COVID business support, guidance and advice

Book or manage a coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination
Check the COVID-19 Secure Guidelines for your business
Check current restrictions in place in Liverpool
Liverpool Public Health Covid-19 Resources for Workplaces

Message from our CEO, Bill Addy

Bill Addy - Liverpool BID Company (17)

We await clarity on exactly what this proof of Covid status will involve. We are working with venues and organisations across retail, hospitality, culture and the wider Liverpool Visitor Economy to ensure they have clear guidance for both their staff, customers, visitors and audience. This is a huge, logistical challenge for organisations and we would ask for everyone’s patience.

As businesses shift to working from home guidance and those affected absorb the impact of new restrictions, we once again have to point out to this Government that it is those industries who have borne the brunt of restrictions over the past 18 months who are being asked to do so again.

Christmas is a crucial time for organisations within the city as people visit theatres, music venues, concerts and more. Culture, arts and entertainment lost 20% of its sector GVA due to COVID restrictions, with Merseyside one of the worst regions affected. This sector is a major employer in our city and a loss of income affects jobs, venues and risks us starting 2022 a step behind. These venues being forced to change their guidance to audiences deserve support for any loss of income.

Bill Addy
CEO of Liverpool BID Company
Chair of LVEN (Liverpool Visitor Economy Network)

Business Support available

We understand there is a lot of information currently going around surrounding available financial support for employers and the self-employed from Central Government. In order to be able to find out what your business is entitled to including loans, tax reliefs and cash grants; use the business support finder to see what help you are eligible to receive.

Use the Government’s Business Support Finder
Support available for businesses required to close

See below main business support available for businesses in England.

Job protection, income support and grants

Liverpool City Region leaders have agreed to extend the deadline for their £8.1m Trading On Scheme designed to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new window for applications opens 10.00 am Monday 29 November 2021 and closes 5.00 pm Friday 10 December 2021. Businesses that have already applied are being appraised and do not need to reapply.

Find out more about the Trading On Scheme here
From Tuesday 26 May, a new online service will be launched for small and medium-sized employers to make claims and to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees, through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. Please note, you can only claim for employees who were off work on or before Thursday 30 September 2021.

Check if you can claim back SSP here

The Government will award a Job Retention Bonus, a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to you (the employer). You do not have to pay this money to your employee. This is now postponed unter further notice after the announcement that furlough will be extended until March.

Deferrals and business rates holiday

The government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority.

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

Further guidance for local authorities is available in the expanded retail discount guidance.

A business rates holiday will be introduced for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be hereditaments:

  • occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

Further guidance for local authorities is available in the nursery discount guidance.

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer payment until 31 March 2021. On 22 September 2020 the Chancellor announced that businesses can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.

You will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022.

Those that can pay their deferred VAT can still do so by 31 March 2021.

If you are still unable to pay the VAT due and need more time, see the guidance about what to do if you cannot pay your tax bill on time you can also contact us by phoning: 0300 200 3835.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs.

Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Business loans

The new government-backed loan scheme launched on Tuesday 6 April 2021 to provide additional finance to those businesses that need it. The Recovery Loan Scheme will ensure businesses continue to benefit from Government-guaranteed finance throughout 2021.

Ministers have ensured that appropriate support is still available to businesses to protect jobs. From today, businesses – ranging from coffee shops and restaurants, to hairdressers and gyms – and can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000.

The scheme will be administered by the British Business Bank, with loans available through a diverse network of accredited commercial lenders. 26 lenders have already been accredited for day one of the scheme, with more to come shortly, and the government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans. Interest rates have been capped at 14.99%. The Recovery Loan Scheme can be used as an additional loan on top of support received from the emergency schemes – such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – put into place last year.

Find out more and apply for a Recovery Loan from an accredited lender here

Additional support