The Welsh Government has announced a package of support worth £1.4bn for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.  This assistance is summarised as follows:

Business rates relief

  • Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £500,000 or less will receive 100% business rate relief for the 2020/2021 financial year.

Business grants

A £10,000 grant to all ratepayers eligible for charitable relief and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) relief, operating in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors occupying properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

  • A grant of £25,000 for occupied businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000, or;
  • A grant of £10,000 to businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.  

Further details on these schemes and additional financial assistance for businesses (external link).

How to claim relief/grant

For relief awards only

Where possible, Wrexham Council will award the 100% business rates relief automatically to your account so there will be no need to apply.  Once the relief is awarded, you will receive a notice confirming your zero balance for 2020/2021. 

For grant awards of either £10,000 or £25,000

Please refer to the qualifying criteria shown above under Business Grants. If you feel you are eligible, please complete and submit the online application form. Please ensure you complete all mandatory fields or your claim will be rejected.

If you have already submitted a claim form for a Business Grant but have not received a confirmation email, or payment, please do not submit another form as this may delay payment of the original application.

Confirmation of State Aid received under the Covid-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities measure and Undertaking in Difficulty Status

The Euro equivalent of the Sterling aid amount is calculated using the Commission exchange rate applicable on the date the aid is offered. Any aid provided under this measure will be relevant if you wish to apply, or have applied, for any other aid granted based on the European Commission’s Temporary Framework. You will need to declare this amount to any other aid awarding body who requests information from you on how much aid you have received. You must retain this information for four years after the conclusion of the UK’s transition from the EU and produce it on any request from the UK public authorities or the European Commission.

Start

Wrexham Council appreciates the exceptional circumstances faced by businesses and is working hard to implement this support package as soon as possible and it may take a few weeks to finalise all awards.

Should you have any queries, please email businessrates@wrexham.gov.uk.  You will receive a reply as soon as possible but we would ask you to be patient as we are experiencing a high volume of enquiries at this time.

Additional support for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

The Business and Investment team are collating information on all the support that has been made available to support businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak. If you have any questions, need any support or wish to receive further information / updates please don't hesitate to contact us on business@wrexham.gov.uk, 01978 667300 or complete our online enquiry form.

If you're self-employed

If you are self-employed the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (external link) may be of interest. This provides a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 for three months, although this could be extended.

To be eligible you will need to have submitted an income tax self-assessment tax return for 2018-19, traded in the 2019-20 tax year, are trading (or would have been if not for the COVID-19 outbreak) when you apply, intend to continue to trade in the 2020-21 tax year and have lost profits due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A maximum trading profit also applies and more than half of your income needs to be generated through self-employment to qualify.

Further information on Universal Credit for the self-employed (external link), which may also be of interest.

Aged 18-30 and self-employed / or running your own business?


The Prince’s Trust and NatWest are offering a £5 million Enterprise Relief Fund (external link) providing grants to business owners aged 18 to 30, who have set up their business in the last four years and don't have any other source of income during the crisis.

Economic Resilience Fund

Applications are currently paused. An eligibility checker was launched on 10 April and the fund application process went live on 17 April.

To be eligible businesses, charities and social enterprises, must meet criteria including:

  • Micro businesses, including start-ups, employing up to nine employees could be eligible for up to £10k support. This includes sole traders employing staff. Businesses in this bracket could qualify for support from the fund if they:
    • Have experienced more than a 40% reduction in turnover since 1 March 2020 
    • Can demonstrate that efforts have been made to sustain business activity
    • Are not pursuing other forms of Welsh Government non-repayable grant funding support
    • Are not entitled to business rate relief grants
    • Are VAT registered or exempt from VAT
    • Operating address is in Wales and have employees in Wales 
  • Small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees could be eligible for grants of up to £100,000 if they: 
    • Have experienced more than a 60% reduction in turnover since 1 March 2020 
    • Are not be eligible for business rate relief grants, or if they are, that amount would be deducted from their allocation from this fund 
    • Have a sustainable business plan to trade beyond the Covid-19 pandemic
    • Confirm no future compulsory redundancies will be made as long as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place
    • Are not be pursuing any other form of Welsh Government non-repayable grant funding support
  • Funding will also be available to support large businesses with more than 249 employees. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis to consider where funding can be deployed most effectively to compliment other sources of support.

