Business Support Covid-19

Covid-19

The latest information and sources of advice for Bolton businesses during Covid-19 has been outlined below.

  1. Financial support for businesses 
  2. Latest advice for businesses 
  3. Workplace Safety Advice
  4. Public Health Advice
  5. Testing for Coronavirus
  6. Business Growth Hub support
  7. Sources of further information

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1. Financial Support for Businesses

We are currently processing all applications received for the following grants;

  • Restart Grants
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)
  • Additional Restrictions Grants - this is currently being reviewed.

The team are working extremely hard to process and assess all applications as quickly as possible and are aiming to process applications within 28 days of receipt of a full application (including all supporting information). Eligibility for all grants will be assessed at the same time so you only need to apply once.

If you do not receive any communication after 28 days from the date you submitted your full application, please get back in touch with us by emailing businessbolton@bolton.gov.uk and we will look into your application further.


1. Restart Grants - 1 April 2021

The Government has announced the introduction of grant support for non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England. This one-off grant is called Restart Grant and is available for businesses in these sectors with a current business rates account.

The following payment strands will apply:
 
Strand 1 (Non-essential retail businesses):

RV Band Amount
£15k & under £2,667
Over £15k & below £51k £4,000
£51k & over £6,000

 
Strand 2 (Hospitality, Leisure, Accommodation, Personal Care & Gyms)

RV Band Amount
£15k & under £8,000
Over £15k & below £51k £12,000
£51k & over £18,000


The grant is for the business that according to the billing authority’s records was the ratepayer in respect of the hereditament on 1 April 2021.
 
The primary principle of the Restart Grant scheme is to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors. 
 
Businesses must have been trading on 1 April 2021 to be eligible to receive funding under this scheme. Fully constituted businesses in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice are not eligible.
 
It is a requirement for this grant that all businesses are required to self-certify that they meet all eligibility criteria. The application closure date for this scheme is 30 June 2021 and final payments must be made by 31 July 2021.

Please click here to find out more information and to apply for a grant.
 

2. Local restrictions grants (Closed Businesses)

This grant remains available for businesses required to close from 16 February 2021 onwards. The grant schemes prior to this date are now closed.
 
Any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back.
 


3. Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

Bolton Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant scheme is for businesses required to close but who are not liable for business rates, or those that have not been legally forced to close but are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions.

Those businesses that have received a payment covering the period to 31 March 2021 will be emailed by 30 April 2021 with details of an additional (Phase 2) payment from 1 April 2021. If you have already had an additional restrictions grant payment you do not need to complete another application.

The scheme up to 31 March 2021 has been set up to support businesses in the worst affected sectors that have not been able access grant support up to now. More specifically this includes:

  • Businesses that have been required to close but aren’t eligible for closed grant because they don’t have a business rates account
  • Events/hospitality/leisure supply chain businesses, or businesses reliant upon these sectors for the majority of their business, with or without business rates accounts that haven’t been paid a closed grant
  • Retail businesses not required to close but can demonstrate a substantial loss of income as a result of restrictions
  • Childrens nurseries (providers on Ofsted’s early years register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the early years foundation stage) that weren’t eligible for small business grant or discretionary grant
  • Childcare businesses providing before and after school care
  • Businesses that provide services (rather than goods) that are not required to close, but that can show they have been severely restricted by the COVID19 restrictions. This includes businesses which have as their main activity repair services. The business must not have been paid a grant already (excluding the original grants Retail/Small Business/Discretionary Grant) and must demonstrate substantial income loss and ongoing fixed business costs.

The payment amounts are a single payment based upon the amount similar businesses in the same sector are being estimated to receive from the open and closed grant schemes from 5 August to 31 March 2021.

ARG must not act as an income replacement scheme. Therefore only businesses that can demonstrate they have significant ongoing fixed business costs can be considered. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back.

Find out more and apply here


e. Other Government support and funding

For further information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self Employment Support Scheme and other financial support available to help your business during Covid-19  - find out the latest information here.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced on 9 December 2020 that business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021.  See the updated code of conduct for commercial landlords and tenants.


2. Latest advice for Bolton businesses

In order to support licensed premises to plan to re-open in line with the Governments Roadmap, our licensing team are asking businesses to complete a short survey and provide details of their plans and risk assessment. You can complete the form for your premise online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Pre-openingBolton.

On February 22, the prime minister set out a roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England.

As of April 12, Step Two of the plan is now in place. 

Details of the new rules, and how they will affect Bolton residents, have been updated at https://www.bolton.gov.uk.

What you can and cannot do under COVID-19 restrictions

As of April 12, the following have reopened:

  • Indoor leisure (including gyms) for use individually or within household groups.
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will open.
  • Libraries and community centres.
  • Personal care premises.
  • All retail.
  • Outdoor hospitality.
  • All children’s activities, indoor parent & child groups (up to 15 parents).
  • Domestic overnight stays (household only).
  • Self-contained accommodation (household only).

In addition:

  • The numbers permitted for funerals is 30, wakes, weddings and receptions is 15.
  • The rule of 6 or two households applies outdoors. No household mixing indoors.

