• Visitor notice: Due to COVID-19, many attractions, restaurants, pubs, theatres, public spaces and other venues have temporarily closed or have changed their practices to maintain public and staff safety. Planned events may well have been cancelled. We advise that you check carefully before you travel. For more information on the national lockdown, click here.
  • Greenwich Visitor Economy Business Support and COVID-19 Funding

    Updates to Business Support and Funding for Local Visitor Economy

     

    Since the first COVID-19 lockdown there’s been a deluge of information on support for businesses from central government, local government, banks and other organisations. Now in the third lockdown, sifting through looking for the most relevant and useful information can be a daunting task. We have put together an updated summary of what we consider to be the most relevant available support for you in more detail below. Below we have listed what we consider to be the most relevant of the current schemes available, although beware, the window for application for some of these is limited, so swift action may be necessary.

     

    For brevity, before committing to read all the information below, here is a very useful government link to help you find financial support to which your business may be entitled  

     

     

    New Additional Lockdown Grants for Hospitality and Leisure Businesses

     

     

    On January 5, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring, following the announcement that hospitality and businesses in the Visitor Economy will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus.

     

    These new and additional funding grants range between £4,000 and £9,000 depending on rateable value, and are in addition to 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.

     

    Find out if your hospitality or leisure business is eligible to receive a new additional lockdown grant

     

     

    Second Round of Culture Recovery Fund - Heritage Grants

     

     

    The second round of the DCMS Culture Recovery Fund makes over £300million of grants available, covering the period April-June, aimed at safeguarding cultural organisations facing the costs of welcoming back visitors as they once again begin to operate with fewer restrictions.

    The National Lottery Heritage Fund is distributing £36m of this government funding to organisations in England, in partnership with Historic England, based on criteria set by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

    This second round will offer grants of between £10,000 and £3m to support organisations making the transition towards full reopening.

    The fund opened for applications on 7 January 2021, and is open for applications open until 2pm on 26 January 2021

     

     

    Christmas Support Payments for Wet-Led ubs - still open for applications until January 31st

     

     

    The Christmas Support Payment scheme is designed for pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food and have been severely impacted over the festive season due to temporary local restrictions. The window to apply is closing soon though, so

    Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of £1,000 from their local council in areas under Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions.

    Local councils will use their discretion to identify the right businesses to receive this funding.

     

     

    Chancellor extends Furlough and Job Retention Schemes until End of April 2021

     

     

    The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages – giving businesses and employees across the UK certainty into the first quarter of 2021

     

    These changes come ahead of the Budget, set for March 3rd 2021, in which the Chancellor has confirmed will deliver the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs, so the extensions to the business loan and furlough schemes enable businesses to plan with certainty and access support in the first few months of the New Year ahead of the further update on wider Covid-19 economic support.

    Read more about the update here. 

     

    Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme

     

     

    In order to ensure businesses can access the support they need through continuing economic disruption, Rishi Sunak also confirmed he would be extending the government-guaranteed Covid-19 business loan schemes until the end of March 2021.

    The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to £50,000. The size of loan offered is a maximum of 25% of the company turnover.

     

    The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year with a 6-year repayment plans offered by a number of associated lenders.

     

    If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.

     

    Find out if you are eligible for a Bounce Back Loan 

     

     

    Additional and Local Restrictions Funding Grants
    Administered by Royal Borough of Greenwich

     

    Initially introduced back on 31 October 2020, then updated on November 12th, the Government announced additional support for Local Authorities under national and Local Covid Alert Level 3 restrictions.

    This support takes the form of a funding schemes for the financial year 2020- 2021 and can be used across financial years 20/21 and 21/22. The schemes called; Local Restrictions Grant (LRG) and subsequently Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) both administered by business rate billing local authorities in England.

     

    1)  Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum)

    The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed) Addendum) supports businesses in England that have been required to close due to the national restrictions between 5 November and 2 December 2020. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 28-day period under national restrictions.

     

    Businesses eligible:

    • Based in England
    • Occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
    • Has been required to close because of the national restrictions from 5 November to 2 December 2020
    • Has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

     

     

    2)   Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

    To support businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed, this scheme provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates, as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).

    Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, the funding is expected to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions;

     

    Businesses eligible: 

    • 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

     

     

    3) The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LSRG (Sector))

    Businesses including nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques adult entertainment venues and hostess bars that have been required to close due to the national restrictions introduced in March 2020, and which have not been able to re-open, may be eligible for this grant. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14-day period they are closed. This funding is available from 1 November 2020 and is not retrospective. The grant will be based on the rateable value of business owners properties on 1 November 2020.

     

    Businesses eligible:

    • Based in England
    • Occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
    • Has been closed since 23 March 2020 because of national restrictions

     

     

    4) Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses)

    Businesses in England that were open as usual and were then required to close due to local restrictions (Local COVID alert level: Very High) may be eligible for the local restrictions support grant. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14-day period they are closed.

