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Covid-19 advice for businesses

COVID-19 business grants and advice

National Lockdown - Local restriction business support grants

The Government has implemented a four-week national lockdown, from 5 November to 2 December 2020, which means that the following types of businesses and venues will need to close or restrict how they provide goods and services:

  • non-essential retail
  • hospitality venues
  • accommodation
  • leisure and sports facilities
  • entertainment venues
  • personal care facilities

You can read the government’s guidance on new national restrictions for businesses and venues for more information.

Northampton Borough Council will be distributing government-funded grants to businesses required to close during the national lockdown period.

Business Endurance Guide

Has your business had to close its doors? We’re here to help. You may be able to keep trading as well as qualifying for a grant – find out more about how to operate click and collect services, or how to sell online without a website by downloading our guide from the link below.

Download our Business Endurance Guide (PDF)

What grants are available?

The government has announced initial details of four national business grants that will be available to support businesses affected by the lockdown period.

To apply or for more information, please use the links below to take you to the relevant section of this page.

Please check this page for up-to-date information for business support.

Potential Fraud

Please note HMRC will not be emailing businesses asking for further information or inviting you to ‘Claim Now’ to apply for these grants. 

Applications are made via your Local Authority, not HMRC, as detailed below.  If you receive such an email please report to [email protected] as it could be fraudulent.  

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Business Closed)

This Grant scheme supports businesses that were open as usual, providing services in person to customers from their business premises, but which were then required by law to close for 28 days due to national lockdown restrictions imposed by government during the period of 5 November to 2 December 2020.

Businesses with more than one qualifying property will receive more than one grant.

At the present time we are only able to accept applications from businesses who pay rates. We are currently developing an Additional Restriction Grant portal which will provide support to businesses who do not pay rates directly to the Council, and further details will be published here as soon the scheme is finalised.

What you will get

  • If your business is eligible and has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, you will receive a cash grant of £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
  • If your business is eligible and has a property with a rateable value of above £15,000 and below £51,000, you will receive a cash grant of £2,000 per 28-day qualifying period.
  • If your business is eligible and has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you will receive a cash grant of £3,000 per 28-day qualifying period.

Grants will be based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of the national lockdown restrictions.

Eligibility

Businesses that are eligible are those that have been mandated to close by Government and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • occupies property on which it pays business rates
  • has been required to close because of national restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on 5 November 2020
  • has been required to close for 28 days because of the lockdown
  • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

Exclusions

  • businesses which are able to continue to operate during the lockdown because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from their premises (e.g accountants, solictors, etc.)
  • businesses that have chosen to close, but have not been required to close by law as part of a national lockdown
  • businesses whose substantive business is as a take-away
  • businesses that have reached the state aid limit
  • businesses that are not the ratepayer
  • businesses that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made are not eligible for this scheme

Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after the first full day of national restrictions and business closures regulations came into force including changes which have been backdated to this date, will be ignored for the purposes of eligibility.

To Apply

In order to manage the risk of fraud and error, all applications will need to be made through our grant approval portal.

Grant Approval Portal

You will need to have the following documents available to support your application; these can be attached to the application as you complete it.

  • Proof of identity of sole trader (e.g. passport, driving licence) or limited company (document confirming company name, registered address, company number)
  • Bank statement confirming name and address of account holder (this must be dated within the last 3 months)
  • Evidence of trading on 4 November 2020
  • Evidence to confirm property was occupied (e.g. utility bills)  

If you experience issues completing the portal link please email [email protected]

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)

The Local Restriction Support Grant (Sector) scheme supports businesses that have been by law subject to national closures since 23 March 2020, and for any other business property types which may be closed on a national basis in the future.

This scheme comes into effect from 1 November 2020 and there is no provision to backdate awards prior to this date.

When government imposes the national restrictions from 5 November 2020, the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) scheme will cease to apply.  Businesses will not be eligible for multiple versions of the Local Restrictions Support Grant under widespread national restrictions.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) scheme is therefore currently only available in respect of the period 1 November 2020 to 4 November 2020.

Businesses with more than one qualifying property will receive more than one grant.

What you will get

If your business is eligible and has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, you will receive a cash grant of £667 per 14-day qualifying restriction period;

If your business is eligible and has a property with a rateable value of above £15,000 and below £51,000, you will receive a cash grant of £1,000 per 14-day qualifying period;

If your business is eligible and has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you will receive a cash grant of £1,500 per 14-day qualifying period.

Eligibility

Businesses must have been trading on 23 March 2020 to be eligible to receive a grant payment. If new national closures of business property types are announced, then the business must have been trading on the date of the announced closure in order to be eligible.

Eligible businesses are:

  • Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques.
  • Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars.

Exclusions

  • businesses that have chosen to close, but have not been required to close as part of a national lockdown
  • businesses that have reached the state aid limit.
  • businesses that are not the ratepayer.
  • businesses that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made are not eligible for this scheme.
  • businesses will not be eligible if they have re-purposed their business and as a result have been able to open, for example changing their business from a nightclub to a bar.

To Apply

 

Additional Restrictions Grant

This will be available for non-business rate payers and business rate payers that have either been required to close by Government during the lockdown period or have been severely impacted by the lockdown period.

Businesses that have received a Local Restrictions Grant can also apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant if they remain severely impacted by the lockdown period even after having received a Local Restrictions Grant.

Register your business

If your business has been severely impacted by the lockdown from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December, we will be developing an Additional Restrictions Grant scheme to help.  If you would like to be considered for this, please contact us using the link below.

COVID-19 business grant impact form

Once we have full details from government regarding eligibility and other criteria, we will make an online application form available on this page, and further information and guidance will be provided.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

This grant is currently not available to Northampton businesses.  It becomes available when a Local Authority area is designated “Local COVID Alert Level ‘High’ (or Tier 2) and ‘Very High’ (Tier 3).

This is support for businesses that are not legally required to close but which are severely impacted by the localised restrictions on socialising put in place to manage the coronavirus.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) ceases to apply when the Government imposes national restrictions (such as between 5 November 2020 and 2 December 2020).

Full guidance and an online application form will be published on this page when the national lockdown has ended, and if Northampton’s COVID Alert Level is increased to High.

Businesses may be eligible for a grant under one of the Local Restrictions Grants and the Additional Restrictions Grant under certain circumstances.