Coronavirus

We have set up a dedicated Coronavirus/COVID-19 webpage. Click here or go to www.newcastle.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus: Support for business

Updated 2 June

Business support

Our business support service will help ensure that eligible businesses get fast access to funding as well as support during this difficult trading period.

We are working closely with a range of partners, including NE1, NGI and the NE Business Growth Hub. Together we will support businesses across the city during the coronavirus pandemic.

How to access funding

There are several schemes, made available by government, already open. They include:

  • Small Business Grant - £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief.
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant - £25,000 for specified businesses that occupy a property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, and a grant of £10,000 if the rateable value is below £15,000.

We intend to open a further grant scheme in the coming days.

  • Discretionary Business Grant Fund – a limited number of small and micro businesses who meet our eligibility criteria can apply for a £5,000 grant. Meeting our eligibility criteria does not guarantee payment. Details of the eligibility criteria can be found below. We intend to launch the Discretionary Business Grant Fund on 5 June at 10 am.

Discretionary Business Grant Fund

To be eligible for our Discretionary Grant Fund Eligibility Criteria you must satisfy the following conditions, based on your circumstances on the 11th March 2020:

  • Your business must be physically located within Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • You must have exclusive use of your specific workspace. Where you do not own the property, this must be evidenced through a signed lease or licence. Where you own the property, you must be able to provide further evidence, e.g. through the Land Registry.
  • You must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
    • You operate from
      shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;
    • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
    • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates;
    • Charity properties in receipt of mandatory charitable business rates relief, occupy only one property, and would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
  • To be considered eligible as a Bed & Breakfast, you must be able to provide at least one form of evidence from the list below:
    • Planning permission for change of use;
    • A fire certificate obtained when setting up the B&B to get business insurance policy and public liability cover;
    • A “hotel and mobile units television licence”, which covers up to 15 televisions and can be purchased online from TV Licensing;
    • A music licence from PPL PRS Ltd, if they have a TV in public areas, such as a bar or breakfast room, which has the sound turned on;
    • A personal and premise alcohol licence, if serving alcohol;
    • Registered with Newcastle City Council’s Regulatory Services
    • An up-to-date accreditation with Visit England or the AA with a star rating
  • You must be either a small or micro business. Charities and voluntary sector organisations are included within this definition.
    • To be a small business, under the Companies Act 2006, a business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year:
      • Turnover: Not more than £10.2 million
      • Balance sheet total: Not more than 5.1 million
      • Number of employees: a headcount of staff of less than 50
    • To be a micro business, under the Companies Act 2006, a business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements
      • Turnover: Not more than £632,000
      • Balance sheet total: Not more than £316,000
      • Number of employees: a headcount of staff of not more than 10
  • You must be able to demonstrate you have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid 19 crisis
  • You must occupy property, or part of a property, that meets at least one of the criteria listed below:
    • Rateable value below £51,000
    • Annual rent below £51,000
    • Annual mortgage payments below £51,000 (B&Bs only)
  • Your business must not be eligible for any of the following grants
    • Small Business Grant Fund
    • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
    • The Fisheries Response Fund
    • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
    • The Zoos Support Fund
    • The Dairy Hardship Fund
  • You must have been trading on the 11th March 2020
  • Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding.
  • Although the UK has left the European Union, the European State Aid rules still apply during the Transition Period. Payment of this grant constitutes State Aid which is being made on the basis of a UK State aid scheme based upon the European Commission’s Temporary Framework for State aid. This can be accessed at COVID-19 Temporary Framework. A condition of this Framework is that the aid can only be granted to undertakings that were not in difficulty (within the meaning of the General Block Exemption Regulation) on 31 December 2019 or to undertakings that were not in difficulty on 31 December 2019, but that faced difficulties or entered in difficulty thereafter as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible businesses must declare that the total aid received under this scheme between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 does not exceed the relevant temporarily increased threshold of €800,000 and that you meet the relevant State Aid requirements. More information on State Aid can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid

Only if you meet ALL of the eligibility criteria listed above should you consider applying. We intend to process applications within 10 working days. We retain the right to close the application process at any time; or make changes to the eligibility criteria or grant value depending on take up.

We intend to launch this fund on 5 June at 10 am . Return to this website then to find a link to our online application form.

Small Business Grant

To be eligible for a Small Business Grant, the business must:

•    have been in receipt of small business rates relief or rural rate relief on 11 March 2020.
•    have a property with a rateable value of less than £15,000

Each recipient will be entitled to receive one grant per property.