 

If you employ people or are paid via PAYE (this can include company directors)

Open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 19th March 2020 the Job Retention scheme will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

For further information and to apply, please follow the links below: 

Support to businesses paying sick pay to employees

Small and medium-sized businesses and employers will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. For further information on the eligibility criteria please follow the links below:

Support for businesses paying tax

If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19 help is available from HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme (external link). For example; VAT payments due before 30th June 2020 and self-assessment payments on account due on 31st July can be deferred to 2021.

No application is required but direct debit mandates need to be cancelled. 

For further information please call: 0800 024 1222

Ban on evictions for commercial tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction, the UK government (external link) has announced. These measures will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months.

Protection for high street shops and other companies from aggressive rent collection

In an effort to protect the high street, the UK Government are temporarily banning the use of statutory demands and winding up orders where a company cannot pay their bills due to the Coronavirus. Secondary legislation preventing landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent, will also ease the pressure for tenants to pay rent by. 

Commercial tenants of Wrexham County Borough Council premises

A 3 month rent ‘holiday’ will be provided to commercial tenants and market holders
 

Culture, Creative or Sports Sector

COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund (external link)

This fund, which provides one-off grants of between £500 and £2,500, aims to support active workers and freelancers working in production, distribution and exhibition - behind the scenes - in film, TV and cinema who are facing significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The programme is provided via the British Film Institute and the Film and TV charity. Applications close on 22nd April.

Arts Resilience Fund (external link)

Led by the Arts Council of Wales this fund will support artists and arts organisations most in need and least likely to benefit from other support programmes. 

Grassroots Music Relief Fund (GMRF) – applications currently paused however they may reopen:

Delivered by Creative Wales (external link) this open fund is available Grassroots Music Venues in Wales, with grant funding of up to £25,000 being available to help them deal with COVID-19 related challenges. 

The Emergency TV Development Fund (ETVDF)

This programme will provide financial support for independent production companies during the Coronavirus crisis, aimed at helping them to make the best use of time in which production cannot take place, to develop TV projects, which will put them in a stronger position to secure commissions once normal working practices resume. Full guidance and application forms (external link) will be made available on 20th April.

Emergency Digital Development Funding

This programme will provide financial support for games, animation, digital agencies and creative digital businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. Support the retention of Intellectual Property (IP) and enabling digital creative companies to develop new digital services and improve or introduce new platforms for the digitisation or distribution of digital content. Full guidance and application forms (external link) will be made available on 20th April.

Urgent Response Fund (external link)

Aimed at freelance artists and creative practitioners who are experiencing financial hardship/loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic this programme will provide short term emergency funding in the form of a grant of up to £2,500, to enable individuals to survive financially and artistically. The second round of funding will open for applications on 28th April and will close at midday on 6th May. 

PRS Foundation’s Sustaining Creativity Fund (external link)

This fund will look to support outstanding artists, songwriters and composers to create and develop when they need it most via a grant of £750.

PRS Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund (external link)

Open to Performing Right Society (PRS) members of at least two years, who have earned over £500 of PRS royalties in the last two years, this fund will provide successful applicants with a grant of £1000 to music creators (songwriters and composers) to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Authors' Emergency Fund (external link)

Open to writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others this fund is likely to provide grants of up to £2,000 in an effort to help support authors who have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sport Wales – Emergency Relief Fund (external link)

Aimed at for not-for-profit community sport who are facing significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund will provide grants of up to £5,000 to eligible clubs which aim to remain an important part of their communities in the future, with funding to be used to cover expenditure such as:

  • Rent
  • Utility costs
  • Insurances
  • Facility or equipment hire (where there is a fixed cost)
  • Activities or costs that cannot be covered by government funding sources
  • Clubs affected by recent flooding might also have capital costs or cleaning costs that they cannot pay for

If you are a club and believe you require financial support, but are not eligible for this fund, you should email your details to: emergencyrelief@sport.wales

Culture, Creative or Sports Sector

A number of funding schemes have been and are to be made available by the Welsh Government, the Arts Council for Wales and Sports Wales aimed at safeguarding businesses and jobs, some of which have been mentioned in more detail above. The schemes (external link) will look to support artists, arts organisations, sports clubs, music venues, the TV and publishing sector, museums, collections, conservation services, archives, community and public libraries and heritage organisations etc. Limited information has been provided for some of these at present.

