Business Support - Coronavirus

    Please keep checking this page for further updates.

    The Government has introduced new business support measures and we are doing our very best to ensure that our businesses receive regular updates. If you are an SME and have not qualified for Small Business Rate Relief and the associated Government grants please contact Martyne Manning, for further guidance.

    The SME Restart Programme and The Kickstarting Tourism Programme

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: Both the SME Restart and Kickstarting Tourism grant schemes are currently on pause due to the number of applications received.  Following assessment, if funding remains unallocated, then further applications will be invited.

    Eligible businesses falling under the SME Restart Programme (whose trade is 100% business to business) and the Kickstarting Tourism Programme (those located in a tourist area and dependent on visitors), can apply for up to £3,000 to help boost economic recovery from COVID-19.

    The above two programmes are able to offer:

    • One to one specialist advice to address immediate needs in response to the impact of COVID 19 eg HR, accountants, legal, financial, digital or sector specialists
    • The purchase of minor equipment (costing less than £5000) that will diversify their business to enhance productivity and assist them in their economic recovery from COVID-19 eg to purchase contactless payment solutions or software enhancements that will develop innovative ways of working.  

    The Kickstarting Tourism Programme can also help develop innovative delivery in a socially distanced economy eg new ways of delivering cultural events and festivals that are critical to the visitor experience.

    All eligible businesses will need to show how they have been adversely and quantifiably affected by the Covid-19 crisis. 

    For FAQs and to fill in an expression of interest form visit

    Small Business Support Grants – now closed

    The government funded business grant schemes were closed on 28 August and we can no longer accept claims for;

    • Small Business Grants
    • Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grants
    • Local Authority Discretionary Grants

    Payments will continue to be made to eligible businesses over the next few weeks where we have received the applications before the closing date.

    Important Update - Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Round 2

    The scheme is now open. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

    Information on the grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships can be viewed on the GOV.UK website. If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist. The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to income tax and self-employed national insurance.

    Bounce Back Loan 

    The scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. It will be launched on 4 May 2020

    The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. To apply visit the GOV.UK website.

    Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended until end of October

    HMRC will pay employers a grant worth 80% of an employee’s usual wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

    HM Government have produced A step by step guide to claiming the Job Retention Scheme Grant.

    Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

    The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme from Monday 6 April.

    Research and Development Tax Credits

    The research and development tax credit is for taxpayers that design, develop, or improve products, processes, techniques, formulas, or software. Many companies are still surprised to learn they qualify for research and development tax relief, which can prove to be a valuable source of funding. If you have developed new or improved products or processes, you may be carrying out a qualifying activity.

    Small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) research and development tax relief allows companies to:

    • deduct an extra 130% of their qualifying costs from their yearly profit, as well as the normal 100% deduction, to make a total 230% deduction
    • claim a tax credit if the company is loss making, worth up to 14.5% of the surrenderable loss

    To claim the relief you need to be an SME and show how your project meets the definition of research and development.

    More information can be found on the Gov.UK website.

    Staffordshire Emergency Grants Programme

    There are 3 tiers for organisation grants: £1000, £1000 to £5000 and £5000 plus available to Charities, Voluntary Groups, Social Enterprises and other businesses as long as the project benefits the local community. More information and how to apply is available on The Community Foundation website.

    Innovation Grants

    Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research-focussed businesses to develop new ways of working and help build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport, as well as support people at home in circumstances like those during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Innovations could include:

    • new technology allowing retailers to respond better to sudden spikes of consumer demand and improve deliveries across the UK
    • new services for families to connect with and remotely monitor their elderly or vulnerable relatives such as food deliveries, doctor’s appointments and paying bills
    • creating education tools which seamlessly integrate the classroom with the kitchen table, allowing teachers to remotely set dynamic tasks, support vulnerable children and make certain no child is left behind

    More information can be found on the Gov.UK website

    Arts Council National Lottery Fund open

    On 22 July applications will open again, with a budget of £59.8 million available until April 2021. The National Lottery Project Grants will help fund organisations, freelancers and creative practitioners during Covid-19. More information can be found on the Arts Council website.

    The Prince’s Countryside Fund Emergency Fund

    Funding for farming and rural community support groups, who are providing assistance to counter the effects of isolation during the Coronavirus pandemic. Groups can apply for grant funding of up to £2,500 if they:

    • are providing emergency relief to vulnerable or isolated individuals or;
    • are providing support to farmers and farm businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic or;
    • are helping rural or farming communities to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic

    The following links will provide information relating to how your business can access HM Government support:

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