Covid Support Schemes November 2020
Further to our last post about the Job Support Scheme, we have to warn you that it is no longer relevant as of Monday. The government have delayed its introduction for another month, instead they have extended the older more generous scheme and will pay 80% of furloughed employee’s wages with employers covering employer’s NIC and pension contributions. The JSS is now due to replace the older furlough scheme from 01/12/2020.
However, we have also been informed via the rumour mill that Rishi Sunak is set to make a further announcement later today to extend the original furlough scheme to the end of March 2021. If this is the case, you can disregard all previous emails which refer to the Job Support Scheme and we will be back operating under the rules that have been in place since March.
In another spate of good news, there are two changes to Bounceback Loans – If you took less than the maximum BBL, you may now do a top-up drawdown, allowing you to borrow up to the maximum available under the scheme’s rules – If you have not yet applied for a BBL, you now have until the 31 January 2021 We can of course help you all with this process. There are also two additional relief schemes announced by the NI executive
Localised Restrictions Support Scheme
Open for Applications – The more generous program which is available to businesses legally ordered to shut or in the direct supply chain of an industry forced to shut and who occupy commercially rated premises
Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme
Portal not Open to Applications Yet – A more restricted grant available to businesses which are legally ordered to shut or in the direct supply chain of an industry forced to shut and who do not operate from commercially rateable premises The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme is now open for applications as of the last day or so so if you believe you may be eligible you can apply on the linked nibusinessinfo page below.
Localised Restriction Support Scheme
Businesses must meet 3 eligibility criteria:
- The business must occupy a property within Northern Ireland
- The business must fall into at least one of the following categories:
- It operates as one of the following: cafe, restaurant, hotel, guesthouse, registered bed & breakfast or pub. This will be validated through various local government and other official information sources.
- It operates as a close contact services (as detailed in the Health Protection Regulations ) and occupies commercial premises such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, day spas, nail bars, tattoo parlours, sports and massage therapy, wellbeing and holistic therapies, tanning, dress fitting, tailoring and fashion design, electrolysis and body piercing.
- It operates as a campsite or caravan park for touring caravans, cinema, a museum, a gallery, a bingo hall, a funfair, an indoor amusement arcade, an indoor visitor attraction, a trampoline park, an inflatable park, a bowling alley, or an ice rink.
- It is a business which has been required to close or severely limit operations at their premises under the Health Protection Regulations.
- The business must have been open to the public and trading at the start of the restriction period set by the Health Protection Regulations (unless the applicant business is a wet pub which serves drink only)
The following businesses are excluded from receiving support through the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme:
- The occupier is a public sector body, or NI Housing Executive or Housing Association
- Businesses which have failed to comply with a COVID-19 prohibition notice served by the PSNI
- Off-licences and supermarkets selling alcohol solely restricted by closure times
- Premises solely restricted by latest ordering time of 11pm on takeaway orders
There are three levels of support available to businesses who fall into the eligible categories listed above and whose application is successful. The level of support that successful applicants will receive is based on the Total Net Annual Value (NAV) of the property from which the business operates:
- Lower rate: £800 for each week that the restrictions apply for:
- a business that is the sole occupant operating from a property with an NAV of £15,000 or less,
- a guesthouse or bed & breakfast with a capital value (which means it is valued as a domestic property for rates); or
- a business that is the occupier of a part of a property which is restricted with any NAV.
- Standard rate: £1,200 for each week that the restrictions apply for:
- a business that is the sole occupant of a property with an NAV between £15,001 and £51,000.
- Higher rate: £1,600 for each week that restrictions apply for:
- A business that is the sole occupant of a property with an NAV of £51,001 or more.
Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme
Who is eligible
CRBSS Part A is open to any business that can meet the following criteria:
- A business named within the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 as required to close/cease trading, but is not eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme. Examples of this might include a business that delivers its product or service on a mobile basis or operates from their home, or their customers’ homes, for example, a driving instructor or mobile hairdresser or beautician.
- A business operating in Northern Ireland and was trading at the time the restrictions came into effect on 16 October 2020. For businesses based in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area, this date is 5 October 2020. Based means your business address must have a Derry City & Strabane District Council postcode.
- The income lost as a result of your business having to close or cease trading is your main source of income – ie accounts for more than 50% of your income.
Who cannot apply
A business is not eligible for CRBSS Part A if:
- It is not listed in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 .
- It is eligible for support under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS).
- The business has failed to comply with a COVID-19 prohibition notice, served by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), under regulation 7 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020(b).
- The grant to be paid to the business will mean it will exceed the maximum level of State Aid permitted under the EC’s de Minimis Regulation (PDF, 835K) . The State Aid de minimis ceiling is €200,000 over the three previous consecutive fiscal years.
The business must be able to demonstrate it is a registered business, and that it was operational and trading up to and including 16 October 2020, when the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 came into effect. For businesses based in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area, this date is 5 October 2020. Suppport Payments Eligible businesses will receive a grant equivalent to £600 for each week the initial Health Protection Regulations are in place. This will be paid in one lump sum. https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/covid-restrictions-business-support-scheme
Other Minor Schemes Available
Future Fund for innovative businesses – This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-future-fund-innovative-businesses
Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations
Grants of up to £500,000 for organisations working in the arts and cultural sector to help them respond to the impact of coronavirus https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-stability-and-renewal-programme-organisations