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Coronavirus Support for Businesses

St Helens Chamber Business Support

St Helens Chamber is here to support local businesses. For advice and assistance please call us on 01744 742444  or email growthhub@sthelenschamber.com

Members of St Helens Chamber also have access to Chamber Protect – a dedicated support line to help with HR, Health & Safety Legal and Tax issues. If you are a Chamber Member you can contact the advice line on 01455 852037.

Government Assistance

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

In recognition that the increase in the Omicron variant is having on some businesses, the government has announced a new one-off grant to support businesses within the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.

Eligibility criteria

  • A business should be trading and be liable for business rates at a property within the borough of St Helens as at 30 December 2021
  • The premises should predominantly provide in-person services to customers within the hospitality, leisure or accommodation sectors. Where a business operates in more than one sector, at least 50% of income should be derived from within the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.
  • It has not exceeded subsidy allowance limits (see below)
  • It is not in administration, insolvent or has a striking-off notice issued against it

Payment

Rateable Value (30 December 2021)Grant
£15,000 or less £2,667
Over £15,000 and less than £51,000 £4,000
£51,000 or over £6,000

Subsidy allowance

A new domestic subsidy allowance for COVID-19 business support grants took effect on 4 March 2021.

The scheme is covered by three subsidy allowances:

  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any rolling period of 3 years
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – you’re allowed up to £1,900,000
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance – if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £10,000,000, provided certain conditions are met

Grants under these three allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £12,235,000 (subject to exchange rates).

Apply for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant here, applications will close on 28 February 2022.

Statutory Sick Pay

Small businesses and employers across the UK who have paid statutory sick pay to staff taking coronavirus-related leave will be able to claim back the money.

The scheme allows small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 members of staff, to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay for two weeks – worth nearly £200 per employee.

The new online service is being run by HMRC, and after making an application employers will receive the money within six working days.

To get the rebate, employers will need to go online and input simple information on the employees being claimed for.

The service can be accessed here.

Deferral of  VAT payments

The Chancellor has announced that he is deferring the next quarter of VAT payments, meaning no businesses will pay any VAT from now until the end of June. Business who deferred their VAT bills now have the option to pay back in smaller instalments under the New Payment Scheme. Rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end March next year, businesses will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year.

Businesses need to take steps to reinstate their direct debit mandates so that they are in place in time for payments due in July 2020 onwards. Any outstanding returns should be filed and three working data should be allowed to elapse before reinstating the direct debit mandate.

Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

Apprenticeship support funding

The government will introduce a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new Apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new Apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021.

These payments will be in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the government already provides for new 16 to 18 year-old Apprentices, and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan – employers could receive up to £3,000 for hiring 16 to 18 year old Apprentices from August to January.

If you would like to register your interest in St Helens Chamber Apprenticeships, please contact our Workforce Development Team at workforce@sthelenschamber.com

Kickstart Scheme

The government has unveiled a new Kickstart Scheme to help young people secure jobs.

The Kickstart Scheme will help those aged between 16 to 24. The fund will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit in the age group who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

The jobs must be new, additional jobs, with a minimum of 25 hours per week. Funding will be available for each six-month job placement and will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – employers will be able to top this wage up.

If you would like to register your interest in employing a young person, please contact our Workforce Development Team at workforce@sthelenschamber.com

Click here for more information on the Kickstart Scheme

For all additional grants and fully funded programmes go to St Helens Chamber Local Growth Hub

Click here for full details on all the Government support available

Click here for the latest advice and guidance from the British Chambers of Commerce