Coronavirus Liverpool BID landing page

Liverpool BID Company Statement

Since the lockdown began, we’ve been talking to businesses daily, even hourly, through various channels. We’ve hosted meetings with different industry sectors, like hospitality and retail, to get an idea of the most pressing concerns for companies as well as provided business support guidance including Q&As and webinars.We remain open and operational, here to support our BID levy paying businesses and the wider community within the city right now. 

We are working hard to ensure BID Levy Payers and the wider businesses community get their voice heard during these unprecedented times, which is why we’ve been talking to both Liverpool City Council and national government. We’re not relaxing that pressure and we’ll keep asking questions and pushing for that support to come quickly, for instance with the Raise the Bar campaign.

We continue to work in partnership to make sure the city centre remain safe and operational for essential businesses, employees, customers and residents.

Looking at other ways to support businesses, we have teamed up Crowdfunder on the Pay it Forward campaign offering businesses a platform to gather funds from customers and supporters for services to be used at a later day, as well as secured free access to the social media platform, Maybe* to help businesses in the interim.

Together, Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool Chamber, Professional Liverpool and Liverpool City Council Public Health have worked together to devise an essential checklist advice to help you get your business, venues and workforce ready for returning to work.

Liverpool Essentials - Getting your business ready download

This checklist document complements the guidelines produced by the UK’s Government, in consultation with the industry, to provide guidance for key sectors to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

The 8 guides cover a range of work, you can access them here. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

It still feels like we have a long way to go, and there isn’t a single business, whatever its size, that we’ve spoken to who isn’t affected in some way by this current crisis. Our advice is to focus on your own business in the best way you can, if you need help, advice, guidance or just someone to listen to your concerns, our digital door is always open. We’re here to help you weather this storm.

Make sure you stay in the loop:

Keep us up to date on any concerns and also any changes by contacting us on a regular basis on info@liverpoolbidcompany.com or 0151 703 2399. The more information we have, the more we are able to speak directly to government and ensure the right help comes, exactly when it’s needed.

Business Support

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 Business Support Finder here

The Government have put together a range of support and guidance for businesses who have been affected by coronavirus. You can now watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Access help and support here

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full.

This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

How to access the scheme

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme was announced at Budget as part of a package of support measures for businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The 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.

On Saturday 2 May, the Government announced that a discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

Eligibility

The discretionary grants fund is aimed at small and micro businesses who are not eligible for the small business cash grant, retail, hospitality and leisure grant or the self-employed income support scheme. If you have ongoing fixed property related costs and can demonstrate that you have seen a significant drop of income due to the Coronavirus restriction measures, you may be eligible to apply.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with under 50 employees. Local authorities are being asked to prioritise:

  • businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs
  • businesses in shared spaces
  • regular market traders
  • small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief
  • bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates

But local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities. Businesses must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

Funding

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

Liverpool City Council will shortly be accepting applications.

Applications

Liverpool City Council will shortly be accepting applications. If you believe you may be eligible and intend to apply for the discretionary grant, please register your interest below and we will contact you when the formal application process is open.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST FOR THE DISCRETIONARY GRANTS FUND HERE

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

A £25,000 grant will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

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.

Upcoming VAT payment for the first Quarter of 2020 will be deferred until the end of the 2020/2021 financial year representing the equivalent of $30bn cash injection into businesses. 

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.

On 20 May 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme a grant to cover the wages of those who are not working but kept on payroll rather than being lay off. The Scheme will cover 80% of wages up to £2,500/month per employee, back dated to 1 March for at least 3 months and it will be extended for longer if needed. Now extended until June.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

You will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

There will be a £10,000 cash grant for smallest businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief which is being delivered by local authorities.

Eligibility

You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property

How to access the scheme

Liverpool City Council is administering the “Small business grant fund” and the “Retail, hospitality and leisure grant” for businesses that are part of the wider government support response to the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses need to apply online for the grant.

Apply online for the grant here

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme

Liverpool City Council is administering the “Small business grant fund” and the “Retail, hospitality and leisure grant” for businesses that are part of the wider government support response to the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses need to apply online for the grant.

Apply online for the grant here

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced today (Monday 27 April 2020) a new micro-loan scheme for businesses. The newly-announced Bounce Back Loans will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, or 25% of turnover.

