COVID-19 Business Support for 2020/21 & 2021/22

Operating your business safely

Further guidance about safely operating your business in line with the Government's latest guidance is available by following the link below.

InvestSefton is Sefton Council's business support service. We offer free information and advice – for all non-rates enquiries please go to the Invest Sefton website 

Please sign up to InvestSefton’s mailing list if you haven’t already – sign up by email to be notified when business support funding is made available.

Workplace safety and safe operating of businesses

For more information on workplace and business safety in line with the Government's latest Covid-19 guidance, visit our Covid-19 webpages


The Government has launched the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) to support those businesses affected by the pandemic who are ineligible for previous related COVID 19 reliefs in the 2021/22 financial year.

The fund replaces the right to request a reduction in business rates from the Valuation Office Agency on the grounds that COVID-19 has been a material change in circumstances which makes the rateable value of the property inaccurate.

On 7 April 2022 the Council agreed the adoption of a COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund Policy. CARF is a relief awarded at the discretion of the Council. The full policy document can be found here.

Who is eligible?

A business must have a business rates charge to pay for the whole of the financial year in 2021/22 (after other relief have been applied) and:

  • Have not been awarded (or be eligible for) the Expanded Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure) and Nursery Discount for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022
  • Have been in continuous occupation of the premises from the 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 unless required to close under COVID restrictions. For the purposes of this scheme, intermittent occupations of 6 weeks will not be considered as being in continuous occupation.
  • Can evidently demonstrate that they have been adversely affected by the pandemic by demonstrating a loss of turnover and be able to provide that evidence if requested.
  • Have not exceeded the subsidy control limits. Further information can be found on the subsidy allowance page on this website.

Who is not eligible?

  • Businesses that do not have a charge to pay in the 2021/22 financial year
  • Businesses in receipt of, (or eligible for), the Expanded Retail Discount and the Nursery Discount
  • Businesses that do not have a charge to pay due to the awarding of other reliefs, e.g. small business rates relief, charitable relief, discretionary relief etc.
  • Businesses that are not in occupation (or are in intermittent occupation) in the 2021/22 financial year
  • Businesses who have already received the maximum permitted subsidy allowances
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made

In addition to the above, Sefton Council will not consider the following businesses as eligible for an award:

  • Hereditaments which do not have employees directly working at them. (For example, advertising rights, communications stations, electronic lockers, energy generation and distribution networks).
  • Public sector organisations and other bodies directly funded by government grants, including education and health related sectors.
  • Schools and Colleges
  • Logistic warehouses used by food, online or other retailers which have not been adversely affected by the pandemic.
  • Businesses that predominantly provide online sales or services prior to the pandemic.
  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents,)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents / financial advisers,)
  • Premises used for personal usage or storage.
  • Car parking spaces related to office accommodation.
  • Those businesses which only supply storage facilities such as warehouses.

Application

Businesses will need to complete an online application form to be eligible for relief.

The information that will be requested in the form will include the following:

  • The name of the business rate payer
  • The business address
  • Account and Property Reference as shown on your bill.
  • Business use of the property
  • Manufacturing & Supply Chain business to provide detail of products provided.
  • Company Number (where the ratepayer is a Limited company registered with Companies House)
  • Rateable value of the business
  • Number of employees at the premises for which the application is being made
  • Percentage decline in turnover within the April 2020 to March 2021 period, compared to the same 2019 to 2020 period
  • A declaration that the award of relief will not result in a breach of Subsidy Control thresholds

Businesses may be requested to provide evidence in support of the application including evidence loss of turnover.

Business intending to apply for this relief should be prepared to provide evidence of their eligibility immediately on request. This will include copies of accounts prior to the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and at least one year’s accounts in a subsequent year. We may also require an accountants letter for which a template will be provided.

Complete an online application here

Please note that the application window will close on 31 August 2022. A decision as to whether you are eligible for this relief will not be made until after 31 August 2022.

Funding and Awards

The amount of Government funding for this relief is £4,447,663. The amount of relief to be awarded to successful applicants will be determined once the application window has closed. Each case will be treated on its own merits with consideration to the number of applications received during the application window, the business type, the financial adverse impact of Covid in 2021-22 when compared to non-Covid years, and the maximum funding allocation limit.

More detail of potential awards can be found in the policy document.

The SME Digital Growth Peer Network programme starts on Thursday 10th March 2022. Places are strictly limited to 15.

This fully-funded programme is designed to help Liverpool SME business leaders gain knowledge, clarity and understanding around five key business issues where technology can positively impact business performance and growth: board level attitude for change, security and stability of technology, data analytics and reporting accessibility, customer experience, and attracting and retaining talent.

Who is it for?

SME business leaders within the Liverpool City Region who do not have a technical background but do have a responsibility for driving technology innovation within their organisation.

Who runs it and how much does it cost?

This is an entirely free programme of support. Liverpool-based independent IT Consultancy, Aabyss, self-fund the SME Digital Growth Peer Network to help support the digital growth of our local businesses. As a privately funded initiative it has no restrictions attached to it.

The application process takes less than 2 minutes.  

Format and time commitment?

  • 5 x monthly 90-minute in-person learning sessions over six months, taking place in central Liverpool.
  • Peer-to-peer learning and support in a cohort of 15 business leaders from non-competing businesses.
  • Focused learning (at each session) around five key business areas for technological innovation.
  • Tools and support to understand the impact and direction technology has on your business now and how to identify areas for positive change.
  • Free one-to-one consultancy and action planning session (optional).
  • Free membership to the Digital Growth Alumni events.

Enquire / How to join

The first cohort starts on 10th March 2022. Places are strictly limited to 15 (max. 1 person per company). For further information please click here.

The Government has provided Sefton Council (and other neighbouring Local Authorities in the Liverpool City Region) with further Additional Restrictions Grant payments (ARG3). This fund is to support businesses severely impacted by the rise of the Omicron variant and which are not eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG).

It will be allocated on a first come first served basis to those businesses most in need in the Hospitality, Leisure and Accommodation sectors.

Sefton Council’s ARG3 allocation is £336,185.  The Council anticipates a high demand for this limited ARG3 grant funding, therefore it cannot guarantee that all applications received during the grant window will be approved for a grant payment i.e., the ARG3 grant scheme is not intended to support all businesses and will be targeted at those businesses that have been most severely impacted by the Omicron variant.

In determining the criteria of this grant scheme, the Council has had to balance defraying the small allocation of funding within the shortest period of time and supporting those businesses that can evidence being most impacted by the Omicron variant. 

The ARG3 Grant will be OPEN for applications from 10.00 am on Tuesday 25th January 2022, and CLOSE at 5.00 pm on Monday 7th February  

PLEASE NOTE, applications will be assessed on first come first served basis, we expect demand to be greater than the funding available.

Businesses are advised to apply for the grant as soon as practicable, and to ensure that all the evidence is attached to the online grant form.  Valid applications will be assessed in the order in which they are received, but please note that any application that does not have the required information or evidence will be rejected. Applicants will also be required to self-certify that they meet the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility

Eligible businesses must be: - 

A Small or Micro business as described under the Companies Act 2006:

A Small Business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year: Turnover not more than £10.2 million; Balance sheet total of not more than £5.1 million; Staff headcount of not more than 50.

