Overview

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Liverpool City Region’s childcare and care home businesses including a fall in demand alongside an increase in cost to manage within a Covid safe environment.  As a direct response to the challenges these businesses are facing, a new fund, the LCR Care Providers’ Grant, has been created by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.  The grant will be administered by each of the six local authorities that form the Combined Authority, namely Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

The LCR Care Providers’ Grant will be allocated quickly and efficiently, with the first funding to reach applicants within 10 working days of the application being approved, subject to the application being compliant.  Successful applicants will be notified by email, and payments will be made by BACS (payments usually take 3 working days to arrive in accounts). Please note, due to the volume of applications expected, it may take several weeks to consider applications and for applicants to receive a decision.

An initial “window” will open for receipt of applications for the Liverpool City Region Care Providers’ Grant on Tuesday 4 May 2021 and close on Tuesday 18 May 2021. In order to be considered, applications must be received before the window closes.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the application form and attach the required evidence, and we will not be able to chase individual businesses for supporting information if it is not included in the original application.  Incomplete applications will not be appraised. An application made during the ‘grant application window’ does not guarantee approval for payment.  Completed applications will be appraised in order of receipt by the local authority.

Priority Areas

The amount of funding available under the LCR Care Providers’ Grant is not expected to meet the demand from businesses, and unfortunately, not all applicants will be successful. Therefore, in determining the eligibility criteria, the Council has sought to balance the number of businesses it can support within the priority areas and the overall amount of money that is available.  In administering the grant, the Council will adopt the following priorities:

a. Provide the greatest assistance to eligible micro and small businesses (this includes home-based businesses, sole traders and charities);
b. Provide support to as many businesses as possible within the available financial resource;
c. Deliver a grant application process which is as simple and straightforward as possible and makes decisions as quickly as possible;
d. Ensure that there is proper due diligence and that fraud and error are avoided.

Eligibility

  • Registered Childminder; Registered Out of School Club; Day Care Nursery/ pre-school provision; Registered Care Home (Adults)
  • All businesses must be an Ofsted registered childcare provider or CQC registered adult care home provider.
  • All businesses must be a small or micro business (as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006) and be able to accept the grant under Covid-19 Business Grant Subsidy Allowance rules (see section 4 and 9 below).
  • Operational premises must be based in the Liverpool City Region
  • All businesses must be currently trading and continuing to trade with a view to making a profit or surplus (that is, not a dormant company)
  • All businesses must employ 1 or more people (a sole director, or self-employed counts as 1 staff employee).

Small and Micro businesses

The business must be a Small or Micro business Under the Companies Act 2006, a Small business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year:

  • Turnover: Not more than £10.2 million;
  • Balance sheet total: Not more than £5.1 million;
  • Number of employees: a staff headcount of not more than 50.

Under the Companies Act 2006, a Micro business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements:

  • Turnover: Not more than £632,000;
  • Balance sheet total: Not more than £316,000;
  • Number of employees: a staff headcount of not more than 10.

Exclusions

A business is excluded if, on the date of making the application, it:

  • is not registered with either Ofsted (if childcare provider); or not registered with the Care Quality Commission (if an adult care home provider);
  • is an adult day care centre, domiciliary care provider or supported living provider (except where the business operates a CQC registered adult Care Home);
  • is a childminding agency business;
  • is not a Small or Micro business;
  • is dissolved or about to be dissolved;
  • is insolvent or if insolvency action had been instigated against it including any petition or where a striking off notice has been made. (The records of each business and of each individual applying for a grant will be checked as part of the grant appraisal process);
  • is dormant, i.e. not trading but not insolvent;
  • is not trading;
  • has previously received a Grant administered by a local authority in the Liverpool City Region since the 1st October 2020 such as:-
  1. LCR Hospitality and Leisure Grant
  2. LCR Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grant (Expanded Scheme)
  3. LCR Local Business Support Grant;
  • is a public authority;
  • has been subject to Covid-19, environmental health or planning enforcement prosecution (by the Police or any other authority) since 1 April 2020
  • has had its Ofsted or CQC registration suspended or removed;
  • if the business is in rent or business rates arrears with the local authority, the local authority reserves the right to withhold a grant award;

Categories of business eligible to apply

Business Grant value
Registered Childminder £500
Registered Out of School Club £2,500
Registered Day Care Nursery/ pre-school provision* £5,000
Registered Care Home (Adults)* £5,000

*Businesses can apply for one grant per property if operating more than one premises within the local authority area. 

