Coronavirus (Covid-19) information for businesses and employers

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) information for businesses and employers

Gosport Borough is under national lockdown: Stay at home

On 4 January 2021 the government announced a national lockdown for England with instructions to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Which means that you must stay at home, apart from limited exceptions where necessary. You may leave home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person (maintaining 2 metre social distance), this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible

For more information about the restrictions placed on businesses during the national lockdown please see the government guidance on Closing certain businesses and venues in England.

For more information, advice and guidance please see Gosport Borough Council’s dedicated coronavirus webpage.

Government funded grants during periods of national lockdowns and local restrictions

Grants updates:

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)(Addendum) and Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment – new application window now open for the third national lockdown from 5 January 2021
    • Grants are available to businesses required by law to close as a result of the third national lockdown from 5 January 2021.  For more details and to apply please see Gosport Borough Council’s Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)(Addendum) January webpage n.b. if you have already received LRSG (Closed)(Addendum) Tier 4 funding you do not need to apply again as you will be automatically paid for this period; and the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment is automatically awarded to those who receive a LRSG (C)(A) payment.
  • Additional Restrictions Grant – new application window now open
    • A new application window has opened for this grant to cover the periods of the second national lockdown from 5 November to 1 December 2020; the Tier 2 local restrictions from 2 December to 18 December; and the Tier 3/4 local restrictions from 19 December to 4 January 2021.  For more details and to apply please see the Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) webpage.

Grants Information

There are four government funded national grant schemes to support businesses affected by any periods of national lockdown, or Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 local restrictions (Local COVID alert levels ‘High’, ‘Very High’ and ‘Stay at Home’) that are administered by local authorities:

  1. Local Restrictions Grant (Closed) available during periods of local restrictions (Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4) and Local Restriction Grant (Closed Addendum) during national lockdowns for businesses registered with local authorities for business rates purposes that are required to close e.g. non-essential retail.
  2. Local Restrictions Grant (Open) available during periods of local restrictions (Tier 2 and Tier 3) for businesses registered with local authorities for business rates purposes that are not legally required to close but which are severely impacted by the restrictions e.g. hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.
  3. Local Restrictions Grant (Sector) for businesses registered with local authorities for business rates purposes that have been required to close due to the national restrictions introduced in March 2020 e.g. nightclubs.  This funding is only available from 1 November 2020 and is not retrospective.
  4. Additional Restrictions Grant available during periods of national lockdowns for businesses that are not eligible to receive support via the LRSG (C) fund but that have either been required to close or have been severely impacted by the national restrictions.  Although this is a discretionary fund with criteria set by local authorities there is government guidance on which businesses to support.

In addition there are the following one-off government funded national grants for specific time periods paid on top of the other grants that are also administered by local authorities:

  • Christmas Support Payment worth £1,000 for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3 in lieu of Christmas 2020 trade.
  • Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment worth £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000 (depending upon the rateable value of their premises) for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors mandated to close to cover the period from 5 January 2021 through to the Spring 2021.

Details of how to claim/apply for the grants referenced above are available on the Business Rates section of Gosport Borough Council’s website.  Please check back regularly for updates on application windows. 

For an overview of each of the grants please see below:

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) (Addendum)

Tier 4 and Third National Lockdown Update: For the period from 19 December 2020 onwards to receive grant payments if your business was required to close a Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed Tier 4 must be applied for, see https://www.gosport.gov.uk/article/2036/Local-Restrictions-Support-Grant-Closed-Tier-4. Once an application is processed regular automatic payments will be made to cover the duration of the national lockdown. It will also trigger the automatic payment of the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment, the one-off top-up grant for the period from 5 January to Spring 2021 i.e. an application is not required for this top-up grant.

Second National Lockdown Update: The grant for the period from 5 November to 1 December 2020 is still available to be paid to eligible businesses.  If your business was required to close and has yet to claim this grant please see https://www.gosport.gov.uk/2001.

Businesses registered as the business rates payer that were open as usual and providing in-person services to customers from their business premises and then required to close by law as a result of national restrictions will be eligible for this funding.

For the period of the second national lockdown from 5 November to 1 December 2020 businesses will receive a payment of:

  • £1,334 for premises with a rateable value (RV) up to £15,000
  • £2,000 for premises with a RV over £15,000 and less than £51,000
  • £3,000 for premises with a RV over £51,000

For periods of subsequent Tier 4 and national lockdown restrictions the payments are based upon complete 14-day periods i.e. £667, £1,000 and £1,500 depending upon RV.

For the current period of Tier 4 local restrictions and the third national lockdown from 19 December 2020 onwards, businesses are receiving an initial payment to cover the first 17 days from 19 December 2020 to 4 January 2021 i.e.