A Micro Business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year: Turnover, not more than £632,000; Balance sheet total of not more than £316,000; Staff headcount of not more than 10.

  • Based in the Liverpool City Region.
  • Employ 1 to 50 staff (a sole director, or self-employed person counts as 1 staff member).
  • Able to demonstrate that trading activities have been significantly impacted by the Omicron variant and provide information in the free text box to prove this, for example, the impact on business turnover, temporary business closure, loss of regular business income, cancellation and / or loss of contracts / bookings, proof of loss of income
  • Trading as at date of application and continues to trade, i.e., continuing to trade with a view to making a profit or surplus (not a dormant company). A business is excluded if it is:
  • dissolved or about to be dissolved
  • a dormant company
  • insolvent or if insolvency action has been instigated against it

As part of the appraisal process, Sefton Council will take into account: whether the business is based in commercial property or whether it is home-based; the level of fixed costs of the business; the number of people employed by the business; whether it is unable to trade online; and the consequent scale of Omicron losses.

Sefton Council reserves the right to vary the terms of the ARG3 scheme or suspend or close the scheme with immediate effect, without notice and at any time. 

Who will receive this funding? 

For the avoidance of doubt, the ARG3 grant is intended for businesses that are ineligible for the Omicron Hospitality & Leisure Grant (OHLG). If you think you are eligible for OHLG you can still apply to Sefton Council’s Business Rates Team, further information on the OMICRON Hospitality and Leisure Grant can be found on this webpage it is listed below the ARG3.

The ARG3 grant is targeted at businesses that meet the criteria set out below i.e., those businesses that have been severely impacted by the Omicron variant and that are outside of the business rates system: -

  • Accommodation (not Airbnb)
  • Breweries
  • Caterers and catering suppliers/equipment
  • English language schools
  • Entertainment industries e.g., self-employed musicians, promoters, artist agents/management companies
  • Events industries e.g., marquee, sound & lighting, security company, event entertainment agency, event planner/management, event photographer, event/hospitality staffing agency
  • Freelance and mobile businesses, e.g., caterers, events, hair, beauty
  • Gyms
  • Hospitality businesses
  • Leisure businesses
  • Nightclubs
  • Personal care
  • The travel and tourism sector e.g., group travel, travel agents and tour operators/facilitators, coach operators, limousine hire
  • Theatres
  • Wedding related businesses
  • Wholesalers
  • Those in the supply chains of the Hospitality and Leisure sectors

Grant Payment

Applications will be assessed in order of date received as long as they are complete. Incomplete applications will be rejected.  Applicants will receive an automatic response and a unique reference number (URN) which is confirmation that the application has been submitted and is in the system for assessment. 

Successful applicants will be notified by email, and payments will be made by BACS (this usually takes 3 working days to arrive in accounts).

Grante Levels

  • Home-based businesses - £1K
  • Businesses in commercial property - £3K

Application for ARG3

Before applying for a grant, businesses must read the:

and have all necessary documentation to hand before attempting to submit an application.  Incomplete applications will be rejected.

You must complete the online application form in one session as it cannot be saved. 

Important

The online application form portal can be accessed using Chrome or Edge browsers. The form is not compatible with many mobile phones or with the Safari browser.  Incomplete applications will be rejected.

You can apply here from 10.00 am on Tuesday 25th January 2022 until 5.00 pm on Monday 7th February.

All enquiries should be emailed to handlgrants@sefton.gov.uk however please read the guidance notes before emailing to see if they can answer your question.

 

 

Note: This scheme is now closed to new applications.

On 21 December 2021, Government announced the introduction of grant support for business rate payers in the hospitality and leisure sectors.

The scheme provides support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses, in recognition that the rise of the Omicron COVID variant means that some businesses are likely to experience reduced trade.

In order to comply with the Governments requirements for this funding there is a limited time to submit applications and for the Council to determine if a grant should be paid. Therefore, potential applicants are advised to read the guidance below carefully and to provide all the required information by the deadline. Incomplete or inaccurate applications will be rejected, and businesses may miss out on funding. The Council does not have any discretion over the deadlines imposed by the Government.

How much funding will be provided to businesses?

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme is a one-off grant for businesses on the ratings list only.

  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000.

See further details below for the types of businesses that will be eligible.

Changes to the Rating List after 30 December 2021

Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after 30 December 2021 are to be ignored for the purposes of eligibility. Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay, or recover grants where the rating list is subsequently amended retrospectively to 30 December 2021

Who will receive this funding?

General eligibility

The business that according to the Council’s records was the ratepayer in respect of the hereditament on 30 December 2021 is eligible to receive the grant. If we have reason to believe that the information that we hold about the ratepayer is inaccurate we will withhold the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer.

Grant recipients must be aware that the grant is for the ratepayer and may be liable for recovery if the recipient was not the ratepayer on the eligible day.

The primary principle of the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme is to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors. The Government have advised that funding is provided for businesses where the primary purpose is to facilitate social mixing

If a business operates services that could be considered non-essential and also fall into another category, such as hospitality in the higher funding threshold, the Council must determine the main service to determine whether grant is payable. Businesses will be required to make a declaration and to provide evidence that more than 50% of the business income is derived from a qualifying criteria.

Businesses must have been trading on 30 December 2021 to be eligible to receive funding under this scheme. For the purposes of this grant scheme, a business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity. This should be interpreted as carrying on a trade or profession or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover. Fully constituted businesses in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice are not eligible under these conditions.

Some trading indicators are included below that can help assess what can be defined as trading for the purposes of the grant schemes. Indicators that a business is trading are:

  • The business continues to trade including online, or via delivery service etc.
  • The business is not in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking of notice or under notice.
  • The business is engaged in business activity; managing accounts, preparing for reopening, planning and implementing COVID-safe measures.

This list of indicators is not exhaustive, and we may use our discretion to determine if a business is trading.

Hospitality definition

For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business can be defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.

The Council will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses offering in-person food and drink services to the general public.
  • Businesses that provide food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors.

For these purposes of this scheme the definition of a hospitality business excludes:

  • Food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% or more of income) is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes).

An indicative list of the types of businesses that can be supported under this scheme is shown below.

Leisure definition

For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business can be defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out.

The Council will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that may provide in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods.
  • Businesses that may rely on seasonal labour.
  • Businesses that may assume particular public safety responsibilities.
  • Businesses that may operate with irregular hours through day, night and weekends.

For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business will exclude all retail businesses, coach tour operators, and tour operators.

An indicative list of the types of businesses that can be supported under this scheme is shown below.

Accommodation

For the purposes of this scheme, an accommodation business can be defined as a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel or other purposes.

The Council will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that provide accommodation for ‘away from home’ stays for work or leisure purposes.
  • Businesses that provide accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes.

For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business will exclude private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres and beach huts.

An indicative list of the types of businesses that can be supported under this scheme is shown below.

