UK & Welsh Government Support for Businesses

UK Government has launched a ‘support finder’ tool which will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to determine what financial support is available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tool asks business owners to complete a simple online questionnaire, which will direct them to a list of the financial support they may be eligible for.

The new business support finder tool can be found at https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Information regarding the range of support available from Welsh Government is available on the Business Wales Coronoavirus advice page. This can be accessed here: Business Wales

Monmouthshire Start Up Grant

This is a grant to provide financial assistance for newly created businesses that are facing operational and financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The purpose of the grant is to support newly created businesses with immediate cash flow support to help them survive the economic consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak. The grant seeks to complement other Covid-19 response measures to support businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations in Wales.

The eligibility criteria for the grant is as follows:

  • Started trading between 1st April 2019 and 1st March 2020
  • Forecast annual turnover less than £50,000
  • Not in receipt of Self Employment Income Support, Non Domestic Rate Grant, Economic Resilience Fund
  • Businesses must be operating in Wales
  • Businesses must have one or more of the following
    • HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number
    • VAT Registration Number or a VAT exemption certificate
    • Written correspondence confirming registration with HMRC
  • Have experienced a drop in turnover greater than >50% as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak between April and June 2020
  • Supported businesses must aim to maintain employment for 12 months
  • Successful applicants must register for support with the Business Wales service once the grant is awarded

For further information on this grant please read the Start Up Grant Guidance Notes here: Guidance Notes

Businesses can apply for the grant by accessing the Economic Resilience Fund Eligibility Checker on the Business Wales website https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/. If eligible you will be directed to your local authority website where you will be able to access the online application form.

The Start Up Grant is open to applications from the 29th June 2020 until the fund is fully committed. 2000 grants are available pan Wales and applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. This may lead to applications not being appraised after they have been submitted if the fund is fully committed.

Privacy Information:

Monmouthshire County Council will be processing and sharing your data, internally and with an authorised third party, to assist in processing the applications for the Start Up Grant. It will not be used for another purpose without your consent.

Future Fund

Announced by the Chancellor on 20 April, the Future Fund issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies with good potential, that typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by Covid-19. The scheme, will help these companies through the current period of economic disruption and the recovery, so they are able to continue their growth trajectory and reach their full economic potential. The scheme is designed by UK Government and delivered by the British Business Bank.

Further information about the scheme is available here

The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020.

UK Government Bounce Back Loans

Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track loan scheme, which will launch on Monday 4th May.

The new Bounce Back Loans scheme will enable businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days.

Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.

Further information about the scheme is available here

Once applications open on 4th May you will be able to apply here

Welsh Government Economic Resilience Fund

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak the Welsh Government has announced a further extension to the Economic Resilience Fund support for businesses in Wales, in addition to the support provided by the UK Government.

Businesses can now find out if they are eligible to apply for financial support from the next phase of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

The ERF is designed to support businesses, social enterprises and charities that are not eligible for other Welsh Government COVID-19 non-repayable grant support schemes.

Eligible businesses can claim up to:

£10,000 for micro businesses
£100,000 for small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
£690,000 for large businesses

The online eligibility checker has reopened to allow companies time to prepare their applications, and businesses will be able to make applications for support by the end of June 2020.

Complete the COVID-19 support eligibility checker to find out if your business is eligible.

Support from Local Business Networks

Monmouthshire County Council works closely with the county’s local business representatives all of whom would be happy to help with any individual business queries you may have.  Below are a list of contacts and the areas that they represent:

Legionella controls in hot and cold water systems during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

During these unprecedented times, and with many businesses being closed, it is essential that your hot and cold water systems are still managed effectively to prevent the growth of legionella bacteria, which could affect the health of your customers, visitors and staff in the future when you do fully reopen.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia contracted by inhaling aerosols contaminated with legionella bacteria.

Hot water boilers, showers, taps, WCs and other water outlets?

Act now to manage your hot and cold water systems – don’t just let them to stagnate.

If your building is going to be closed for a prolonged period:

  • Review your legionella risk assessment.
  • Make sure hot water is circulating throughout all parts of the system and flow temperature is maintained at ≥60 °C and the return on all loops is at ≥50 °C.
  • Hot water outlets should reach ≥ 50 °C within one minute and cold should reach ≤25 °after running the outlet (normal flow, avoid splashing) for 2 minutes.
  • Where there are thermostatic mixer valves ensure the pipework feeding them achieves the same temperatures.
  • If using a biocide already, maintain target levels throughout all of the system.
  • Flush gently (to reduce aerosols) all hot and cold outlets (showers and taps) at least weekly until they achieve the above temperatures.
  • Flush all WC cisterns (close the lid), urinals, by-passes and any other points on the network.

If you decide to close down your system, and switch off your heated water tanks, then additional control measures will be required – including disinfection – on restarting.

Please refer to the following guidance for further details:
Guidance and contact Environmental Health directly if you require any further advice or information on 01873 735420 or environmentalhealth@monmouthshire.gov.uk

HMRC Tax Help-line

If as an employer you are having difficulties with your business tax, please visit the link below for guidance issued by UK Government.

HMRC Employer Tax Advice

Support for businesses – new rate relief schemes

On Monday the Welsh Government announced an enhanced scheme of support for businesses affected by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will receive 100% business rates relief for the financial year 2020/21.

We will award the relief automatically. In addition, a further £100 million will be available across Wales for a new grant scheme for small businesses not covered by the enhanced retail relief scheme. Further details on this new grant scheme are to be confirmed shortly.

For further advice please contact the Council Tax team on 01633 644630 or e-mail counciltax@monmouthshire.gov.uk

Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief

The Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief scheme will provide 100% rates relief for occupied properties to eligible ratepayers for 2020-21. The scheme will apply to eligible properties with a rateable value of £500,000 or less.

You can find rates relief guidance from Welsh Government HERE

Diversifying your business to include takeaway and delivery?

The following businesses and venues have been asked to close: 

Pubs and restaurants can no longer open for the consumption of food or alcohol. Some businesses may offer a takeaway or delivery service if they wish to keep trading. The government website provides further details https://gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-further-measures-on-social-distancing#history

  • Food and drink venues for consumption on-site, such as restaurants and cafes.
  • Drinking establishments, including pubs, bars, nightclubs.
  • Entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, and bingo halls.
  • Hotels / B&B’s (unless offering accommodation to the homeless)
  • Museums and galleries.
  • Hairdressers, Barber shops, Spas, wellness centres and massage parlours.
  • Betting shops, Bingo Halls, Casinos.
  • All leisure and sports facilities, including gyms.

In these difficult times I’m sure you wish to maintain business continuity and support your community and may want to start supplying takeaway and delivering food.  More information is available on our Environmental Health page here.

For a full list of closed premises –
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875263/240320_Revised_Guidance.pdf