This page covers all the areas for which customers can access support from the government and the wider sector in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on the measures detailed below, visit the dedicated government guidance on support for businesses here.
If you are looking for our Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (CBILS fund), click here.
This page will be updated regularly to reflect any new developments or announcements. If you have any questions please contact Will Thomson (email@example.com) or Miranda Love (Miranda.Love@sibgroup.org.uk)
Following the introduction of the strengthened tiered lockdown system from 19 December 2020, and with a very rapidly rising rate of infections across the UK, England, Scotland and Wales are all now in lockdown, with additional restrictions applying to Northern Ireland from 26 December 2020.
The below guidance applies to England
Hands. Face. Space.
Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space.’
- 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)
In all circumstances, you should follow the guidance on meeting others safely.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for 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, 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
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
Businesses and venues
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 full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:
- non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
- hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
- accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
- leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
- entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
- animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
- indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
- community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services
Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities. A full list of exemptions can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:
- education and training – for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
- childcare purposes and supervised activities for those children eligible to attend
- hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
- to provide medical treatment
- for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
- for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
- for the purposes of film and TV filming
Government Business Support
Summary of existing economic support: overview of Government support for business and self-employed people during coronavirus.
Coronavirus Guidance and Support: full collection of guidance and support for businesses during Covid-19.
Support Finder Tool: The Government has a support finder tool to help charities, businesses and self-employed people across the UK to determine what financial support is available to them during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Job Retention Scheme: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021. You can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Claims for furlough days in November 2020 must have been submitted by 14 December 2020. You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. You can also sign up for email alerts from HMRC about live and recorded webinars, YouTube videos and online guidance.
NEW: Lockdown Grants for Businesses in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Sectors: On 5 January 2021, The Chancellor has announced £4.6 billion in new one-off lockdown grants will be made available to support businesses and protect jobs through to the Spring.
- the one-off top up grants are for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and will be worth up to £9,000 per property
- £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses
- comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme
- This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January 2021 that these business will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus, and, together with the wide range of existing support, provides them with certainty through the Spring period.
- The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.
The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme (for Open Businesses): The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Open)) supports businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions.
- Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive grants of £467 per two weeks of closure
- Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £700 per two weeks of closure.
- Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1,050 per two weeks of closure.
- On 22 December 2020, guidance has been amended to reflect UK’s updated state aid agreement with the EU Commission.
Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme (for Closed Businesses): The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed)) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary local restrictions. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period they are closed.
- Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure
- Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure.
- Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1,500 per two weeks of closure.
- The grant will be extended to cover each additional 14-day period of closure. If your business is closed for 28 days, or 2 payment cycles, it will receive £1,334, £2,000 or £3,000, depending on the rateable value of the property.
Additional Restrictions Grant: Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed. Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, we expect the funding to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions. Businesses should visit their local council’s website to find out how to apply.
This could include:
- businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
- businesses in the events sector
- business required to close but which do not pay business rates
Kickstarter Scheme: this scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16-24-year olds on Universal Credit. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers 100% of National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage for 25 hours per week for 6 months; associated employer National Insurance contributions; and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
Postponed support schemes:
Job Support Scheme: the successor to the JRS, this scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses facing lower demand over winter due to Covid-19. The scheme has been postponed until the JRS ends in April 2021.
Job Retention Bonus: the Job Retention Bonus has been postponed due to the extension of the JRS - the Chancellor has stated that the intention to redeploy a retention incentive at an appropriate time.
Financial Support for Charities and Social Enterprises
Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund: £25 million fund providing repayable finance to charities and social enterprises directly affected by COVID-19. RRLF will offer emergency loans with flexibility in terms, including: 12-month interest-free and no arrangement fee, with no personal guarantees required. Loans products offered are between £100,000 - £1.5 million. Interest in years 2 and 3 is 6.5% per annum (after principal payments start) and is calculated on the declining outstanding balance. RRLF closes to new applications at 11.59pm on Sunday 31 January 2021.
- This fund is only for social sector organisations: charities and social enterprises that are improving people’s lives across the UK. Any applicants need to be able to meet what is set out in Big Society Capital's governance principles. This includes charities, community interest companies and community benefit societies – organisations that are not one of these legal forms (i.e. just a company limited by guarantee or company limited by shares) will need to demonstrate social objects / purpose in their Articles.
- Eligible applicants will:
- be included on the list of qualifying entities (see Appendix 1 in the Fund Guidelines).
- if a Company Limited by Guarantee or a Company Limited by Shares, have Social Objects in its Articles.
- have been operating for a minimum of two years.
- have a minimum turnover of £400k.
- have a turnover of less than £45m (whole group – if applicable).
- have more than 50% of income from trading activity (whole group – if applicable). This eligibility criteria does not apply to registered charities and further education colleges.
- trade in the UK and the loan will be used to support trading in the UK.
- be able to confirm that the organisation has been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
- be able to demonstrate that the organisation has a “viable” business proposition.
- be able to demonstrate that the organisation was not an “undertaking in difficulty” as at 31 December 2019.
- be able to demonstrate that outcomes of the product or services provided are specifically relevant to improving people’s lives, even if improving people’s lives is a secondary outcome area of your organisation.
Bounce Back Loan Scheme: Scheme help small to medium sized businesses affected by coronavirus to apply for loans between £2,000 and £50,000 The Government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The Government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining loan period. Organisations that have already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS can transfer it to the Bounce Back Loan scheme, this can be arranged with a lender until 4 November 2020.
- Business has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
- was not a business in difficulty at 31 December 2019 (if it was, you must confirm your business complies with additional state aid restrictions under de minimis state aid rules)
- is engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK and was established by 1 March 2020
- is not using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme (CCFF), unless the Bounce Back Loan will refinance the whole of the CBILS, CLBILS or CCFF facility
- is not in bankruptcy or liquidation at the time it submits its application for finance
- derives more than 50% of its income from its trading activity (this requirement does not apply to charities or further-education colleges)
- is not in a restricted sector (i.e. credit institution, public sector organisation, state-funded primary and secondary school)
Additional Funding Sources:
Grants Online Coronavirus: comprehensive resource that is regularly updated with new funding programmes to assist organisations in responding to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Government Guidance for Organisations
The Government has published guidance for organisations working in specific sectors which might be relevant to SIB customers, these can be accessed below:
- Guidance for the charity sector
- COVID-19 guidance for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations
- Financial support for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to respond to Covid-19
- Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus
- Guidance for social or community care and residential settings
- Guidance for education settings
- Guidance for public bodies or local authorities on procurement
- Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do
- Guidance on closing certain businesses and venues
- Guidance on processing ticket refunds for cancelled charity events during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): increased risk of fraud and cybercrime against charities.
- Guidance: A list of rules that have been temporarily relaxed to help businesses during the pandemic
- Guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- Sector guidance on social distancing in the workplace during COVID-19
Additional Resources and Advice
- Bates Wells – Coronavirus Legal Insights for charities and social enterprises
- Charity Bank – COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities and Social Enterprises
- Charity Excellence Framework – COVID-19 Funder Database & Toolkits
- Charity Finance Group – COVID-19 guidance for charities
- Charity Tax Group – Coronavirus Information Hub
- Cooperatives UK – COVID-19 advice for co-ops
- Fundraising Regulator – COVID-19 public fundraising guidance
- Institute of Fundraising – COVID-19 Guidance
- Locality – COVID-19 information and support hub
- NCVO – Coronavirus guidance and resources
- SEUK – Coronavirus support and resources