ‘Standard Pavement Licence Conditions’.  
 
Prior to filling in the online application you must;-
  • Complete, print and display a copy of the ‘Notice of Application’ in your premises window
  • Prepare a plan of the proposed layout and display a copy in your premises’ window
  • Take a photo of the Notice of Application and proposed layout showing that they are in place and easily readable by the public
Examples of pavement licence area layouts can be found in Section 3 of the Pavement Licence Information Sheet.
  
In order for your application to be processed you also must ensure that the following documents are attached to the online application at the time of submission;-
  • A copy of your public liability insurance (this must be to the value of £5,000,000)
  • A plan of the proposed layout (a scale plan showing the area of relevant highway in respect of which the Pavement Licence is sought and the layout of the furniture to be placed on it)
  • A photo of the Notice of Application and proposed layout plan affixed to your premises’ window

The link to the pavement licence application form can be found here.
Prior to applying for your pavement licence you are encouraged to discuss your proposal with neighbouring businesses and other occupiers with particular regard to noise and nuisance. You are also encouraged to discuss your proposals with any services operated in the vicinity for vulnerable customers (e.g. care homes, disability organisations etc.) where individuals are at particular risk.

The ‘Notice of Application’ which is affixed to your premises’ window forms part of the publication. In addition to this, once your application has been submitted and verified, it will be made public on the Council’s Pavement Licence portal which can be viewed here.

The 7 day public consultation period starts on the day after your online application has been submitted.  

Members of the public will be able to view your application on our website and make representations either in support or to object.
Members of the public can view any application made on our website and make comments either in support or to object to proposals submitted. You can view an application and make a representation here.
Applicants should also be aware of the following statutory guidance which may affect the suitability of any application made: The Council has the power under these provisions to licence such activities and to ensure that they are properly regulated.
The Council aims to make a decision either to ‘grant’ or ‘refuse’ all applications within the timescales as set out in the 2020 Act.  Where this is not possible a pavement licence application will automatically ‘deem’. 
 
Applicants will receive an email confirming the decision. Where an application is granted, a link to the licence will also be included; the licence will need to be printed off and stored on the premises. 
 
A link to the ‘Request for a review’ form will be included with any application that has been refused. Once completed, a review will be undertaken by a senior manager of the Council who has not been previously involved in the determination of your application.
 
Following the granting of a pavement licence, should you no longer require your licence, we ask that you email a completed ‘Notice of Surrender of licence’ form to pavementlicence@northumberland.gov.uk.
The Council will undertake checks to ensure that businesses who have furniture out on the pavement have a valid Pavement Licence authorising this activity. For those businesses who do not have a valid Pavement Licence, the Council may use its powers under the Highways Act 1980 to remove any unauthorised obstructions of the highway and to recover its costs incurred in doing so.
 
The Council will also undertake checks of businesses that have a valid Pavement Licence to ensure the conditions are being adhered to. If it is found that there are any breaches of the conditions, appropriate enforcement action in accordance with the Business and Planning Act 2020 will be taken. This action may result in a pavement licence being revoked.
If you have any queries regarding Pavement Licences please contact us via email at pavementlicence@northumberland.gov.uk.
Employers can contact the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) to arrange a meeting to discuss support needs and how the National Careers Service can support the work force with access to Rapid Response training and other areas of training, skills, CVs, job searching, employment opportunities and benefits.

Please click on the links below for more information:
The lastest updates in business grant funding and loans as a response to COVID-19. Find out about the Bounce Back Loan, Future Fund, help for Fishing and Aquaculture businesses, and help for larger businesses. Please note that the COVID-19 Discretionary Grant Fund, alongside the Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funds are now closed.

Last updated 6 Jan 2021

Information on the Local Restrictions Support Grants can be found here


Future Fund

This fund is for companies which are facing financing difficulties due to COVID-19. The loans range from £125,000 to £5 million (subject to at least equal match funding from private investors), and may be an option for businesses unable to access other government support. 

The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020. 

Please click here to apply for the coronavirus Future Fund.

Fishing and aquaculture businesses

There are two funds for England’s fishing and aquaculture businesses, administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and that target those most in need. 

Fisheries Response Fund
  • Qualifying fishing vessel owners will be contacted directly in stages by MMO, starting from Monday 20 April 2020.
  • Qualifying aquaculture businesses are being contacted directly by MMO from Thursday 07 May 2020.
Domestic Seafood Supply Fund

The second fund is a grant scheme to support the sale of fish locally.




Bounce Back Loan

The Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan will help both small and medium-sized businesses affected by the pandemic.

Businesses will be able to apply for loans from £2,000 to £50,000, with no fees or interest for the first 12 months. 

Please click here to apply for the coronavirus Bounce Back Loan.

Larger Businesses

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility
The government has introduced a financing facility where the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. Operating initially for 12 months, it’s intended to relieve cash flow pressures. 

Click here to find out if the Corporate Financing Facility is right for you.
 
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of up to £45m to apply for Government-backed finance up to £5m. The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. 
 

Changes in business rates as a response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This information was last updated 16 October 2020

 

Business Rate Relief

The Government has announced the intention to increase the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for the 2020-21 tax year for properties below £51,000 rateable value.

All retail/hospitality/leisure businesses in England will get a 100% retail rates relief discount for the next 12 months.

 

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

There is a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. There is no action for you. This will apply to your bill in April 2020. 
Find other support for businesses below:

This information was updated on 4 November at 16:24.



Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID-19

The UK Government has produced guidance for employers about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and how to treat staff presenting with symptoms. The guide also provides information on support for employers and businesses.



