The government announced a package of financial measures to support businesses during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. More than £50 million worth of business grants have been approved by Wirral Council so far, to keep local companies going through this crisis.
Please read the information below to find out how to access support.
Business rates support
A 12-month business rates holiday has been confirmed for nurseries occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19 (coronavirus) should be treated as occupied for the purposes of this relief. Government guidance can be found on GOV.UK.
A 12-month business rates holiday has been confirmed for retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England during the 2020-2021 tax year. Government guidance on the business uses in properties that will and will not benefit from the business rates relief can be found on GOV.UK.
Wirral Council has issued revised bills to qualified ratepayers, confirming that they will not need to pay any rates for the year.
Support for self-employed workers
Self-employed workers can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits, up to £2,500 a month, to help them cope with the financial impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
People will be eligible if at least half their income has come from self-employment, as registered on the 2018-19 tax return filed in January. The scheme is open to self-employed people earning under £50,000 a year and payments will start in June.
HMRC will contact those that are eligible directly.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The government’s step-by-step guide explains the information that employers need to provide to HMRC to make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It also describes the processes involved.
Combined Authority business support
Steve Rotheram, the Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region (LCR), has recently announced a £15 million support package from existing Combined Authority projects to support businesses and the community and voluntary sector, including:
- £5 million to support businesses to access national government funds and improve the survival rate of LCR businesses
- the launch of Sustain, a 6-week programme of intensive support for 240 SMEs across all sectors
- the launch of Gather, a programme offering free online support to Liverpool City Region SMEs working in the digital, creative and tech sector
- Mettle, an online business resilience programme, which will support 120 SMEs in the digital, creative and tech sector
- £400,000 to support micro-businesses and SMEs in the cultural sector
On 12 June 2020, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region (LCR), launched a £3 million LCR Future Innovation Fund to support businesses in the region to adapt and innovate in the wake of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. More information on the Growth Platform website.
Top-up grants for taxi drivers
The Liverpool City Region has announced it has added a further £2m into the taxi license support package. This is to award a top-up grant to drivers licensed and living in the area.
Drivers who received the £100 grant at the end of 2020 are eligible for an additional grant of £200.
In order to get funds issued as quickly as possible, payment will be made by cheque to the eligible 1,400 taxi drivers in the Wirral area. This is similar to the way the first round of taxi driver support was managed. There is no claim process as the council will contact all eligible drivers directly.
The Leaders and Acting Mayor of the City Region’s six local authorities, and the Metro Mayor, agreed to increase the fund to a maximum of £3.5 million. This is in recognition of the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the taxi trade.
The fund will enable all of the city region’s local authorities to top up schemes which benefit local taxi drivers. This is in addition to what is available to them through national support schemes, such as the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
Government business support finder tool
This new ‘support finder’ tool will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The finder tool on GOV.UK asks business owners to fill out a simple online questionnaire, and you will be directed to a list of all the financial support you may be eligible for.
Other useful sources of information
- Wirral Chamber of Commerce - post-COVID-19 Support and Suppliers
- keeping your staff and customers safe
- financial support for businesses on GOV.UK
- Support for employees and benefit claimants on GOV.UK
- Federation of Small Businesses
- Confederation of British Industry
- Arts Council England
- Sport England
- National Lottery Heritage Fund