Coronavirus/COVID-19: Deadline for Northumberland County Council Funding

If you are a Northumberland based business, tomorrow (28 August 2020) is an important application deadline for a number of grants and loan opportunities available from Northumberland County Council (NCC).  There are many other local English authorities that have also applied the same deadline date for the funding outlined in this update.

There aren’t that many new funding opportunities, but the good news is at the beginning of next month grants for Scottish businesses involved in the events industry will be open for applications. It is worth noting that there is limited funding available (£6 million) and as a result only the first 600 eligible and complete applications will receive a one-off grant of up to £10,000.

If you require any clarification on the application process or would like to speak to us in relation to preparing an application please get in touch. We will do all possible to ensure this is done efficiently and accurately to put you in the best position for funding consideration.

Deadline: Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund – England only

If you fall into the following business categories you may be eligible for an NCC Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund.  Applications close on 28 August 2020.

Hotels and Pubs 
A COVID-19 discretionary grant may be available for hotels and pubs with a rateable value exceeding £51,000.  The criteria includes eligible businesses which have already successfully claimed £10,000 under the first phase of local grant funding.  The grant payment could be up to £25,000.

For your application to be considered you must:

  • be based in Northumberland
  • have relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
  • have been trading on 11 March 2020
  • be able to demonstrate that your income has seen a significant fall due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Applicants will be required to provide financial records to demonstrate that they have suffered a drop in income related to the COVID-19 restrictions, along with documentation to demonstrate information such as rateable value of premises, annual value of rent or other fixed property costs, etc.

Tourist Attractions
A discretionary grant may also be available for tourist attractions in Northumberland, particularly those offering experiences connected with the history, heritage and outstanding natural beauty of the county.  This would exclude more generic sporting activities or facilities, holiday parks and accommodation that are not considered unique to Northumberland.

To be eligible for consideration your business must be:

  • a small and micro sized business, operating from a location in Northumberland
  • have been established and operating for 12 months
  • not eligible for other support schemes (excl. Self Employed Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).

NCC will consider a business to be ‘small’ if it meets two of the three following criteria:

  • less than 50 employees
  • a turnover no more than £10.2 million
  • a balance sheet total no more than £5.1 million.

NCC will consider a business to be ‘micro’ if it meets two of the three following criteria:

  • less than 10 employees
  • a turnover no more than £632,000
  • a balance sheet total no more than £316,000.

The value of the grant could be up to £10,000 dependent on the loss of income and ongoing fixed costs incurred during the COVID period.

Charities that have ongoing fixed property-related costs and can demonstrate that they have suffered a fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis may also be eligible for a discretionary grant.

To be considered, the charity must have been active on 11 March 2020 and should not be eligible for other COVID-19 support schemes (excl. Self Employed Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).

NCC have indicated that the majority of grants will be for an amount less than £10,000.  However, grants of up to £25,000 for larger charities may be available, based on the evidence provided.

Community facilities
If you are a community organisation that operates on a not for profit basis from a non-residential property, are responsible for the bills and upkeep of that property and are not eligible for charitable business rates relief, you may be able to claim a discretionary grant of up to £10,000.

Again, you should not have received any other COVID-19 grant and must have been operating since 11 March 2020.

Online application forms and full details of eligibility can be found on the NCC website.

Deadline: Small Business, Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Fund

Small businesses in any sector with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 could be eligible to receive a small business grant of £10,000.

Retail, hospitality or leisure businesses with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 could be eligible for grant of £10,000.  If the property has a rateable value of over £15,000 but less than £51,000 the grant for eligible businesses is £25,000.

Applications close on 28 August 2020.  Online application forms and full details of eligibility can be found on the NCC website.

Events Industry Support Fund – Scotland only

The Events Industry Support Fund, which is being managed by Visit Scotland, is targeted to support businesses whose primary source of earnings is derived from the supply or organisation of business, cultural or sporting events in Scotland.  Successful applicants will be eligible to receive a one-off grant of £10,000.

The fund is not intended to support year-round operations such as attractions, the hospitality industry eg. hotels, pubs etc., sports teams/clubs or artists and performers.

The types of business that would be considered for the grant is quite wide ranging, and includes health & safety provision for events, staging, equipment hire, event and production crew, catering, security, event merchandise, marketing and PR, florists and translation services.  The complete list of business types is available in the application guidance on the Visit Scotland website (see link below).

To be eligible your business must be able to evidence:

  • you have a place of business in Scotland;
  • your supply to or your organisation of events in Scotland represents a minimum of 40% of your earnings in 2019/20
  • your earnings derived from events in Scotland are over £10,000
  • you have not received funding from any other Scottish Government support package
  • you were not in financial difficulty before 31 December 2019.

Only one application per business will be considered.  Applications will go live on 31 August 2020 at 12 noon and close on 14 September 2020 at 12 noon.

Funding will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Full details are available on the Visit Scotland website.

Should you need assistance to ensure your documentation is fully prepared for when applications go live please do get in touch.

If you have any concerns in relation to COVID-19 business support, what steps your business should be taking to ensure it emerges from the crisis in the best possible shape or your personal family finances, please call or email us.  We are here to help and the partners and the GWA team can be found at their usual email addresses and phone numbers.

Information correct as of 27 August 2020

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