Northumberland County Council and Government are working together to support businesses through this challenging time. Our businesses are vitally important to our county.

This information was last updated on 26 November at 11:45. 


Tier 3: VERY HIGH alert restrictions from 2 December

From Wednesday 2 December, Northumberland will be subject to Tier 3: VERY HIGH alert restrictions. Click here to see what restrictions will be in place for businesses and venues.
 

UPDATE *23 November* - Business support grants

Business support grants 'Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum' and 'Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)' are now available.

Click here to find out more and apply.

 

More Government announcements

Furlough scheme extended further to March 2021 and further self-employed support -  5 November 

Click here to view the latest announcement from the Chancellor on furlough's five month extension.
 

List of venues that must close or can remain open - 4 November

Click here to see a list of venues allowed to stay open and those that must close on Thursday 5 November.
 

Increased support for self-employed - 2 November

The government is increasing its support to the self-employed over the coming months and ensuring people get paid faster than previously planned.

Click here to learn more about self-employed support.
 

Furlough scheme extended and further economic support announced - 31 October

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked and further economic support has been announced.
 

Other information on this page:

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.
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 regional or national Tier 2 (High) Covid restrictions, but were severely impacted by them.

This page was last updated on 23 November at 13:23.

In Northumberland three grant schemes will be available for: 
  1. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum: Businesses required to close under national restrictions which came into force on Thursday 5 November (Scheme now open for applications);
  2. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open): Businesses in the hospitality and leisure industry which remained open but were severely affected by the Local COVID: Alert Level: HIGH restrictions in Northumberland (Scheme now open for applications) and
  3. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector): Businesses which were required to close in March and have never been able to re-open (Scheme to open soon).
 
Some funding is also available for local authorities to develop further support for businesses or sectors severely impacted.

Grants available for applications

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 lockdown from 5th November until 2nd December.
 
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 regional or local 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) you can apply online below.  We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment. 

Apply here



2. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)


This grant scheme is now OPEN for applications - which MUST be made before midnight on Monday 7 December 2020.
 
Businesses in the hospitality, hotel, bed and breakfast and leisure sectors which remained open but were adversely affected by the Local Covid Alert Level: HIGH 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
£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 Restrictions Support Grant (Open) you can apply online below. We will review your application and let you know if you are entitled to a payment.

Please make your application by midnight on Monday 7 December.
 

Apply here by Monday 7 December

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

Grants to open soon

3. Local Restriction Support Grant (Sector) 



Businesses which were required to close in March and have never been able to re-open, for example nightclubs, are eligible for a grant effective from 1 November 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 

We will be providing more information about this scheme, and details of how to apply, in the coming days.

In the meantime, you can read the latest Government guidance here. 
 

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.

Find all the latest announcements from Government here.

This information was last updated 26 November at 11:45.

 

Tier 3: VERY HIGH alert restrictions from 2 December 

From Wednesday 2 December, Northumberland will be subject to Tier 3: VERY HIGH alert restrictions. Click here to learn more about the restrictions.
 

What does this mean for businesses and venues? 

All businesses and venues that are open are expected to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers. 
 
The following businesses and venues can remain open: 
  • essential and non-essential retail, including indoor and outdoor markets and car boot sales 
  • certain leisure and sporting facilities such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds – subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier. Indoor group activities and classes should not take place at tier 3 
  • personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons 
  • public buildings, such as libraries, community centres and halls. They should not host events for private hire, such as birthday parties or most other social activities in tier 3 
  • allotments, recycling and waste centres, public toilets, car parks 
  • essential public services such as the NHS and medical services, courts, and jobcentre plus sites 
  • places of worship – communal worship can now resume, subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier 
Business and venues with restrictions: 
  • hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services. 
  • accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training  
  • indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes: 
    • indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play 
    • casinos 
    • bingo halls 
    • bowling alleys 
    • skating rinks 
    • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres 
    • laser quests and escape rooms 
    • cinemas, theatres and concert halls 
    • snooker halls 
  • indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within:
    • zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves 
    • aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions 
    • model villages 
    • museums, galleries and sculpture parks 
    • botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses 
    • theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs 
    • visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes 
    • landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms 
  • leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close 
Please continue to follow the national restrictions until midnight on 2 December. 
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 5 November at 14:04.

 

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 to March 2021 and increased self employed support - 5 November

Click here to view the latest announcement from the Chancellor on furlough's five month extension.
 

Furlough scheme extended and further economic support announced - 31 October

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked and further economic support has been announced.

Click here to learn more about the extension of the furlough scheme.

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 5 November at 14:04.

 

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.


Increased support for self-employed - 2 November

The government is increasing its support to the self-employed over the coming months and ensuring people get paid faster than previously planned.

Click here to learn more about self-employed support.

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

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.
 
Here you can find information about working safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

This information was last updated on 4 November at 16:14.


Please note: From Thursday 5 November, certain business venues must close. Click here to see a list of venues that must close and those that can remain open.

 

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

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 page was last updated 4 November

 

From Thursday 5 November, certain business venues must close. Click here to see a list of venues that must close and those that can remain open.

 

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 on 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.

This page was last updated 20 November at 11:21. 

Latest grants: Local Restrictions Support Grants

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 regional or national Tier 2 (High) Covid restrictions, but were severely impacted by them.

You can find out more and apply on our dedicated Local Restrictions Grant page:

For information on the Local Restrictions Support Grants, please click here.

 

Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund

The Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund was launched by Government in May and closed on Friday 28 August at midnight.

The fund was primarily aimed at small and micro businesses with high ongoing fixed property-related costs, and businesses which could demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

If you have queries about the Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund, please email NCCdiscretionarygrant@northumberland.gov.uk.

 

Small Business and Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Funds

These grant funds were launched by Government in March.

The Small Business Grant Fund was for local businesses which usually receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief may qualify for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) of £10,000.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund was for retail, hospitality or leisure businesses may qualify for a grant of £10,000 (if their rateable value is below £15,000), or a grant of £25,000 (if their rateable value is between £15,001 and £51,000), under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Both funds are now closed.

If you have any queries about applications please email covidbusinessgrants@northumberland.gov.uk.

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

Click here to let us know if you found the content of the page helpful