  • The scheme will go live from Monday 4th May 2020 and cash will be released within days for eligible businesses.
  • Businesses can borrow 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.
  • The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
  • The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

Eligibility

You can apply for a Bounce Back Loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • was not an “undertaking in difficulty” on 31 December 2019

Who cannot apply

The following businesses are no eligible to apply:

  • banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector bodies
  • further-education establishments, if they are grant funded

If you’re already claiming funding

You cannot apply for the Bounce Back loans if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interuption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

If you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.

How to apply

Apply here

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, enables businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million in value and for up to 6 years, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses (subject to a per-lender cap on claims)  with no fees to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance.

Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. (up from the initial 6 months as per 20/03/2020 announcement)

You can find the latest information from the British Business Bank with further details here.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

How to access the scheme

The scheme is now open for applications. To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan. You can find out the latest on the best ways to contact them via their websites.

All major banks are offering this scheme. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

Private lenders

A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest and £7 billion from Barclays.

There is additional business support available for businesses who bank with Barclays. A dedicated helpline has been set up and is monitored and managed by business managers who will be on hand to provide advice and guidance on cash-flow management and setting up temporary overdrafts or an other lending support. 0800 1971 086 – Open 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday.

The new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme CLBILS will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.

This will give banks the confidence to lend to many more businesses which are impacted by coronavirus. Facilities backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest.

It’s expected that the scheme to be delivered through commercial lenders. The government will provide lenders with an 80% guarantee on individual loans for businesses that would be otherwise unable to access the finance they need.

Lenders will still be expected to conduct their usual credit risk checks. This scheme allows lenders to specifically support businesses that were viable before the COVID-19 outbreak but now face significant cash flow difficulties that would otherwise make their business unviable in the short term.

The new scheme will launch later in April and will support a wide range of businesses to access finance products including short term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.

Businesses would remain responsible for repaying any facility they may takeout.

Eligibility

To be eligible, your business must:

  • be UK-based in its business activity
  • have an annual turnover between £45 million and £500 million
  • be unable to secure regular commercial financing
  • has not received support under the Bank of England’s COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
  • have a borrowing proposal which the lender:
    • would consider viable, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic
    • believes will enable you to trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty

Businesses from any sector can apply, except for the following:

  • banks and building societies
  • insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector organisations, including state-funded primary and secondary schools

Further detail on eligibility will be confirmed later this month.

What can you get

You can apply for:

  • loans
  • revolving credit facilities (including overdrafts)
  • invoice finance
  • asset finance

A lender can provide up to 25% of you annual turnover. The maximum amount you can borrow is £200 million.

How to apply

There are 12 lenders taking part in the scheme including all the main retail banks. You should approach a suitable lender yourself via the lender’s website.

You’ll need to tell the lender:

  • the amount you’d like to borrow
  • what the money is for
  • how long you’d like to pay it back
You can find out more details and a lender here

Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

As well as the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Eligibility

All non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible.

How to access the scheme

The scheme is now available for applications.

More information is available from the Bank of England.

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.

Find out more details here

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.

The Prime Minister reassured that businesses affected by the recommendation of the Government to avoid hospitality and leisure venues will be covered of the impact of lost trade under their insurances policies as per the interview questions on 17 March 2020 (check the video from 38:22).

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

UKH members able to call the Legal Helpline for free to discuss any queries they may have 0870 043 4071. Members will require their UKH membership number. If you do not have this, please contact the team.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:

  • Be self-employed or a member of partnership;
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
  • File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
  • Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
    • Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
    • Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.

How do I access it?

Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account. HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid out by beginning of June 2020. For eligible individuals who have not submitted their returns for 2018-19, they will have 4 weeks’ notice from the date of the announcement to file their returns and therefore become eligible for this scheme.

HMRC are publishing guidance on the scheme, available here. This guidance will continue to be updated.

When can I access it?

HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid by the beginning of June 2020. This time is necessary to ensure that the scheme is both deliverable and fair. In the interim the self-employed will still able eligible for other government support including more generous universal credit and business continuity loans.

Further information on how to access these schemes can be found here.

→ Income Tax deferral

Payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

Eligibility

If you are self-employed you are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

The Future Fund will be launching in May 2020 and will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The scheme will be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.