If your business operates premises in another local authority within Liverpool City Region (this encompasses Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral), and you would like those premises to be considered for this grant, you will need to submit a separate application to each local authority where the premises are located.

Grant payments

The aim is that the funding will reach applicants within 10 working days of an application being approved, with payment by BACS (a BACS payment can take up to 3 days to be received). Please note, due to the volume of applications expected, it may take several weeks to consider applications and for applicants to receive a decision.

Appeals

There is no right to appeal and the decision of the Council is final.  Unsuccessful applicants will be advised of the outcome of an application.

COVID-19 Business Grant subsidy allowance

All successful businesses will be required to declare that by accepting the grant payment, they confirm that they are eligible for the grant scheme, and that they confirm that any payments accepted will be in compliance with Covid-19 Business Grant Subsidy Allowance. The new domestic subsidy allowance for the COVID-19 business support grants took effect on 4 March 2021. This scheme is covered by 3 subsidy allowances:

  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any period of 3 years
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – you’re allowed up to £1,600,000
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000, provided certain conditions are met.

Grants under these 3 allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £10,935,000 (subject to exchange rates).

Tax

Grant income received by a business is taxable, therefore funding paid under the LCR Care Providers Grant (Additional Restrictions Grant) will be subject to tax.  Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant sales/revenue is included will be subject to tax.

General

The council reserve the right to modify and/or withdraw the grant and its associated conditions, particularly to ensure that public money is spent well. This may be in response to changes in national legislation, local economic and health conditions and changes in funding circumstances.

Businesses are responsible for providing true and accurate information, and applicants are asked to note that:-

  • Providing wrong or misleading information is a criminal offence and any such information may be used against applicants in any subsequent criminal investigation. The information provided on the online application form may be made available to other departments/agencies for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime.
  • Any grant received by a business must be declared to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as appropriate as part of the tax return for the business. For further information, you can contact HMRC's Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline.
  • Any grant received by the business will be used only for the purpose intended ie. to help alleviate the financial pressure of the recipient business and to the exclusion of any other individual or third-party gain.
  • The applicant will be asked to certify that the information provided on behalf of the business is true and correct to the best of the applicant’s knowledge and belief, and should it be subsequently determined that the grant was awarded on the basis of wrong or misleading information, the grant will be subject to recovery in full.
  • The applicant accepts that in applying for a grant an officer of the Council may at a reasonable time enter the premises to interview the applicant and inspect, copy, record and remove any accounting or other record, including original documents, as may be required for the purposes of confirming the eligibility of the business.
  • The applicant understands that an officer of the Council, including Planning, Environmental Health, Public Health and/or Trading Standards, may undertake spot checks of the premises.  If there is non-compliance with regulatory requirements, the grant, or any portion of the grant, may be withheld, or will be repayable by the business.
  • The applicant understands that the information provided on the application form will be made available to other government departments and their agencies for the purpose of detecting and preventing crime.
  • The applicant understands that if the Council approves the application, the terms and conditions shall be enforceable based on the Terms and Conditions of the grant scheme.

Checklist for applicants

You will be asked to provide information and documents to support your grant application, so the following checklist is to be used to help you gather the information before you start to complete the application form. Any missing or incorrect information will delay the appraisal and payment process. You will need the following information ready to complete your application:

  • CQC registration number if a Care Home provider (we require the provider registration number and not the location ID for the care home)
  • OFSTED registration number if a childcare provider
  • At least one of the following business identifiers:
  1. Companies House Number
  2. Charity commission registration number
  3. Unique Taxpayer Reference if self-employed/sole trader
  4. VAT Number
  5. Partnership /Self-assessment number if partnership
  • Date the business was first established
  • Number of employees working for the business
  • Business bank account details and a full business bank statement dated within the last month. The business bank statement should clearly show the Account Holder Name, Account Number and Sort Code, business transactions and name and address of the account holder and financial transactions. If you are self-employed/ sole trader you can provide details of a personal bank account and statement provided this is the account you use for your business/trading activity.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the application form and provide the required evidence, and we will not be able to chase individual businesses for supporting information if it is not included in the original application.

Incomplete applications will not be appraised and may be rejected.

Please read the accompanying Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notice for this scheme before completing the application form.