Business categorisation for the purposes of grant funding thresholds

Threshold definitions for the purposes of this scheme are restated below:

Hospitality definition: a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink

Leisure definition: a business that provides opportunities, experiences, and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events, days and nights out, betting and gaming

Accommodation definition: a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel, and other purposes.

The list below sets out types of businesses that are eligible under the sector thresholds for this scheme. This list is not exhaustive, but indicative of the types of businesses that can be supported under this scheme.

Hospitality:

  • Food courts
  • Public houses/pub restaurants
  • Restaurants
  • Roadside restaurants
  • Wine bars
  • Cafés

Leisure:

  • Casinos and gambling clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Stately homes & historic houses
  • Zoos & safari parks
  • Amusement parks
  • Events venues
  • Night clubs & discotheques
  • Theatres
  • Arenas
  • Concert halls
  • Tourist attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Amusement arcades
  • Soft play centres or areas
  • Wedding venues (Social) Clubs & institutions
  • Village halls & scout huts, cadet huts, etc.

Accommodation:

  • Caravan parks
  • Caravan sites and pitches
  • Chalet parks
  • Coaching inns
  • Country house hotels
  • Guest houses
  • Hostels
  • Hotels
  • Lodges
  • Holiday apartments, Cottages or bungalows
  • Campsites
  • Boarding houses
  • Canal boats or other vessels
  • B&Bs
  • Catered holiday homes
  • Holiday homes

Exclusions to Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant funding

The following general exclusions on eligibility apply to Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant funding:

  • Businesses that are not within the ratings system will not be eligible to receive funding under this scheme.
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances will not be eligible to receive funding.
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Previous Grant Recipients Not Eligible

Potential applicants should note that being in receipt of support from previous grant schemes does not determine eligibility for the latest grant funding.

Retail and Personal Care
In accordance with the latest guidance from Government businesses in the Retail, Personal Care e.g. Hairdressers and Beauty Salons, Betting Shops are not considered to be eligible.

Gyms and Sports Business
Government guidance states that the definition of a leisure business should exclude gyms and sports businesses where physical exercise, or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis. Gyms and sports businesses include dance and fitness studios; sports centres and clubs; sports courts; swimming pools and golf courses.

Q: Are sports clubs with bars or other social spaces defined as leisure businesses?

Gyms and sports businesses where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis are excluded from the definition of leisure. Club spaces that provide opportunities, experiences, and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out, may meet the definition of a leisure business. However, where the primary purpose of the business is a gym, sports, and fitness then they are not eligible for this grant.

Businesses in these sectors are advised to monitor the Councils web pages, and social media for any announcements should Government guidance change or additional funding be made available.

The Council is aware that many businesses in these sectors will have been impacted by the COVID-19 Omicron variant. However, funding is currently only made available to the business sectors identified in this guidance.

New Businesses not known to the Council
New Businesses not known to the Council on 21 December 2021, the date of the Chancellor’s announcement of grant funding, will not be considered for grant funding.

Fraud Prevention

Any business or ratepayer falsifying their records, providing false evidence to gain this grant, including claiming support above the subsidy thresholds, who falsely applies for grant support, or provides false information or makes false representation in order to gain financial support may be guilty of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006 and may be subject to prosecution.

How do I apply?

The deadline for submitting applications is 14 February 2022.

Note: This scheme is now closed to new applications

The Government has advised Council’s that a decision whether to award a grant has to be made no later than 28 February 2022. Therefore, the deadline for applications has been set to allow time for verification of applications and resolve any areas that need clarification or supporting evidence.

Applicants must be prepared to provide evidence at short notice should it be required. This may include:

  • Current business bank statements
  • Proof of rent/payments
  • Proof of loss of income due to COVID19 Omicron variant
  • Supplier Invoices
  • Utility Bills

Grant recipients should also be advised that the information they provide may be shared with The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for research and evaluation purposes together with their data held by the Council for the purposes of administering the grant and to account for how grant funding is spent. Businesses may be contacted by BEIS for research purposes.

When will I receive my grant?

The Government has determined a deadline of 31 March 2022 for all payments to be issued.

Can I appeal if I am refused a grant?

There is no appeal against a decision whether to award a grant.

Will grants be subject to tax?

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.

Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Payments made to businesses before 5 April 2022 will fall into the 2021/22 tax year. Payments after 6 April 2022 will fall into the 2022/2023 tax year. Unincorporated businesses will be taxed when they receive the grant income.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the Liverpool City Region economy and as a direct response the Government has provided the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority with further Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding. Each Local Authority of the Liverpool City Region will receive a small amount of funding (compared to previous rounds of ARG funding) and must therefore focus this funding to assist businesses severely impacted by the pandemic.

The “Trading On Scheme” has been designed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and its constituent Local Authorities and will be delivered in Sefton by Sefton Council. The budget provided under this Scheme to Sefton is £1,438,890.58.  Businesses that are eligible for this scheme are actively encouraged to apply. It is intended that the entire budget will be disbursed to businesses, after which there will be no more ARG funding.

An extended grant application window will open for receipt of applications at 10am on Monday 29 November 2021 and will close at 5pm on Friday 10 December 2021. The extended appraisal process will commence after the window has closed and after applications have been assessed. Please note that grants will not be disbursed on a “first come first served” basis. This provides businesses with a further two weeks to collate and submit the necessary evidence to support their application. Each applicant must demonstrate that their business or charity has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and must provide evidence to support this. Failure to provide satisfactory evidence will result in a refused application with no right of appeal.

More than 100 Sefton-based businesses applied during the initial grant application window at the beginning of November. Existing applicants will be contacted in the coming weeks and do not need to re-submit an application.

Below are some key features of the Trading On Scheme. However, interested business must read the full Guidance Notes at the bottom of this page thoroughly to assess their eligibility.

All businesses/charities must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be able to accept the grant under Subsidy Control/State Aid rules.
  • Be viable and trading on or before1 April 2021.
  • Employ globally between 10 and 249 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) working at least 35 hours per week and are on payroll (sub-contracted staff are not counted towards the headcount).
  • Be based and have commercial property-related costs in Liverpool City Region and be able to evidence 2021 annual rental costs and annual business rates (where applicable).
  • Must demonstrate the business has been severely impacted as a result of Covid-19 Note: The business will be asked for proof of severe impact from Covid-19) (e.g. loss of turnover, income). A suitably qualified accountant must also verify this loss by using the Accountant’s Letter template below.  

Excluded from the Scheme are businesses or charities that:

  • Have received grant payments that, along with any grant funding that may be awarded under this scheme, exceed the maximum permitted levels of Subsidy Control.
  • Employ fewer than 10 and more than 249 full time equivalent staff.
  • Cannot evidence loss via an accountant’s letter.
  • Are based in residential property.
  • Are mobile businesses without commercial property-related costs.
  • Are advertising and billboard properties.
  • Organisations that are predominantly funded by the public sector (e.g. schools and other education providers, care homes, health care settings).
  • Are places of worship (except organisations trading within these settings).
  • Are dissolved or about to be dissolved.
  • Are insolvent or that have had insolvency action instigated against them, including any petition or subject to a striking off notice (the records of each business and of each individual applying for a grant will be checked as part of the grant appraisal process).
  • Are dormant, i.e. not trading but not insolvent.

