Business grants

There are a whole range of new grants that which have been announced recently by government. Some are additional COVID grants, some are “restart” grants and these are to run alongside the UK Community Renewal Fund which is designed to bridge the gap between the UK having to replace EU funding now that we have left.

COVID grants

The Government announced on 5th January that additional funding would be made available to support businesses throughout the current lockdown. These will again by administered by your local authorities and therefore you will need to visit your respective local authority website. The good news is that from 1st April we will have two Unitary authorities, North Northants Council and West Northants Council, these will replace the 8 existing local authorities which should simplify the process.

In the meantime, you will have to apply to your own Local Authority website, but in essence the grants are:

National Restrictions Grant & Business Support Package for Lockdown

Supporting rateable value businesses that were open as usual, but then required by law to close due to national lockdown from 5 November to 2 December 2020 and 5 January to 15 February 2021. Closing Date 31 March 2021.

Business Support Package March

Supporting rateable value businesses that were open as usual, but then required by law to close due to national lockdown from 16 February to 31 March 2021. Closing Date 31 May 2021.

Additional Restrictions Grant (January)

Supporting businesses outside the business rates system which were forced to close due to national lockdown restrictions from 5 January to 15 February 2021, and businesses severely impacted but not forced to close (including those which supply the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector). (Closing Date 31st March).

Additional Restrictions Grant (March Top Up)

Supporting businesses outside the business rates system which were forced to close due to national lockdown restrictions and businesses severely impacted but not forced to close (including those which supply the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector). 16 February to 31 March (Closing Date 30 April).

5 Nov to 2 Dec 20 5 Jan to 15 Feb 21 16 Feb to 31 March 21
for properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less £1,334 £6,001
(£2,001 grant plus £4,000 lockdown payment)
£2,096
for properties with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and below £51,000 £2,000 £9,000
(£3,000 grant plus £6,000 lockdown payment)
£3,143
for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over £3,000 £13,500
(£4,500 grant plus £9,000 lockdown payment)
£4,714

Please note:

  • Businesses which have already received Business Support Package January or ARG January payment, that covered the lockdown period from 5 January to 15 February 2021, will not need to make a new application for the March ARG, and will received their payment soon.
  • Any business which have recently applied for Business Support Package January or ARG January and are waiting payment, will received automatic payment of Business Support Package March or ARG March which will be combined with their January Applications.

The application process is short and simple to complete, and you can save your progress as you go along if you don't have the required information to hand.

Additional Restrictions Grant - Driving Instructors (March) - NORTHAMPTON

This is a one-off grant payment of £1,000 for registered Driving Instructors in Northampton. (Closing date is 30 April 2021). Driving Instructors have been lobbying government and its good to see that they have been specifically included. If you have your business outside Northampton, you would need to check with your Local Authority to see if they are offering this grant.

Recovery Grants

Restart Grant – From 1st April

On 3 March 2021, Government announced the introduction of grant support for non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England.

The restart grant replaces the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) scheme.

Non-essential retail businesses will receive up to £6,000 per premises. Gyms, leisure, personal care, accommodation and hospitality businesses will receive up to £18,000.The sum received is calculated from the rateable value of your business.

  • If your business has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, you can claim up to £8,000
  • If your business has a property with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, you can receive up to £12,000
  • If your business has a property with a rateable value over £51,000 then you can claim up to £18,000

This grant is administered by local authorities.

These grants are available from 1st April, check if you are eligible here.

Restart Grant - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

This is alongside a £700m fund for arts, culture and sporting institutions to help them get ready. Application details to be confirmed.

Help to Grow

A new Help to Grow initiative for small businesses will commence in the Autumn for businesses with 5 – 249 employees. This will provide opportunities to small businesses to allow them to access discounted software and advice as well as subsidised training in areas such as financial management and marketing. Register your interest here.

With my FSB hat on, we are lobbying government to bring down the starting limit of 5 employees to 0, as we feel that help should be given to even the smallest business.

£20m Brexit Support Fund

There is now direct financial support to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) adapt to changes in trading rules through the £20m Brexit Support Fund. The fund is focused on practical support with grants of up to £2,000 for training or professional advice to adjust to new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU. You can apply now

UK Community Renewal Fund

The Government has published its 2021-2022 prospectus for the Community Renewal Fund. The £220m fund is designed to help the UK prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which will effectively replace EU funding.

The four Investment priorities for the Renewal Fund are:

  • Investment in skills
  • Investment in businesses
  • Investment in communities and place
  • Supporting people into employment

The scope of projects must support economic development, this includes culture, sport and educational and training activities.

Those able to apply will include local councils, voluntary and community sector organisations, and local education providers, including universities. All delivery and spend must take place by 31st March 2022.

Some 100 ‘Priority Places’ have been identified by Government, including Corby, East Northamptonshire and Kettering. ‘Other Places’ listed include Wellingborough, Daventry and Northampton. The Renewal Fund is not just open to these places, it is therefore countywide. Bids will need to be submitted to North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council, depending on the geography, as the new LLAs from 1st April. The likely submission date for bids is 3rd May 2021. Both organisations will need to review all applications and prepare a shortlist of projects to be submitted to Government by 18th June.

Decisions will be made by Government from July 2021.