You are NOT eligible if your:

  • property is unoccupied
  • property is occupied for personal use, or is a car park or parking space
  • business was in liquidation or dissolved as of 11 March 2020

Important

If you failed to register with us for business rates by 11 March 2020 you must email business.rates@newcastle.gov.uk with your details. In order for you to be considered for the grant you will also need to provide us with copies of:

  • Your signed lease
  • Your utility bills
  • Your rent payments

This may delay your award for a grant while we confirm your entitlement.

Our business rates team is receiving a high volume of applications to register for business rates in order to access grants. Verification checks are required which adds to the time for processing, Please bear with us as we are working through these as quickly as we can.

More information about eligibility can be found here.

To request a grant click the link below.

You will need:

Grant request

 

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

To be eligible for a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, the business must:

  • As of 11 March 2020, have been entitled to a discount under the business rates Expanded Retail Discount Scheme had the scheme still been in force.

Note, Charities which would otherwise meet the criteria but whose bill for 11 March 2020 had been reduced by a local discretionary award are eligible.

Each recipient will be entitled to receive one grant per property. 

You are NOT eligible if the:

  • property is unoccupied
  • property is occupied for personal use, or is a car park or parking space
  • business is eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund
  • business was in liquidation or dissolved as of 11 March 2020
  • property has a rateable value of £51,000 or more

Important

If you failed to register with us for business rates by 11 March 2020 you must email business.rates@newcastle.gov.uk with your details. In order to be considered for the grant you need to provide us with copies of the following:

  • Your signed lease
  • Your utility bills
  • Your rent payments

This may delay your award for a grant while we confirm your entitlement. 

Our business rates team is receiving a high volume of applications to register for business rates in order to access grants. Verification checks are required which adds to the time for processing, Please bear with us as we are working through these as quickly as we can.

More information about eligibility can be found here

To request a grant click the link below

You will need:

Grant request

Once your form is submitted, all eligible businesses will receive payments directly into their bank account within five to ten working days.  The length of time depends on what further verification checks we need to do.  We will be in touch with all businesses who have received a grant, although it is likely payments will be in your account first.

If there are issues with your registration, our business support team will be in touch.More information about the grant fund can be found here.

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is now taking applications for small and medium-sized businesses to 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. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. 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 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 not eligible to apply:

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

If you’re already claiming funding

You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption 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

Please go to  https://bit.ly/BounceBackLoanApply

Business rates relief

Those retail, hospitality and leisure businesses who pay business rates will also be able to benefit from a 12-month payment holiday this year. This process will be automated, and businesses do not need to contact the council

Further help and advice

We have a specialist team who can provide support for businesses during this difficult time. Use the button below to enter your details and our team will be in touch within two working days.

Request further help

 

Government support for businesses

The Chancellor has set out a package of measures to support businesses through disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Government grants to cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month, for a period of 3 months back dated until 1 March 2020

    Applications can now be made through the Government website with further information and details of what you need to make a claim available on the Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme page.

On 12 Ma,y it was announced the scheme would be extended from the end of June to 31 October 2020. However, from the start of August changes will be made to the scheme with furloughed workers being able to return to work part-time, with the employer paying a percentage of towards the salaries of their furloughed workers. Further details of the changes will be announced by the end of May, but until the end of July the scheme will continue in its current format.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay

Government has set up a new Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme which will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees for businesses with fewer that 250 employees. The repayment will cover up to two weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • Have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms;
  • Cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms; or
  • Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.

The online service to reclaim SSP is not live yet, and HMRC will announce when the service is live. Please go here for more information

For more information about these measures, including eligibility requirements, please visit the government’s website GOV.uk.

Support for charities

The Government has announced that charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.

For further information please see the Chancellor's announcement.

Advice and support for self employed people

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is now open for claims. If you’re eligible, you’ll be given a date when you can claim between 13 and 18 May. You can check your claim date online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

You can find all the information on Self-employment Income Support Scheme here.

In addition, we have pulled together FAQs relating to the scheme, which can be found here.

Guidance for employees

The Government’s national advice for staff, including on working from home and sick pay, can be found on it’s COVID-19: guidance for employees page.

Advice for businesses in Newcastle

The North East Growth Hub has provided a COVID-19 Toolkit to help businesses plan for and respond to the virus.

Frequently asked questions

Our Economic Development Team is providing answers to frequently asked questions here.

Care and support providers

We are working with providers to identify issues and jointly agree actions and mutual expectations for the delivery of key care and support services across the city.

Find out more on our Coronavirus: Information for Care and Support Providers page.

Safeguarding adults

Information for professionals and volunteers working with vulnerable adults can be found via our safeguarding adults page.

General business support

We also continue to offer our usual support for businesses (though subject to some service disruption) – Details of this can be found via our Business support in Newcastle page.

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