The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) aims to help businesses which have been forced to close or have been severely impacted by restrictions during January 2021. A further scheme will be available in due course for February and we will notify you once this is open.
Businesses that do not have a rateable value are eligible to apply for this discretionary scheme which aims to help affected businesses which do not meet the criteria for other grants.
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council is distributing the grant according to an eligibility criteria and priority will be given to businesses in the greatest need.
Full details on the eligibility criteria for this and other grants as well as the application form is available on the council’s website. Visit this link for full information and instructions on how to apply.
The Chancellor has announced repayment flexibilities for Bounce Back Loan borrowers, with the ability to tailor payments according to individual circumstances. The scheme provides the option for small and medium-sized businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.
The new options include:
- Extending the length of the loan from six to ten years (reducing monthly repayments by almost half),
- Making interest-only payments for six months, with the option to use this up to three times throughout the loan
- Pausing repayments for up to six months. This will be available to all from their first repayment, rather than after six repayments have been made. This means that businesses can choose to make no payments on their loans until 18 months after they originally took them out.
This is in addition to the Government covering the costs of interest for the first year of the loan.
From today lenders should begin reaching out to borrowers to provide information on repayment schedules and how to access flexible repayment options. Borrowers should only expect correspondence three months before their first repayments are due.
Small and medium-sized businesses can apply to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The scheme is open to applications until 31 March 2021.
If a business already has a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than they were entitled to, the existing loan can be topped up to the maximum amount. The top-up request must be made by 31 March 2021.
Guidance on funding for employers looking to create jobs placements for young people.
Guidance is now available on the Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
- Associated employer National Insurance contributions
- Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021. Further funding is available to provide support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.
Find more information on eligibility, how to apply and the job placement criteria here.
Mandatory hotel quarantine to be introduced from 15 February
Last week the Government announced that from 15 February anyone travelling to the UK from a country on the UK’s travel ban list will be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days. Further details will be set soon on how passengers will be able to book into the designated accommodation facilities.
Applications for Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs extended
The Christmas Support Payment (CSP) supports wet-led pubs that have been severely impacted over the Christmas period due to temporary local restrictions. The deadline for applications for the Christmas Support Payment has been extended to 28 February 2021.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) update
Claims for the third SEISS grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim for the third grant was 29 January 2021. Details about the fourth grant will be announced on 3 March 2021.
We will continue to keep you updated. In the meantime, visit Vist Britain's Business Advice Hub for practical guidance to help you operate in a COVID-19 Secure way during the pandemic.
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