The final amount of grant awarded to each business under the “Trading On Scheme” will be determined by several factors, including:

  • The number of a business’s Full Time Equivalent staff working in Liverpool City Region.
  • The loss of income caused by Covid-19.
  • The total value of a business’s fixed annual commercial property costs in Liverpool City Region.
  • The total number of eligible applications received.

Where a business has multiple premises across the Liverpool City Region, the business should apply to the Local Authority where the highest number of employees work. Only ONE application for the Trading on Scheme must be made.

The grant value that an eligible business receives will depend on the number of eligible applications the Local Authority receives and the relative scores of those applications. However, it is expected that the minimum grant level will be around £5,000 and the maximum will be no more than £50,000. A small number of successful applicants will mean that the grant values will generally be higher.  Conversely, a large number of successful applicants means that grant values will be generally lower. Until all applications have been appraised it is impossible to confirm what businesses will receive.  All businesses that meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply.

Applications may, at the discretion of a Local Authority, be subject to a third-party credit check.

Successful applicants will be notified by email and payment will be made by BACS. All ARG funds must be disbursed to successful applicants by 31 March 2022.

When the extended window for applications opens on 29 November 2021, applicants will be asked to provide information and documents to support their grant application.  It is essential that applicants have the necessary information to hand before commencing the online application. Please consult the checklist at the bottom of this page.

You must complete the online application form in one session, as it cannot be saved. Incomplete applications will not be appraised.

Do not use the Safari web browser as it is incompatible with the online application portal.

For general enquiries about the Trading On Scheme please email: tradingongrant@sefton.gov.uk

Essential Documents

It is essential to read the Guidance Notes, Checklist, Accountant’s Letter, Terms & Conditions and Privacy Notice before completing the online form. You can download these documents at the bottom of this webpage.

Application Form

The window for applications is now closed, it closed at 5pm on Friday 10 December. All applicants will be contacted in the coming weeks by the grant administration team.

Liverpool City Region Care Providers’ Grant

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Liverpool City Region’s childcare and care home businesses including a fall in demand alongside an increase in costs to manage within a Covid safe environment. 

As a direct response to the challenges these businesses are facing, a new fund, the LCR Care Providers’ Grant, has been created by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. 

The grant will be administered by each of the six local authorities that form the Combined Authority, namely Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

The LCR Care Providers’ Grant will be allocated quickly and efficiently, with the first funding to reach applicants within 10 working days of the application being approved, subject to the application being compliant.  Successful applicants will be notified by email, and payments will be made by BACS (payments usually take 3 working days to arrive in accounts).

Please note, due to the volume of applications expected, it may take several weeks to consider applications and for applicants to receive a decision.

 

When do applications open?

An initial “window” will open for receipt of applications for the Liverpool City Region Care Providers’ Grant on Tuesday 4th May 2021 and CLOSE on Tuesday 18th May 2021

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the application form and attach the required evidence, and we will not be able to chase individual businesses for supporting information if it is not included in the original application. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered. An application made during the ‘grant application window’ does not guarantee approval for payment.  

Note: Completed applications will be appraised in order of receipt by the local authority.

 

Is my business eligible?

The following businesses are eligible for the Care Providers Grant:

  • Registered Childminders
  • Registered Out of School Clubs
  • Registered Day Care Nursery/ pre-school provision
  • Registered Care Home (Adults)

All businesses must be an Ofsted registered childcare provider or CQC registered adult care home provider.

Operational premises must be based in the Liverpool City Region, currently trading and continuing to trade with a view to making a profit or surplus (i.e. not a dormant company).

All businesses must be a small or micro business (as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006) and be able to accept the grant under Covid-19 Business Grant Subsidy Allowance rules

All businesses must employ 1 or more people (a sole director, or self-employed counts as 1 staff employee).

 

How much will my business get?

Business

Grant Value

Registered Childminder

£500

Registered Out of School Club

£2,500

Registered Day Care Nursery/ pre-school provision*

£5,000

Registered Care Home (Adults)*

£5,000

 

Businesses can apply for one grant per property if they operate more than one premises within the local authority area. 

If your business operates premises in another local authority within Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral), and you would like those premises to be considered for this grant, you will need to submit a separate application to each local authority where the premises are located.

 

When will I get the money?

The aim is that the funding will reach applicants within 10 working days of an application being approved, with payment by BACS (a BACS payment can take up to 3 days to be received).

Please note, due to the volume of applications expected, it may take several weeks to consider applications and for applicants to receive a decision.

 

Where can I find guidance for completing my application? 

You must provide information and documents to support your grant application, so the checklist is to be used to help you gather the information BEFORE you start to complete the online application form.

It is essential that you read the accompanying Guidance Notes and Checklist. 

Please also read the accompanying Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notice for this scheme before completing the application form.

LCR Care Grant Scheme Terms And Conditions Sefton FINAL (word 35KB)
Sefton Care Providers Grant Scheme Privacy FINAL (word 1.09MB)
Guidance Notes And Checklist LCR Care Providers Grant FINAL (word 34KB)

How do I apply? 

You must complete the online application form in one session as it cannot be saved.  Any missing or incorrect information will delay the appraisal and payment process.

 

How can I contact you?

If you are contacting us for an update on your application, we advise businesses not to call or email us unless you think you have made an error on your original application. 

You will be contacted directly as soon as your application is processed.

We are making grant applications as simple and speedy as possible, but we must follow strict processes to avoid fraudulent claims. We know this is frustrating but it’s so important we uphold these strict standards and we do appreciate your continued patience.

Enquiries about the Liverpool City Region Care Providers Grant must be directed by email to :

Grant Type

Email contact

Registered Childminder

Caregrantschildrens@sefton.gov.uk

 

Registered Out of School Club

Registered Nursery / pre-school provision / early years or maintained nursery setting*

Registered Care Home (Adults)*

caregrantsadults@sefton.gov.uk

 

Note: This scheme is now closed to new applications. 

On 3 March 2021, Government announced the introduction of grant support for non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England.

How much funding will be provided to businesses?

The Restart Grant scheme is a one-off grant for businesses on the ratings list only.

Non-Essential Retail

The Restart Grant will support non-essential retail premises with one-off grants of up to £6,000 in Strand One of the Restart Grant. The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000.

See further details below for the types of businesses that will be eligible.

Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gyms

The Restart Grant will also support hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises with one-off grants of up to £18,000 in Strand Two of the Restart Grant. The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £8,000.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £12,000.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £18,000.

See further details below for the types of businesses that will be eligible.

Changes to the Rating List after 1 April 2021

Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after 1 April 2021 are to be ignored for the purposes of eligibility. Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the rating list is subsequently amended retrospectively to 1 April 2021.

Who will receive this funding?

General eligibility 

The business that according to the Council’s records was the ratepayer in respect of the hereditament on 1 April 2021 is eligible to receive the grant. If we have  reason to believe that the information that we hold about the ratepayer is inaccurate we will withhold the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer.

Grant recipients must be aware that the grant is for the ratepayer and may be liable for recovery if the recipient was not the ratepayer on the eligible day.