The “stay at home” rule is no longer in place, but many restrictions still apply:

  • Continue to work from home if you can
  • Keep the number of journeys to a minimum and stay within your local area
  • Foreign holidays are not permitted

Details of the new rules, and how they will affect Bolton residents, can be found on https://www.bolton.gov.uk.

You should refer to the closures guidance for the latest rules for closing certain businesses and venues in England.

The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. This is a step-by-step plan to ease restrictions in England cautiously.

Due to the current relatively uniform spread of the virus across the country, the four steps set out in the roadmap are designed to apply to all regions. The indicative, ‘no earlier than’ dates for Steps, 3 and 4 of in the roadmap are all contingent on the data and subject to change.

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The businesses required to close include, to check the full list go to www.gov.uk.

A number of new covid regulations came into force on on 6 January and these include the change that restricted businesses (on sale licences) can now only sell alcohol via home delivery and off sales from on licensed premises are now unlawful. To check the latest regulation go to https://www.legislation.gov.uk/coronavirus.


3. Workplace Safety Advice

The Government have updated the Workplace Safety advice for all businesses information on workplace safety advice page this includes information on the NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace App, guidance around face coverings for staff and customers and working from home and self-isolations guidance.

The Government are seeking views on how the Protect Duty can make the public safer at publicly accessible locations.   This includes hospitality venues so this ‘protect duty’ could affect you so please take time to feed into this important consultation by following the link here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/protect-duty

4. Public Health Advice

As of April 12, Step Two of the plan is now in place. 

Details of the new rules, and how they will affect Bolton residents, have been updated.

What you can and cannot do under COVID-19 restrictions

As of April 12, the following will re-open:

  • Indoor leisure (including gyms) for use individually or within household groups.
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will open.
  • Libraries and community centres.
  • Personal care premises.
  • All retail.
  • Outdoor hospitality.
  • All children’s activities, indoor parent & child groups (up to 15 parents).
  • Domestic overnight stays (household only).
  • Self-contained accommodation (household only).

In addition:

  • The numbers permitted for funerals is 30, wakes, weddings and receptions is 15.
  • The rule of 6 or two households applies outdoors. No household mixing indoors.

The “stay at home” rule is no longer in place, but many restrictions still apply:

  • Continue to work from home if you can
  • Keep the number of journeys to a minimum and stay within your local area
  • Foreign holidays are not permitted

Hands. Face. Space. Ventilate.

Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space.Ventilate’

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings).
  • opening windows and doors at home is the simplest way of improving ventilation for most people.

 


5.Testing for Coronavirus

Testing for people with symptoms

If you have symptoms and need a COVID-19 test or have a question about them, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for Coronavirus testing.

You are required by law to self-isolate if you are told to do so, or if you develop COVID-19 symptoms. 

Testing for people without symptoms (Asymptomatic Rapid Antigen testing)

A targeted COVID-19 testing programme is helping protect the Bolton community by identifying those who have the virus but may not realise it.

Asymptomatic rapid testing is available to critical workers across the borough. 

Find out more about Coronavirus testing here.


6. The Business Growth Hub

7. Sources of Further information

The following links may also be helpful reference tools for your business:

HSBC UK launches £15BN SME Fund to support British businesses https://www.about.hsbc.co.uk/news-and-media/hsbc-uk-launches-15bn-sme-fund-to-support-british-businesses-to-grow-again

 The North West Regional Organised Crime Unit has shared guidance to inform the public of the online scam and fraud threat posed during the COVID-19 outbreak find out more at https://www.businessgrowthhub.com/

Latest government guidance for businesses on COVID-19, including advice for individual sectors.

Consortium of local Business Recovery Specialists - Bolton based Business Recovery and Insolvency Practice, Ideal Corporate Solutions, have formed a consortium of local Recovery Specialists to provide regulated advice to businesses experiencing financial difficulties due to the Covid19 Pandemic.  Initial consultation will be free and offered to all business types.

For advice for employers and employees: Visit www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

Business and employee travel advice - For the latest advice on travel in Greater Manchester head to Transport for Greater Manchester’s frequently updated information. You can also find business specific travel advice and can sign up to TfGM’s business network where you will get regular updates and support.  

Arts Council England (ACE) have launched their Emergency Funding Package for individuals and organisations working in the creative sector. This fund is to support creative practitioners and organisations to get back on their feet, or to continue making work in the future that will mean they can contribute to delivering ACE new strategy, Let’s Create. More resources/information can be found  re covid-19 on the website.

Free access to GM Business in the Community
During these unprecedented times throughout Cov-19 the GM Chamber of Commerce are here to support our businesses. They are currently offering free access to their Business in the Community network including regular Cov-19 business updates, digital events, online training and more. To find out more about this service click here; https://bit.ly/2XX4RaQ

The information that the Council is providing is to the best of our knowledge correct. Please ensure you visit www.gov.uk for further information.


Please monitor this page for updates and be assured that the Council is committed to implementing these measures as a matter of urgency. 

Please keep Business Bolton abreast on how Covid-19 is impacting on your business, the earlier we are engaged on any issues, the more likely we will be able to help.

The Council’s response to Covid 19 may mean that there is limited availability of staff to respond to phone enquiries.  To contact us, please email businessbolton@bolton.gov.uk, or

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Published: 26th April 2021