     

    Businesses eligible:

    • Based in England
    • Occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
    • is in an area of local restrictions and has been required to close because of local restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September
    • has been required to close for at least 14 days because of the restrictions
    • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

     

     

    5) Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses)

    The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Open)) supports businesses that have been severely impacted due to temporary local restrictions. Businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local restrictions (Local COVID alert levels: High or Very High) may be eligible for LRSG (Open).

    Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 28-day period under local restrictions.

     

    Businesses eligible:

    • Based in England
    • Is in an area subject to ‘High’ or ‘Very High’ local restrictions since 1 August 2020 and has been severely impacted because of the local restrictions
    • Was established before the introduction of Local COVID alert level: High restrictions
    • Has not had to close but has been impacted by local restrictions

     

    *Local councils have the freedom to determine the precise eligibility criteria for these grants. However, the funding is expected to be targeted at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.

     

    Further information:

    Check if your business is eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national restrictions (for closed businesses)

    *Eligible businesses can get one grant per non-domestic property.

     

     

    More Ongoing Business Support & Funding Schemes
    Royal Borough of Greenwich Council Recovery Support 

     

    The Greenwich Access to Apprenticeships Fund  has been set up as part of the apprenticeship levy scheme update, which allows levy-paying employers, including the council, to transfer up to 25% of their annual levy funds to small businesses, third sector organisations, charities, social enterprises and apprenticeship training agencies.

     

    Department of Work & Pensions £2 billion Kickstart Scheme now accesible to businesses wishing to recruit less than 30 placements via a newly launched South East London Chamber of Commerce & London South East Colleges – Gateway Scheme 

    SMEs can apply to SELCC to create a work placement in the Government Kickstart Scheme

     

     

    Government-Backed COVID-19 Business Support Schemes

     

    The UK Government has published a COVID-19 page which details the support available for businesses. Key information on the page includes: paying sick pay to employees,  business rates, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility,  Time to Pay service, Insurance.

     

    Businesses & Self-Employed
    – Loans, tax relief and cash grants are available.
    – Employers can apply for staff to get up to 80% pay if they can’t work.
    – Self-employed people can receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least 3 months.

    Read More

     

    Employment, Financial Support & Money
    Unable to work – what to do if you or someone you live with is ill
    On furlough – what happens if your employer has no work for you
    Unemployed – what to do if you’ve lost your job
    Self-employed – what to do if you’re getting less or no work
    Already getting benefits – how they’re affected

     

    Use Business Support Finder Tool to find what financial support you are eligible for

    New Apprenticeships cash bonuses

    Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

    Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

    Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

    Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

    Future Fund

     

     

     

    Pay It Forward: Mayor Of London
    New crowdfunding opportunity for businesses

    If your SME / independent business is at risk, and suffering cashflow problems due to the impact of COVID-19 you can “pre-sell your business’ services through the Mayor of London’s Pay It Forward London crowdfunding platform, and the Mayor’s Back to Business Fund will match the funding up to £5,000 each.  The platform will connect you to your local community, enabling you to generate income, manage cashflow and fundraise for free, while keeping the public safe during the shutdown.

    Since its launch in April 2020, more than 2,000 London businesses (including from Royal Greenwich) have raised £1.5 million from 24,000 supporters, with the Mayor’s pledges amounting to more than £300,000.

     

    Learn more about the scheme and start crowdfunding 

     

     

     

    Marketing Tips & Business Support

    It’s time to pull together.

    We know that this is a challenging time for the tourism industry and for
    local businesses. We want to do what we can to help. We have an incredibly strong destination offer. 2019 was a record year (6.5% growth) with over 20m visitors and our visitor economy is now worth more than £1.5bn supporting almost 17,000 jobs. We will recover.

    We’ve put together a few pages of marketing tips and practical guidance related to timely consumer messaging and destination marketing, which we hope you find useful for your own communications.

    It’s so important to continue to engage with and inspire our visitors and customers. We need to be prepared for when we come out the other side of this situation and to welcome back our visitors who love everything there is to enjoy in Greenwich. We need to plan for recovery and maximise opportunities.

    It is even more important that businesses survive so we have also compiled a summary of business support available and links to regularly updated online information.

    Marketing Tips & Business Support

     

     

     

     

    Further Information

    ACAS practical information on coronavirus is reviewed daily to give you, your networks and members access to the most recent updates and common-sense advice. Click on the button below to read more and for details of future webinars.

    Read More

     

    HR Dept provides HR services for support with employment contracts, employee wellbeing, short term working or anything else you need guidance on as an employer.

    Read More

     

    The Federation of Small Business has useful advice and guidance here.