Culture Resilience Fund

The Cultural Resilience Fund provides help for museums, libraries, archives, collections and self-employed conservation services, for example conservators and curators who as a result of the coronavirus face urgent short-term pressures to Apply by email with an outline of your requirements (no more than 200 words).\

AIM Crisis Fund for Independent Music Contractors

The AIM Crisis fund is open to any contractor or freelance worker due to work with new and developing artists currently signed to AIM member labels whose source of income has been cut due to lost work in April and May as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of up to a maximum of £1,000 will be awarded to successful applicants, covering up to 80% of the applicant’s lost committed project income.

COVID-19 Film and TV Community Grants

Application deadline: 1 June 2020 (18:00 BST).

The Film and TV Community Grants scheme which is provided by the Film and TV charity provides grants to successful applicants who work in film, TV or cinema and have an idea for an activity that could help friends and colleagues in the industry during the coronavirus crisis. Funded activities could for example tackle isolation, connect people, involve professional development, skill sharing, mentoring or career development, or financial advice. Grants will usually be around £150 – £250 but can be up to a max of £1,000 for people organising a series of events or with additional costs to support access and inclusion. Initiatives not eligible consist of start-up costs for a new organisation, any service that requires a fee from the service user and clinical mental health services. 


Ffilm Cymru Wales Development Fund

Provided by Ffilm Cymru Wales the Wales Development Fund offers funding for writer, director and producer teams in Wales that are developing their feature film projects. Successful applicants will be invited to take part in a Ffilm Cymru Wales Magnifier Cohort day with three funding categories being available; up to £24,999, £25,000 to £49,999 and over £50,000.

MU Coronavirus Hardship Fund

Provided by the Musician Union the Coronavirus Hardship fund will support members with genuine and pressing hardship by providing immediate and urgent relief in the form of grants of £200.

Community Interest Companies and Not-for-profit Organisations

The Voluntary Services Emergency Fund (external link) is to enable those groups and organisation’s that are providing vital support to groups such as: people in isolation, the elderly, carers, people struggling to access food etc to either continue or scale up that vital work at this time of crisis.

There is no VAT reg requirement and awards are based upon the ability to demonstrate a need and the funding being able to meet that need and create an impact.
 
The Third Sector Resilience Fund (external link) is to help organisations stay in business and provide cash flow support to help organisations through the current crisis. It is not to replace lost funding but it is to aid survival of organisations that would otherwise have to close because they don’t have access to other funds (such as reserves) to see them through the next 6 months.

There is no VAT registration requirement nor the need to evidence a percentage drop in income/turnover and it is based on need to survive.

This fund is focused on supporting those that have predominately lost donation/fundraising income or are not eligible for the Welsh Gov Resilience Fund because of eligibility reasons.
 
AVOW are co-ordinating the volunteer response to Covid-19.  They are working tirelessly to help those most vulnerable within our communities, and are doing such a fabulous job. 

Details are included as to how you can help are listed on their website (external link)

Also, check out their website as there will be new funds (external link) appearing as part of Welsh Governments £24m pledge to Third Sector, Charities and some social enterprises.

Emergency Funds - CV-19 - Community Action Organisations Support 

The Local Action Groups in rural Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham have funds available to support community enterprises, charities, formal community groups and public sector organisations in rural areas of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham  to enable them to adjust their frontline community support in the context of the of current and ever-changing Corona Virus
outbreak.  These funds are available through Cadwyn Clwyd.

Organisations can apply for up to £3000 for eligible costs to develop new approaches in providing support for services. For further information please contact Donna Hughes – 01490 340500 or donna.hughes@cadwynclwyd.co.uk 

Charity regulators publish coronavirus guidance

Guidance aimed at Charity trustees regarding operating during the coronavirus outbreak has been made available by the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Guidance includes financial support which is available, holding meetings online or by telephone, reporting serious incidents and keeping people safe etc. 

Charities Aid Foundation coronavirus emergency grant for small charities
Launched by the Charities Aid Foundation the £5 million emergency grant for small charities which have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak provides grants of up to £10,000 for charities with an income of £1 million or less, to cover core costs, staffing, volunteer costs, supplies and equipment, communications or other critical charitable activities. 

Filing extension for charities that are due to submit annual return
The Charity Commission for England and Wales has announced that any charity that needs an extension to their annual return deadline can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one.  
 
Coronavirus guidance for community interest companies
The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CICs) has published guidance
about how CICs can manage the impact of the outbreak.
 

New loans launched to support businesses affected by COVID-19

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Delivered by the British Business Bank, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (external link) looks to support small and medium sized businesses and provides access to a variety of different products such as loans, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims), no charge to businesses or banks will be applied for this guarantee. The first 12 months will be provided on an interest free basis, with the government covering these payments.


Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

Launching on 4th May, the Bounce Back Loan will help small and medium sized businesses borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 over a period of up to 6 years. 100% of the loan will be guaranteed by the UK government with no fees, interest or repayments being applicable for the first 12 months. To qualify businesses must be based in the UK, have been negatively affected by Coronavirus and not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31st December 2019. You won’t be able to apply if you’ve already had a loan under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, however you will be able to transfer this into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, until 4 November 2020. 
 

Coronavirus Future Fund

The Coronavirus Future Fund, which is to launch during May 2020, will provide loans ranging between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies (subject to at least equal match funding from private investors). The loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Eligibility criteria also specifies that a business must have previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third-party investors in the last 5 years.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Via the Large Business Interruption loan scheme businesses with a turnover of over £45 million per year can apply for up to £25 million of finance. Firms with a turnover of more than £250 million can apply for up to £200 million of finance. The government will provide lenders with an 80% guarantee on individual loans, for which commercial rates of interest will be applied. To be eligible the borrowing proposal must be considered viable by the lender if not for the coronavirus pandemic, with the lender also believing the loan will enable the company trade through this period of  short to medium term difficulty. 

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (large businesses)

The Corporate Financing Facility will operate for at least 12 months and will be delivered by commercial lenders and backed by the Bank of England. It will see the Bank of England buying short-term debt from large companies affected by COVID-19, offering support by allowing companies to finance their short-term liabilities

Additional support

Small Business Advertising Support Fund

Made available through a partnership between Mail Metro Media and the National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses Limited Small businesses the small business advertising support fund will provide successful businesses with a tailored advertising package worth £3,000 each by Associated Newspapers, to use across the news group’s print and online titles. To be eligible businesses must have 150 employees or fewer and an annual turnover (revenue) that does not exceed £6 million. 

SME100 - Cynllun Cefnogaeth SME AdSmart

Provided by Sky Media 100 businesses will be provided with television advertising campaigns via AdSmart, to support them during the difficult times brought about by COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that have adapted and are demonstrating true resolve and ingenuity that need support during this time will be eligible, as long as they have been running for at least one year in the UK with between 2 and 50 full time employees. Businesses must also be a new to TV advertiser (or not on TV within the last 12 months). The maximum length of the TV advert is 30 seconds and the campaign duration will be one month. 

Wales COVID-19 Fisheries Grant

Application deadline: 31st May 2020

Provided by the Welsh Government the Fisheries Grant looks to support fishing businesses in Wales during the COVID 19 pandemic. The grant will be open to all active seafood businesses with Welsh-licenced vessels and recorded sales of £10,000 or more in 2019, all eligible fishers will be provided with a one off payment. The value of the grant payments will be based on the size of the vessel:

  • 0-10m - £2,966
  • 10.01-11.99m - £8,700
  • 12-40m - £10,000


Youth Endowment Fund - COVID-19 Grant Round

Application deadline: 3 June 2020 

Via the Youth Endowment Fund grants are available to organisations that work to support children (aged 10-14) in England and Wales who are at risk of being drawn into crime and violence. The aim of the scheme is to find out whether projects being delivered or adapted because of social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines brought in because of coronavirus/COVID-19 are effective in reaching and engaging vulnerable young people. The minimum grant available is £25,000. There is no maximum grant value; however, grants awarded will be proportionate to the turnover of the applying organisation. The average grant is expected to be around £50,000
 

It would be worthwhile speaking to anyone you have to pay money to i.e. rent, utilities, etc and see if they can help in any way via payment holidays etc.
 
We’ve provided below information links which may also be helpful, information is changing and being updated on a regular basis. The links would therefore be worth checking fairly regularly for details of new support and guidance for businesses:

Agriculture:

NFU Mutual coronavirus support package

NFU Mutual have made a £32 million support package available to help farmers, who are either existing or new customers, through the coronavirus pandemic. Full details of the features of this package can be found online via the NFU Mutual website

Emergency measures to support farmers during COVID-19

The Welsh Government has announced a package of emergency measures to support Welsh

farmers during the coronavirus outbreak. The measures include:

  • The deadline for farmers to submit their Single Application Form (SAF) has been extended until 15 June 2020. 
  • An additional £5.5m has been allocated to the BPS and Glastir 2019 support scheme which have re-opened to support farmers who are yet to receive their 2019 BPS and/or Glastir payments. Farmers will be able to apply for support through the scheme to alleviate potential cash flow problems.