The primary principle of the Restart Grant scheme is to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors.

If a business operates services that could be considered non-essential and also fall into another category, such as hospitality in the higher funding threshold, the Council must determine the main service main service to determine which grant is payable. Businesses will may be required to make a declaration.

 Businesses must have been trading on 1 April 2021 to be eligible to receive funding under this scheme. For the purposes of this grant scheme, a business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity. This should be interpreted as carrying on a trade or profession or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover. Fully constituted businesses in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice are not eligible under these conditions.

Business that were mandated to close during national lockdown restrictions will be considered to have been trading provided all other eligibility criteria are met. We will also take into account other measures such as:-

  • The business has staff on furlough.
  • The business continues to trade online, via click and collect services.
  • The business is not in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking of notice or under notice.
  • The business is engaged in business activity; managing accounts, preparing for reopening, planning and implementing COVID-safe measures.

This list of indicators is not exhaustive and Local Authorities must use their discretion to determine if a business is trading.

Business categorization for the purposes of determining which grant thresholds apply.

Threshold definitions for the purposes of this scheme are restated below:

  • Non-essential retail definition: a business that is open to the public and is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services, where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and wellbeing of the public. 
  • Hospitality definition: a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.
  • Leisure definition: a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events, days and nights out, betting and gaming.
  • Accommodation definition: a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes. 
  • Gym & Sport definition: a commercial establishment where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis, using exercise equipment or open floor space with or without instruction, or where individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities are participated in competitively or recreationally. 
  • Personal care definition: a business which provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and wellbeing. 

Non-essential retail

Eligible businesses will receive grants of up to £6,000 per hereditament. 

For the purposes of this scheme, a non-essential retail business can be defined as a business that is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services by the public, where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and well-being of the public.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses offering in-person non-essential retail to the general public. 
  • Businesses that were likely to have been required to cease their retail operation in the January 2021 lockdown.
  • Businesses that had retail services restricted during January lockdown.
  • Businesses that sell directly to consumers. 

Types of eligible non-essential retail businesses: 

  • Betting Offices
  • Department stores
  • Markets (other than livestock)
  • Sales Kiosks
  • Showrooms e.g. kitchen, bathroom
  • Tobacco & Vape stores
  • Antique shops
  • Sales offices
  • Travel Agents
  • Mobile phones & electronic goods shops
  • Clothes shops
  • Book shops
  • Jewellers
  • Stationery Shops
  • Auction Rooms
  • Car Showrooms, Supermarkets and Auctions rooms
  • Car Washes (stand alone
  • Caravan Sales & Hire
  • Charity shops
  • Carpet stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Sofa shops
  • Homeware stores
  • Florists
  • Plant Nurseries
  • Animal Groomers
  • Sweet shops
  • Photography Studios
  • Gift Shops
  • Make-up shops

For these purposes of the Restart Grant the definition of a non-essential retail business should exclude businesses as listed below. 

Types of business excluded from the definition of non-essential retail:

  • Food retailers including food markets
  • Supermarkets
  • Convenience stores
  • Corner shops & Newsagents
  • Off licences
  • Breweries
  • Pharmacies & Chemists
  • Animal Rescue Centres & Boarding facilities
  • Builders merchants
  • Petrol Stations
  • Vehicle Repair & MOT services
  • Bicycle shops
  • Taxi and Vehicle hire services
  • Automatic Car Washes
  • Mobility support shops
  • Education providers including tutoring services
  • Banks, Building Societies and other financial providers
  • Post offices
  • Funeral directors
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical practices
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • Agricultural supply shops
  • Garden centres
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Wholesalers
  • Employment agencies and businesses
  • Office buildings

Hospitality

Eligible businesses will receive grants of up to £18,000 per hereditament.

For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business can be defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink. We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses offering in-person food and drink services to the general public.
  • Businesses that provide food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors.

Types of eligible hospitality businesses: 

  • Food courts
  • Public houses / pub restaurants
  • Restaurants
  • Wine Bars
  • Cafes
  • Roadside restaurants

For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality retail business excludes:

  • Food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes).

Leisure

Eligible businesses will receive grants of up to £18,000 per hereditament.

For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business is defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that may provide in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods.
  • Businesses that may rely on seasonal labour.
  • Businesses that may assume particular public safety responsibilities.
  • Businesses that may operate with irregular hours through day, night and weekends.

Types of eligible leisure businesses:

  • Bingo halls
  • Bowling alleys
  • Casinos and gambling clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Ice Rinks
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Roller skating rings
  • Stately homes and historic houses
  • Theatres
  • Zoos and Safari Parks
  • Amusement Parks
  • Pleasure piers
  • Conference Centres
  • Exhibition centres including for use as banquet halls and other events
  • Wedding Venues
  • Events Venues
  • Heritage railways
  • Public halls
  • Night clubs and discotheques
  • Hostess bars
  • Sexual entertainment venues
  • Arenas
  • Concert Halls
  • Go Kart rinks
  • Model Villages
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Aquaria
  • Miniature railways
  • Theme Parks
  • Amusement arcades including adult gaming centres
  • Animal attractions at farms
  • Wildlife centres
  • Botanical gardens
  • Circus
  • Visitor attractions at film studios
  • Soft play centres
  • Indoor riding centres
  • Clubs and institutions
  • Village halls including scout huts, cadet huts etc.
  • Shisha bars, waterpipe consumption venues.

For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business excludes:

  • All retail businesses
  • Coach tour operators
  • Tour operators
  • Telescopes

Accommodation

Eligible businesses will receive grants of up to £18,000 per hereditament.

For the purposes of this scheme, an accommodation business can be defined as a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that provide accommodation for 'away from home' stays for work or leisure purposes.
  • Businesses that provide accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes.

Types of eligible accommodation businesses:

  • Caravan parks
  • Caravan sites and pitches
  • Chalet parks
  • Coaching Inns
  • Country house hotels
  • Guest houses
  • Hostels
  • Hotels
  • Lodges
  • Holiday Apartments
  • Cottages or bungalows
  • Campsites
  • Canal boats or other vessels
  • Bed & breakfast establishments
  • Boarding houses
  • Catered holiday homes
  • Holiday homes

For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business excludes:

  • Private dwellings
  • Education accommodation
  • Residential homes
  • Care homes
  • Residential family centres
  • Beach huts

Gym & sports

Eligible businesses will receive grants of up to £18,000 per hereditament.

For the purposes of this scheme, a gym & sport business is defined as a commercial or non-profit establishment where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis, using exercise equipment or open floor space with or without instruction, or where individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities are participated in competitively or recreationally.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that offer in-person exercise and sport activities to the general public.
  • Businesses that open to members of the public paying an entry or membership fee.
  • Businesses that require extensive cleaning protocols, which significantly slow down trade.
  • Businesses that offer exercise classes or activities, which may mandate space and no masks etc.

