Business Support

Winter Economy Plan

On September 24 Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined additional government support to provide certainty to businesses and workers impacted by coronavirus across the UK.​ The package of measures, which applies to all regions and nations of the UK, includes:

  • A new Job Support Scheme (external link)
  • Extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS)
    • An additional second grant will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April.
  • Extending the temporary VAT reduced rate for hospitality and tourism from 12 January to 31 March 2021
  • A ‘New Payment Scheme’ VAT deferral 
  • Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension
  • A new 'Pay as You Grow' flexible repayment system to provide flexibility for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan.

For more information on the package of measures visit Winter Economy Plan (external link)

Rosebud Rebound Fund

Following the impact of Coronavirus, the traditional Rosebud Fund has been renewed to support Lancashire businesses when they need it most. Rosebud Finance want to make sure that every business has access to the capital it needs regardless of the economic conditions and have loans from £10,000 to £300,000 and complimentary business support available.

Key facts about the Rosebud Rebound Fund

  • Loans provided between £10,000 and £300,000 for ambitious growing businesses seeking to expand their workforce
  • Interest rates typically will be between 6-10% with an admin fee of 2.5% (talk to us about flexible options for payment)
  • Loans are typically taken out for three to five years. And there’s no penalty for early repayment
  • You’ll need to disclose if you’ve got a bad credit history, but it won’t necessarily stop you from getting funding

For more information and to apply visit the Rosebud Rebound Fund (external link)

Please note: The Rosebud Rebound Fund is not eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) therefore personal guarantees and additional security may be required.

The Rosebud Fund is designed specifically for Lancashire businesses offering loans from £10,000 – £300,000 with complimentary business support for growing businesses in the County Council’s administration area, provided by Lancashire County Developments Ltd (LCDL), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the council and is delivered by GC Business Finance.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Tuesday 12 May Update: The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced on Tuesday 12 May that the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary.

The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August.

If you cannot maintain your current workforce because your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions (up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution) on that subsidised furlough pay.

Please visit check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Businesses to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19

On 25 March a joint initiative between the government and Companies House was launched to give businesses an additional 3 months to file accounts, to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.

Please visit the guidance on applying for an extension (external link) for more information on how to ask Companies House to extend your filing deadline.

Tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222.

New Bounce Back Loans scheme

From today small businesses can now apply for quick and easy-to access loans of up to £50,000 – with the cash expected to land within days.

The new Bounce Back Loans scheme has been designed to ensure that small firms who need vital cash injections to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak. The loans will be 100% government backed for lenders, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple online application form (external link).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Community Interest Companies (CICs)

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CICs) has robust plans in place to maintain services for CICs and protect the welfare of employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For more information please visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Community Interest Companies (CICs) (external link).

COVID-19 advice to food businesses

The Council understands that businesses may look to change their business model and diversify in order to maintain their business during this time. We have prepared a guide (PDF, 254Kb) for businesses that are looking to make provision for food takeaways and deliveries where they have not done so before.

Further advice is also available from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (external link).

The Food Standards Agency has also produced a general guide for food businesses at COVID-19: guidance for food businesses (external link).

COVID-19 changes to licensing services

Significant changes have been made to the Council's licensing services in response to the outbreak. Where possible, relaxations have been introduced to support local business whilst maintaining safeguards. Where applications are still being processed, all parties are encouraged to submit applications and supporting information electronically to avoid potential delay.

We have prepared a summary (PDF, 655Kb) of the implications for all licences to assist applicants, licence holders and interested parties. More information can be obtained from the licensing pages on our website or from Licensing Service at 01695 585015 or licensing.enquiries@westlancs.gov.uk 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. Please visit the British Business Bank website (external link) to find out more information and to apply.

Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen has announced.

The government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment.

Further details will be announced in due course but the full announcement can be found on Government to support businesses through Trade Credit Insurance guarantee (external link).

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (external link) has been announced as part of a package of support measures for businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

This scheme will allow small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP.

Employers will be able to make their claims through a new online service from 26 May. This means they will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

For further guidance and to find out if you can use the scheme, please visit Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (external link).

Digital Boost

A new platform called Digital Boost has been launched which provides free digital support to small businesses to help boost their digital business skills, provided by experts.

Many aspects of everyday work and life have been disrupted. Small businesses and charities are particularly vulnerable. They need new digital ways of working and connecting with people to stay afloat. From building a website, to launching digital advertising, to scaling up delivery for e-commerce, many could do with a hand from experts who've done this all before.

For more information and to sign up visit Digital Boost (external link).

Skills for Work

To support anybody in West Lancashire who is currently looking for a job, is furloughed or facing redundancy, The Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub have launched Skills For Work to make it easy for you to find work and training or to support your health & wellbeing.

For more information visit Skills for Work (external link).