  • £809.93 for premises with a RV up to £15,000
  • £1,214.29 for premises with a RV over £15,000 and less than £51,000
  • £1,821.43  for premises with a RV greater than £51,000

The third national lockdown currently covers the six week period from 5 January to 15 February.  Therefore the following additional payments are being made automatically to businesses that have applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Tier 4 and received the initial payment:

  • £2,001 for premises with a RV up to £15,000
  • £3,000 for premises with a RV between £15,000 and £50,999
  • £4,500 for premises with a RV greater than £51,000

No further payments will be made until after 15 February and any government announcements relating to the national lockdown.  However, as per the government guidance, for every complete 14-day period that the national lockdown continues further payments will be made as follows:

  • £667 for premises with a RV up to £15,000
  • £1,000 for premises with a RV between £15,000 and £50,999
  • £1,500 for premises with a RV greater than £51,000

The payment amounts are fixed and set by government. Businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible premises within the restriction area. So some businesses may receive more than one grant. Grant income received by a business is taxable.

Specific exclusions for this grant include:

  • Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely (e.g. accountants, solicitors).
  • Businesses that have chosen to close but not been required to.
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.
  • Businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made.

Local Restrictions Grant (Closed)

Update: This local restrictions grant for the period 3 December to 18 December is still available to be paid to eligible businesses. If your business was required to close and has yet to claim this grant please see: https://www.gosport.gov.uk/article/2026/Local-Restrictions-Support-Grant-Closed-. Given that this period of Tier restrictions covered a period of 17 days the payment amounts are £809.93; £1,214.29 and £1,821.43 dependent on premises rateable value.

During regional lockdowns where closures are required i.e. Local Covid Alert Level 2 (Tier 2) or Level 3 (Tier 3) a revised version of the scheme is implemented i.e. Local Restrictions Grant (Closed), with payments made on a pro-rata 14-day qualifying restriction period basis instead i.e. amounts of £667, £1,000 and £1,500.

A claim form will be required to be completed for audit purposes to ensure that the grant is being paid to the correct business and into the correct bank account.

Additional Restrictions Grant

Tier 4 and Third National Lockdown Update: For the period from 19 December 2020 onwards the application window will be opening soon.

Second National Lockdown Update: The application window for this grant has now been closed for the period 5 November to 2 December 2020.

Businesses that are non-business rate payers and business rate payers that have either been required to close by Government during the national lockdown period, or have been severely impacted by the national lockdown period, are eligible for this grant.

The criteria and amounts are at the discretion of local authorities so that the scheme can best meet local economic need. An evidence based application form will also be required to be completed to confirm eligibility i.e. businesses will need to demonstrate how the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have negatively impacted on them.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

Update: This grant for the period 3 December to 18 December 2020 is still available to be paid to eligible businesses i.e. those in the hospitality and leisure sectors. If your business was not required to close but was severely impacted as a result of the local restrictions please see: https://www.gosport.gov.uk/article/2027/Local-Restrictions-Support-Grant-Open-.

Businesses that are not legally required to close but which are severely impacted by the Local COVID Alert Level ‘High’ (Tier 2) and ‘Very High’ (Tier 3) localised restrictions on socialising put in place to manage the coronavirus e.g. hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses are eligible for this grant. 

Funding will be issued to Local Authorities in 14-day payment cycles and they will have the discretion to determine the precise eligibility criteria and payment amounts for this grant scheme.  However an evidenced based application will be required from businesses.  This grant is not available during periods of national lockdown.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)

Update: This national restrictions grant is still available to be paid to eligible businesses.  If your business was required to close and has yet to claim this grant please see https://www.gosport.gov.uk/article/2003/Local-Restriction-Support-Grant-Sector-.  Eligible businesses will be paid a pro-rata grant for the period 01/11 – 04/11 and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) payments for the national lockdown period.

Businesses registered with local authorities for business rates purposes that were required to close in March 2020 and which have never been able to re-open e.g. nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques, adult entertainment venues and hostess bars are eligible for this scheme.

Those businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list on the date of the commencement of the restrictions with a rateable value of:

  • Exactly £15,000 or under will receive a payment of £667 per 14-day qualifying restriction period.
  • Over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a payment of £1,000 per 14-day qualifying restriction period.
  • Exactly £51,000 or above will receive £1,500 per 14-day qualifying restriction period.

The payment amounts are fixed and set by government. Businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible premises within the restriction area. So some businesses may receive more than one grant. Grant income received by a business is taxable.

There is no back-dating of the scheme, it began 1st November 2020. During periods of national lockdown this scheme is superseded by the Local Restrictions Grant (Closed) scheme. As a result for the recent national lockdown eligible businesses will be paid a pro-rata Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) for the period 1st November to 4th November and then a Local Restrictions Grant (Closed) payment for the period 5th November to 2nd December.

Other coronavirus related business support grants

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s ‘Crowdfunder’ Grant (£2,000 or £5,000)

The Solent LEP’s ‘Crowdfunder’ grant fund is seeking projects that can demonstrate how they will help a business cope with current challenging trading conditions. There is a maximum pledge of up to £2,000 per micro business (fewer than 10 staff) and up to £5,000 per small business (fewer than 50 staff) available, contributing up to 50% towards the total target.  For more details please see the Solent LEP website.

Government provided business advice and support information

Please see the following links for the information and latest updates provided by the Government:

This includes specific information on:

Locally provided business advice and support

Gosport Borough Council provided information

General service related information and advice