Eligibility

You’re eligible if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • can attract the equivalent match funding from third-party private investors and institutions
  • has previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third-party investors in the last 5 years
More details about The Future Fund available here

Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP) via Growth Platform, are working closely with BEIS, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Local Authorities and other partners in the City Region, are looking to enhance the current business support available to business to include Business Resilience relating to COVID-19.

The aim of this work is to ensure that businesses across Liverpool City Region have access to professional advisory support to aid them through the challenges they are facing due to COVID-19.

  • Eligibility: SMEs in all sectors.
  • Estimated Size of Business: £1m – 45m Turnover
  • Estimated Employee Numbers: 10+ Staff

N.B – SMEs outside of these parameters can still be considered following discussion with BDO LLP.

Local TV are committed to delivering their promise of supporting local SME’s during the coronavirus epidemic by offering free advertising to local businesses for a 4-week period.

Enquire about free Local TV advertising here
  • Support your Employees
  • Manage your Suppliers
  • Customer Service
  • Contingency Planning
  • Cashflow Management
  • 10 Steps to Take Now
Find out more here
(Information provided by CityCo Manchester)

If you have a query that isn’t covered by this guidance you can contact the Business Support Helpline.

Please also check:

You can also contact The Growth Platform’s Business Helpline on 0151 705 1985 – Monday-Friday 8am-6pm.

Liverpool Local Business Guide

Liverpool Local Business Guide

We have teamed up with The Guide Liverpool and Independent Liverpool to shout about Liverpool local business people need during the Coronavirus outbreak.

If you are a local business now offering a delivery or a take away service then please let us know on email → coronavirusupdates@theguideliverpool.com

Top tips while you stay at home

Liverpool BID Company - Top Tips while you stay at home-01

Safety and cybersecurity advice

Liverpool BID Company - cybersecurity and safety advice

Gather funds during Covid-19 with crowdfunding

Pay it Forward: support for businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

Get free support engaging with your audience

Maybe

Free Liverpool TV advertising

Local TV Campaign: #InItTogether

How your business can help

Use this service to tell the Government how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.

The support needed includes things like:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • social care or childcare

You’ll be asked some questions about the type of support you can give. You’ll then be contacted as soon as possible if your support is needed.

You’ll need your company number if you have one.

Start here

Support Hotlines Available

Liverpool City Council


Liverpool’s Mayor launched two telephone hotlines for the city’s residents and businesses to recruit a volunteer army and the other to identify and help the city’s most vulnerable.  

The volunteer hotline is 0151 233 3068.
→ Key tasks identified will be for people to help deliver medication to those in self-isolation, or check in with neighbours. This phone line can also be used to volunteer for Liverpool Foodbanks who require lots of volunteers across the city.

The support hotline is 0151 233 3066.
→ This has been established for anyone to call who feels they need support with a range of basic tasks because they don’t have a support network – friends and family – in place.

Both hotlines will be manned from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week.

Mid Mersey Age UK

Mid Mersey Age UK has set up a hotline to provide wellbeing calls to local older people who may need help:

  • Regular phone call to check you’re OK
  • Checking on your health
  • Making sure you have your medication
  • Information and reassurance
  • Critical shopping and delivery support

Line is operational Monday-Thursday 10am-2pm or leave a recorded message.
To volunteer help register at volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Stay up to date with the latest Public Health Advice

→ UK Government Advice

Read the Guidance for employers and businesses. This guidance will assist employers and businesses with advice on:

  • the novel coronavirus COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone in the workplace becomes ill
  • advice on sick pay and certification of absence from work resulting from COVID-19
  • business support measures on rate relief and loans

If you would like to receive updates on the government’s response to COVID-19 you can sign up for email alerts.

UK’s Government Advice Here

→ Public Health England Advice

Keep yourself on the loop. Follow Public Health England on Twitter and Facebook, sign up to their emails.

Public Health England Advice Here

→ NHS Advice

Stay in the know. Follow the NHS on Twitter and Facebook.

Access here NHS information about the coronavirus in different languages including: Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Dari, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Kurdish, Mandarin, Pashto, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

You can also access that information in different languages on video format from Leeds City Council here.

NHS Advice Here

→ Liverpool City Council Advice

Don’t miss out an update. Follow COVID Liverpool on Twitter and Facebook.