Deferring your self-assessment payment

If you are due to make a self-assessment payment to HMRC on 31 July 2020, you can now have this payment deferred until January 2021. 

There is no need to apply for this. If you choose to defer, you won’t be charged any penalties or interest.



Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the UK Government in full.
 
The scheme launched on Tuesday 26 May and the HMRC has published online guidance here, which includes information about who can use the scheme, what you can claim and how to claim.



Time to Pay

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress caused by COVID-19 and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. 

Your business may be able to agree to a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. Please call 0800 0159 559 for more information.



Support for UK exporters

Export, supply, and UK Export Finance may have also been impacted by COVID-19.

 

North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit 

To keep up to date with the latest updates and guidance visit the North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit:



Useful links for businesses

Please click on the links below for information from the gov.uk website:
Enquiries relating to business support measures in Northumberland should be emailed to businesshub@northumberland.gov.uk
Northumberland County Council has established a dedicated Tourism and Hospitality Hub to support businesses in the sector.

We have a specialist team available to offer you help and signpost you to specific advice and guidance where this has been made available by Government and other industry bodies.
 

How can I get help?

If you are a business in the tourism or hospitality sector and need help or advice on reopening your business, we can help.

Contact Tourism and Hospitality:  

What can we help with?

A specialist team of advisers can help with:
  • Providing information on social distancing measures and how to apply them in your business
  • Identifying business suport grant opportunities and organisations
  • Working safely during COVID-19
  • Interpretation of specific guidance and regulations for tourism businesses
  • Regular updates on all matters affecting the visitor economy

Who can access the Tourism and Hospitality hub?

Our specialist team can offer help, advice and support to the following sectors:
  • Heritage locations
  • Hotels and other guest accommodation
  • Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway outlets
  • Wider visitor / tourism economy (including attractions, events and shows)

Visit Britain - We’re Good to Go 

We’re Good to Go - Visit Britain has launched a new industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to Government and public health guidance.

Over 600 Northumberland businesses have already signed up. All you have to do is complete an online self-assessment and ensure you have all the necessary processes in place.

Please click here for more information

 

Other support for businesses

We recommend all tourism and hospitality businesses sign up to the COVID-19 Business Support Weekly Update, which can be found here on Northumberland Tourism's website. 

The mail includes all updates and important news on developments, business support, opportunities to be featured in Visit Northumberland activity and news relating to Northumberland's tourism sector.

Follow the latest tourism industry news in Northumberland via:
Please click here for the latest business support information from the gov.uk website
The aim of the Community Chest VCS Skills & Employability Fund is to to support VCS organisations currently delivering support to the skills and employability sector to adapt to new digital delivery demands, and address digital exclusion on service users.

For more information, please contact: communitychest@northumberland.gov.uk

Grants are supported with funds from the North of Tyne Combined Authority as part of its Inclusive Economy ambitions.

Please click on the blue drop-down boxes below for more information:
Northumberland County Council, working with the North of Tyne Combined Authority, is responding to the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic and effects on the labour market by supporting our businesses and communities to adapt. 

The Northumberland voluntary and community sector (VCS) is playing a key role in supporting the resilience of communities and residents in the face of an economic downturn.  Discussion with the sector has identified the need to adapt services to deliver by digital and remote means to continue giving residents the employability and skills support needed as the labour market changes.  The Community Chest - VCS Skills and Employability Fund will allow organisations to become more digitally agile in the services they can deliver, and by raising the digital skills and access of residents to engage with them.

The grant funding is available to any Northumberland VCS organisations delivering a broad base of skills and employability services to residents. This can include any activities which help residents improve the skills and attributes needed to enter the labour market, training, jobsearch, advice and guidance, and general support for progression in work.

The focus of the grant fund is to assist organisations to develop or convert services to be delivered digitally to those who would normally require face-to-face delivery. This can include services or equipment needed to support residents in the lockdown and post-lockdown period, and to raise digital ability to short labour market resilience in the longer term. A ‘digital divide’ has been identified as disadvantaging some communities and cohorts of people in their labour market prospects, particularly those in deprived areas and people who are unemployed or experience insecure employment. The fund should be used to demonstrate closing of digital divide in longer term

The fund can support where additional capacity for digital delivery is required as demand increases from existing unemployed or economically inactive people who need support, along with responding to the needs of those newly displaced in the labour market.
Eligible costs can include a range of delivery and/or equipment demonstrating conversion or development of services to be delivered digitally.

This following list identifies examples but is not exclusive, and innovative proposals which meet the specification are invited. 
  • Digital conversion of existing learning and support packages
  • New, or development of, software packages
  • Webinar packages
  • Online support platforms delivering guided and advice
  • Consultancy or advice for design of products
  • Costs of increasing social media communications. 
  • Cost of IT equipment to enable digital learning and support delivery packages
  • Delivery costs of IT skills training and support
  • Cost of equipment for participants to access services (e.g. tablets, laptops, iphones etc.)
  • Data or broadband costs (This may include an increase of data allowance for participants to access services through smart phones or other devices).
Grant Details
  • Minimum Grant £2,000
  • Maximum Grant £10,000
  • 100% intervention rate (no match funding required)
  • Grants are available for both equipment and day to day running costs related to the project
  • Closing date is at noon on 22 January 2021
  • Projects cannot start before 1 February 2021 and be completed by
    30 June 2021
Eligibility
  • Applicants must be a not for profit Voluntary Community Sector organisation, Charity or Social Enterprise 
  • Applicants must show they are currently delivering Skills, Employability or Inclusion services
  • Beneficiaries must be domiciled in Northumberland although the delivery organisation does not need to be
  • Previous applicants are welcome to reapply

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