Types of eligible gym & sport businesses:

  • Dance schools & centres
  • Dance studios
  • Gymnasia / fitness suites
  • Cricket centres
  • Ski centres
  • Sports & leisure centres
  • Outdoor sports centres
  • Outdoor adventure centres
  • Tennis centres
  • Sports courts
  • Swimming pools
  • Shooting & archery venues
  • Driving ranges
  • Water sport centres
  • Golf courses
  • Squash courts

For these purposes, the definition of a gym & sport business excludes:

  • Home gyms
  • Home exercise studios
  • Home sports courts
  • Home sports grounds

Personal care

Eligible businesses will receive grants of up to £18,000 per hereditament.

For the purposes of this scheme, a personal care business is defined as a business which provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and wellbeing.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that deliver in-person holistic, beauty and hair treatments.
  • Businesses that provide services such as tattoos and piercings.
  • Businesses that offer close-contact services, which are required to deliver the treatment.
  • Businesses that offer services, treatments or activities that require social distancing and cleaning protocols, which have led to a reduction in their capacity to deliver personal care services.

Types of eligible personal care businesses:

  • Hairdressing salons
  • Barbers, groomers
  • Beauty salons
  • Beauticians & aesthetics
  • Nail salons
  • Tanning salons
  • Spas, sauna & steam rooms
  • Massage centres & treatments
  • Tattoo & piercing studios
  • Other non-surgical treatments
  • Holistic Therapy (reflexology, massage, acupuncture

For these purposes, the definition of a personal care business excludes:

  • Businesses that only provide personal care goods, rather than services;
  • Businesses used solely as training centres for staff, apprentices and others;
  • Businesses providing dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services which incorporate personal care services, treatments required by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health.

Exclusions to Restart Grant funding

The following general exclusions on eligibility apply to Restart Grant funding.

  • Businesses that are not within the ratings system will not be eligible to receive funding under this scheme.
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances will not be eligible to receive funding.
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Fraud Prevention

Any business or ratepayer falsifying their records, providing false evidence to gain this grant, including claiming support above the subsidy thresholds, who falsely applies for grant support, or provides false information or makes false representation in order to gain financial support may be guilty of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006 and may be subject to prosecution.

How do I apply?             

The window for applications will open on 12 April 2021 and applications must be submitted no later than 30 June 2021.

Note: This scheme is now closed to new applications

Grant recipients should also be advised that the information they provide may be shared with The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for research and evaluation purposes together with their data held by the Council for the purposes of administering the grant and to account for how grant funding is spent. Businesses may be contacted by BEIS for research purposes.

When will I receive my grant?

Due to a requirement by the Government to obtain more detailed information from applicants, and to conduct a greater level of pre-verification checks, it is anticipated that it will take 4-6 weeks to process applications.

We will endeavour to reduce this waiting period depending upon the number of applications received.

Will grants be subject to tax?

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Restart Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.

Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Payments made to businesses before 5 April 2021 will fall into the 2020/21 tax year. Payments after 6 April 2021 will fall into the 2021/22 tax year. Unincorporated businesses will be taxed when they receive the grant income.

Note: This scheme is now closed to new applications. 

The Government has issued a range of restrictions since 14 October 2020. The level of support available to businesses differs according to the restrictions imposed. Please read the qualifying criteria carefully before submitting an application. If you qualify for more than one period, you will only be required to apply once.

If you have already received grant payments as a result of the restrictions imposed, you may not need to submit a further application. Please read the information below before applying.

To be eligible for a grant, the business must have been trading on the day before the restrictions were imposed and be the registered business rates payer. For the purposes of these grants, businesses already closed as a result of restrictions imposed previously are deemed to have still been trading. For example, a business that was forced to close as a result of Tier 2 instructions imposed from 2 December 2020, will still be deemed to be trading up to 4 January 2021, the day before national restrictions were imposed, provided that the business has not been sold or permanently closed during that period.

Businesses required to remain closed (from 16 February 2021 to 31 March 2021)

Note: This scheme is now closed to new applications. 

Businesses that were instructed to close on 5 January 2021 will be eligible for a further support payment in the form of a Local Restrictions Support Grant for a period of 44 days as follows:-

  • £2,096 for businesses with a property rateable value of £15,000 or less.
  • £3,143 for businesses with a property rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,999
  • £4,714 for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more

Business ratepayers who have already applied for, or been paid a grant from the national restrictions imposed from 5 January 2021 will not need to re-apply. We will, however, be required to complete some pre-payment checks to confirm that businesses remain eligible for the further payment. If not, or if we require further information, we will contact you directly. Unfortunately, we will also be required to close our payment system down for a few days to commence the calculation and production of 140,000 Business Rates and Council Tax Bills and this will hinder us from issuing payment as quickly as we would like. However, we aim to issue payments to all eligible businesses between 12 and 19 March 2021.

Eligible businesses are listed below for the period of closure commencing 5 January 2021. Businesses that have not previously applied should read the eligibility criteria closely before completing the online form.

Businesses subject to National Lockdown Restrictions (from 5 January 2021 to 15 February 2021)

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact as a result of COVID-19, regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. Full details of the government guidance can be found here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

The list of businesses and venues required to close includes:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises) and delivery services.
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses. Public playgrounds and allotments may remain open.
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • Animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife centres)
  • Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services.

Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities. A full list of exemptions can be found on the government website but includes:

  • Education and training – for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
  • Childcare purposes and supervised activities for those children eligible to attend
  • Hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
  • To provide medical treatment
  • For elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
  • For training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • For the purposes of film and TV filming

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. Full details are available on the government website but includes:

  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • Market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • Businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
  • Petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair garages and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical and dental services
  • Vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Mobility and disability support shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • Places of worship
  • Crematoriums and burial grounds

Healthcare and public services

The NHS and medical services remain open, including:

  • Dental services
  • Opticians
  • Audiology services
  • Chiropody
  • Chiropractors
  • Osteopaths
  • Other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health

Businesses subject to Tier 3 Local Restrictions (from 31 December 2020 to 4 January 2021)

As a result of Tier 3 local restrictions imposed to manage the spread of COVID-19, the following business premises will be required to close:

  • Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or member’s clubs.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses must close.

The following entertainment and tourist venues must close:

  • Indoor play centres and areas, including inflatable parks and soft play centres and areas (other than for people who have a disability)
  • Trampolining parks (other than for elite athletes, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
  • Casinos
  • Bingo halls
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor skating rinks (other than for elite athletes, professional dancers and choreographers, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
  • Amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues
  • Laser quests and escape rooms
  • Cinemas, theatres concert halls – other than drive-in events, broadcasting performances, training or rehearsal
  • Circuses
  • Snooker and pool halls (other than for elite athletes)

At the following outdoor entertainment venues, the indoor attractions must close:

  • Zoos, safari parks, and aquariums
  • Other animal attractions including farms
  • Water parks and aqua parks
  • Model villages
  • Museums, galleries and sculpture parks
  • Botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses
  • Theme parks, fairgrounds and funfairs
  • Adventure playgrounds and parks, including ziplining
  • Visitor attractions at film studios,
  • Heritage sites such as castles, stately homes or heritage railways
  • Landmarks including observation wheels and viewing platforms

Businesses subject to Tier 2 Local Restrictions (from 2 December 2020 to 30 December 2021)

As a result of Tier 2 local restrictions being put in place to manage the spread of COVID-19, the following rules apply:

  • Pubs and bars may not provide alcohol for consumption on the premises, unless with a substantial meal, so they are operating as a restaurant. They may remain open for take-away services.