For further information can be found via the Welsh Government website.

Emergency planning document templates

The Farm Advisory Service (FAS) have made a number of emergency planning documents available which aim to help farmers ensure their business is still able to function should any member of the workforce need to take time off due to illness. The documents will for example assist farmers record where stock is stored, record contact details for key suppliers, such as vets, feed representatives and accountants and highlight when lambing or calving is due to start etc.

Pubs and Bars:

HMRC makes it easier to claim duty credit on unsold beer

HMRC have announced a temporary measure to help brewers and publicans avoid paying duty on out-of-date beer that remains unsold as a result of pub closures. While social distancing measures are in force, an authorised brewery representative from the brewery that supplied the beer no longer needs to be present whilst spoilt beer is destroyed, however in order to claim duty credit, publicans must have advance permission from the brewery to destroy the unsold beer, and they must keep evidence of the destruction, such as a video for example.

Road Haulage

Guidance for freight transport industry
Following the announcement that domestic and international freight transport is exempt non-essential travel advice, the Government have published detailed guidance aimed at international hauliers, which provides information on health and safety, borders and travel restrictions, insurance, consular help and the latest health advice.

Validity of driver CPC cards extended
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department for Transport (DfT) have temporarily relaxed the rules relating to driver CPC cards, which will allow drivers whose CPC card expire between 1 March and 30 September 2020 to continue driving not be subject to enforcement action by the police or the DVSA. Military drivers will also be able to drive in civilian situations whilst the rules are relaxed.

Taxi and Private Hire Sector
The Business Wales website contains guidance aimed at taxi and private hire licensees

The UK Government have issued advice for the freight transport industry

Tourism:

Fund launched to support heritage sector
Open until 30th June The National Lottery Heritage Fund have launched a £50 million fund which will look to support historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens etc which have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Grants of between £3,000 and £50,000 will be provided, with a priority being given to organisations who have access to little or no access to other sources of support and are at risk of financial crisis. The provision of a £1.2 million Digital Skills for Heritage initiative will also be accelerated to support the sector through and beyond the coronavirus crisis.

The Welsh Government have published guidance for holiday accommodation owners

COVID-19 Innovation Projects


Covid-19 Resilience Innovation Project Support (external link)

Funded by the Welsh Government and delivered by Business Wales this programme aims to support innovative projects that can have a direct impact fighting the virus, such as the production of medical devices, personal protective equipment and the delivery of santising products for example. Funding can be used to cover costs such as:

  • The purchasing of specific equipment
  • Adjustments to existing processes
  • Implementation of new processes
  • Staff time and expenses

The deadline for applications if 30th June 2020. 

Digital Innovation Hub Healthcare Robotics (DIH-HERO) - COVID-19 Call (external link)

This programme provides grant funding of up to £87,500 for robotic technologies and solutions in the later stages of development that can be deployed in the healthcare sector in the fight against COVID-19.

Industry Collaboration to fight Coronavirus

Welsh Government have appointed Life Sciences Hub Wales as the primary contact for any organisation that feels they are able to supply, manufacture and/or distribute products or collaborate with others to develop products or solutions.

Need to expand or are you worried about redundancies due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

The Department for Work and Pensions have launched a new employer help website which aims to assist businesses that are either needing to expand rapidly as a result of COVID-19, or employers with worries about redundancies. A separate website has also been launched to help individuals find a critical job which may be good to apply for at the moment, which could help keep Britain running. 

Construction workers:

Support is available during the pandemic for construction industry workers and their families

Right to work checks:

Right to work checks have been temporarily adjusted 

Taxable expenses:

Some expenses are taxable if your employees work from home due to coronavirus

Annual leave:

Rules on carrying over annual leave have also been relaxed

Bringing businesses together to help each other

Pay it Forward Campaign:
Small businesses can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign to pre-sell their services and diversify trading now to ensure continuous cash flow.

Supply and Demand Resources platform:
The South Wales Chamber of Commerce have launched an online platform allowing businesses to share supply and demand opportunities resulting from the current economic and trading situation.

Exporters

Retail Sector

Guidance for Retailers on Home Delivery has been created by the Association of Convenience Stores.
 

Manufacturers

The Office for Product Safety and Standards have published the following four guides aimed at manufacturers of Personal Protective Equipment:

  • Placing hand cleaning and sanitising products on the UK market
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations
  • New high-volume manufacturers of COVID-19 PPE
  • New small-scale manufacturers of COVID-19