If a pub or bar is closed during the period Tier 2 restrictions apply because, it does not or cannot provide meals, then further grant payments may be payable.

Businesses that have already applied for, and received grant payments, due to closure during the Tier 3 and/or National Lockdown periods, do not need to re-apply for these grants. If we require further information from you, we will request it via the e-mail provided on the original application.

Business subject to National Restrictions (from 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020)

To further reduce the spread of COVID-19, the government ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes.
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges.
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks, theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open.
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes.
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect.
  • Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals.

These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:

  • Education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that it is part of their normal provision)
  • Childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
  • Blood donation and food banks
  • To provide medical treatment
  • For elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios)
  • For training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • For the purposes of professional film and TV filming

A Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) will be available to eligible businesses for the period of the national restrictions.

The level of grant paid will depend on the rateable value of the business premises.

Businesses that have already applied for, and received grant payments, due to closure during the Tier 3 restrictions imposed on 14 October 2020 do not need to re-apply. If we require further information from you, we will request it via the e-mail provided on the original application.

Businesses subject to Tier 3 Local Restrictions (from 14 October 2020 to 4 November 2020)

As a result of Tier 3 local restrictions being put in place to manage the spread of COVID-19, the following business premises will be required to close:

  • Public houses and bars - unless they require customers to purchase a substantial meal alongside the purchase of alcohol
  • Soft play centres (from 24 October 2020)
  • Betting shops
  • Casinos
  • Adult gaming centres

A Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) will be available to eligible businesses for each complete two-week period that a premises is required to be closed following the implementation of localised restrictions.

Those businesses that have applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant as a result of Tier 3 restrictions do not need to re-apply for grants they are eligible for during National Lockdown restrictions.

Business subject to National Restrictions (from March 2020)

The government has announced plans to provide support to businesses that have continued to be closed due to national restrictions implemented in March 2020, for example, nightclubs.

From 1 November 2020 these businesses will be eligible to apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

Eligibility criteria

  • A business was open and providing in-person services to customers prior to restrictions being applied.
  • It is occupying a property appearing on the local rating list and is shown on the Council’s record as liable for Business Rates on the date restrictions were imposed.
  • It has been required to close for a consecutive period of no less than two weeks because of regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

Those businesses that have applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant do not need to re-apply for grants they are eligible for during further National Lockdown restrictions.

General exclusions

A business will not qualify for a grant in the following circumstances:

  • If it was in administration, insolvent or a striking off order was made at the time local restrictions started.
  • The period of the restriction is less than two weeks.
  • The business can continue to trade and is not required to close despite the restrictions, as it does not depend on providing direct in-person services from the business premises.
  • The business has only had a restriction placed on its opening times.
  • The business premises are located outside the restrictions area, as defined by Government.
  • It has chosen to, rather than has been required to, close.
  • It has already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of state aid permitted under the minimum limit or the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.

How to apply

If having read the criteria you think you are eligible for a grant you will need the following to complete the application online:

  • The Business Rates account number and property reference from your bill. Please note that if you do not have your reference number we cannot provide it by telephone or e-mail. You can request a copy of your bill to be sent to the contact address we already have on record. This is for your own security to prevent fraud.
  • Bank Details - this must be the bank account for the business not your personal bank account. The name you enter as the account holder must be that of the business account as shown on your bank statements.
  • VAT Registration Number if VAT registered.
  • Companies Number if a Limited Company.

If you have previously applied for, and received, grant payments as a result of local restrictions then you do not need to submit a further application as we will issue further payments as you become eligible. If guidance is updated and we need additional information we will contact you and advise you of anything that is required.

If you think you will be eligible for a grant please complete the following online Restrictions Support Grant Application Form.

How much is the grant?

How much a business receives will be calculated according to the rateable value of the business premises on the date that restrictions are imposed and will also depend upon the length of time a business is required to remain closed.

Grant payments are split into three levels:

  • Level 1 Payment - the rateable value of your premises is exactly £15,000 or lower.
  • Level 2 Payment - the rateable value of your premises is between £15,001 and £51,999
  • Level 3 Payment - the rateable value of your premises is exactly £51,000 or more.

If you do not occupy a business premises and subject to Business Rates you are not eligible to apply retrospective adjustments to the Rating List are to be ignored for the purposes of determining a grant.

Businesses may receive multiple payments depending upon the periods they were forced to remain closed. The Council is required to account for these grants individually and it may appear confusing for businesses to understand what payments they are receiving and for what. The following details are the amounts to be paid for each period of the restrictions and how they will appear in your nominated bank account.

For the period commencing 5 January 2021

There are potentially two separate grants paid for this period.

  • A business that was eligible for a Local Restrictions Support grant as a result of Tier 3 or Tier 2 restrictions will continue to receive these grants. The grants will be for a 42-day period.
    • Level 1 payment - £2001
    • Level 2 payment - £3000
    • Level 3 payment - £4500
  • Business eligible for the Closed Business Lockdown Payment will be eligible for a one-off lump sum payment.
    • Level 1 payment - £4000
    • Level 2 payment - £6000
    • Level 3 payment - £9000
  • Businesses may receive both elements in a single combined payment.
    • Level 1 payment - £6001
    • Level 2 payment - £9000
    • Level 3 payment - £13500

Payment will appear in nominated bank accounts as ‘Business Rates Refund’.

For the period 30 December 2020 to 4 January 2021

A business that was closed due to the imposition of Tier 2 restrictions from 2 December 2020, and already in receipt of grant payments for the period up to and including 29 December 2020, will still be required to remain closed until the end of the current National Lockdown restrictions.

Therefore, a further small pro-rata payment will be made for the 6 days from 30 December 2020 to 4 January 2021 in addition to any other payments due for other periods of closure. Those payments will be:

  • Level 1 payment - £285.86
  • Level 2 payment - £428.57
  • Level 3 payment - £642.86

Payment will appear in nominated bank accounts as ‘SEFTON PAYMENT’.

For the period 31 December 2020 to 4 January 2021

A business that was ordered on 31 December 2020 due to the imposition of Tier 3 restrictions will still be required to remain closed until the end of the current National Lockdown restrictions.

Therefore, a further small pro-rata payment will be made for the 5 days from 31 December 2020 to 4 January 2021 in addition to any other payments due for other periods of closure. Those payments will be:

  • Level 1 payment - £238.21
  • Level 2 payment - £357.14
  • Level 3 payment - £535.71

Payment will appear in nominated bank accounts as ‘SEFTON PAYMENT’.

For the period 2 December 2020 to 29 December 2020

A business that was ordered to remain closed on 2 December 2020 due to the imposition of Tier 2 restrictions will be eligible to receive a payment for each complete 14-day cycle they remained closed. Those payments will be:

  • Level 1 payment - £667 for 1 complete period or £1334 for 2 complete periods
  • Level 2 payment - £1000 for 1 complete period or £2000 for 2 complete periods
  • Level 3 payment - £1500 for 1 complete period or £3000 for 2 complete periods

Payment will appear in nominated bank accounts as ‘SEFTON PAYMENT’.

For the period 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020

A business that was ordered to close due to national restrictions imposed during this period will be eligible to receive a payment for the whole period. Those payments will be:

  • Level 1 payment - £1334
  • Level 2 payment - £2000
  • Level 3 payment - £3000

Payment will appear in nominated bank accounts as ‘SEFTON PAYMENT’.

For the period 14 October 2020 to 4 November 2020

A business that was ordered to close due to due to Tier 3 restrictions are entitled to a payment for complete 14-day cycle. Those payments will be:

  • Level 1 payment - £667
  • Level 2 payment - £1000
  • Level 3 payment - £1500

As further national restrictions were imposed before the completion of 14-day cycle pro-rata payments will be paid for the additional 8 days before those additional restrictions were imposed.

  • Level 1 payment - £381.14
  • Level 2 payment - £571.43
  • Level 3 payment - £857.14

Depending upon when the application is received some recipients may receive both elements in a single payment as follows: 

  • Level 1 payment - £1048.14
  • Level 2 payment - £1571.43
  • Level 3 payment - £2357.14

Payment will appear in nominated bank accounts as ‘SEFTON PAYMENT’.

Soft Play Centres for the Period (24 October 2020 to 4 November 2020)

Soft Play Centres are entitled to payments in accordance with the Tier 3 restrictions imposed from 14 October 2020, However, this category of business was not ordered to close until the later date of 24 October 2020. Therefore, a pro-rate payment for 12 days will be payable up to the period national restrictions were imposed. Those payment will be:

  • Level 1 payment - £571.71
  • Level 2 payment - £857.14
  • Level 3 payment - £1285.71

Payment will appear in nominated bank accounts as ‘SEFTON PAYMENT’.

Businesses subject to National Restrictions from March 2020

Businesses that have not been allowed to re-open since the original National Lockdown in March are entitled to receive the same payments as other businesses subject to Tier 2, Tier 3 or national restrictions from 1 November 2020.

For periods from 4 November 2020, payments will be made in accordance with the relevant amounts shown in each of the periods detailed above. Eligible businesses in this category will also receive separate pro-rate payment for 4 days prior to the National Lockdown restrictions that were imposed from 5 November 2020. Those payments will be:

  • Level 1 payment - £190.57
  • Level 2 payment - £285.71
  • Level 3 payment - £428.57

Payment will appear in nominated bank accounts as ‘SEFTON PAYMENT’.

State Aid

The Local Restrictions Support Grant counts towards state aid limits.

Applicants are required to confirm that by accepting a grant, the business will not exceed the allowable limits of State Aid. 

Currently these limits are the de minimis limit of €200,000 of State Aid over a three-year period, or, if this limit is exceeded, €800,000 of State Aid permitted under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework, which imposes limitations and exceptions.

Appeals

In accordance with the guidance issued by the government, there are no appeals against a decision whether to award a grant.

Please note: This scheme is now closed to new applications.

Update Tuesday 30 March 2021

Since the grant scheme closed we’ve been working as quickly as possible to review all applications in line with strict financial protocols, and distribute grants to businesses across the Borough.

Applications are being processed in strict order of when full evidence has been received. Over 50% of all applications received have been reviewed to date and a proportion of these have been paid. However, we have had to contact a significant number of applicants as they have supplied incorrect or incomplete information causing delays.

We will endeavour to contact all remaining applicants by the end of April 2021.

We have a small, dedicated team ensuring that business enquiries and grant applications can be reviewed as quickly as possible during this unprecedented period of demand. Please do not  call or email for updates unless you think you have made an error on your original application. You will be contacted directly as soon as your application is processed. Thank you once more for your patience.

Liverpool City Region Local Business Support Grant - Round 3 Feb 2021 (now closed)

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Liverpool City Region economy. As a direct response to the new measures imposed by Government and the challenges that businesses are facing under the national lockdown, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has created a new fund called the Liverpool City Region Local Business Support Grant. 

The Local Business Support Grant will be administered by each of the six local authorities that form the Combined Authority, namely Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

An application window will open for the Local Business Support Grant at 10am on Wednesday 10 February 2021 and close at 5pm on Friday 26 February 2021

This scheme is now closed to new applications.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the application form and attach the required evidence. We will not be able to chase individual businesses for supporting information if it is not included in the original application. Incomplete applications will not be appraised.

An application made during the ‘grant application window’ does not guarantee approval for payment. Complete and compliant applications will be appraised in order of receipt by the local authority.

Who is eligible?

  • All businesses must be a small or micro business (as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006) and be able to accept the grant under State Aid rules (see sections 4, 5 and 9 of the guidance notes).

  • All businesses must still be trading on 1 February 2021 i.e. continuing to trade with a view to making a profit or surplus (i.e. not a dormant company).

  • No business may make a claim against more than one category of the Local Business Support Grant.

  • All businesses must be based in the Liverpool city region and have been trading on or before 31 October 2020.

  • All businesses must employ 1 or more people (a sole director, or self-employed counts as 1 staff employee).

  • A business is not eligible if it has previously received a Hospitality and Leisure Grant from Round 1 or Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grant (Expanded Scheme) Round 2; or has received or is eligible for a Taxi Driver’s Grant or a Local Restrictions Support Grant (for businesses instructed to close) from its Local Authority.

  • A business is not eligible if it has been subject to Covid-19, environmental health or planning enforcement prosecution (by the Police or any other authority) since 1 April 2020

Categories of businesses eligible to apply (for full details see guidance notes)

a) Businesses that have been ordered to close (as from 5 January 2021), are not in the business rates system, are based in commercial premises, and not eligible for Local Restrictions Grant (Closed).

b) Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector or supply chain that either pay business rates or have commercial property related costs.

c) Self-employed / sole trader / home based business (that predominantly works in or supplies the hospitality and leisure sectors) / licensed market trader

d) Businesses in any sector that can demonstrate a loss of at least 40% in sales/revenue due to Covid-19 (including self-employed / sole trader / home-based businesses). The grant funding in this category aims to help small and micro businesses in any sector that are not eligible for other grant schemes and that are struggling with a loss of sales/revenue in the current financial year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

For the purposes of this scheme (which is funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant or Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)), a business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity.  This is interpreted as where the primary purpose is “carrying on a trade or profession or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover”. To evidence the loss in sales/revenue of at least 40% and to show trading on or before 31 October 2020, a statement from a qualified, independent accountant using this attached proforma letter is required.

Rationale for requesting an accountant’s letter

An accountant’s letter from those businesses applying under Category D is required in order to help avoid fraud and to speed up the process of paying grants to eligible businesses.

Finding an accountant

Many businesses will already use a suitably qualified accountant. Applicants who do not have an accountant may wish to approach one via a professional accountancy organisation or simply by searching on the internet. Please refer to the proforma letter for the types of qualifications expected of an accountant.

Grant values

BUSINESSES IN COMMERCIAL PREMISES

A RATEABLE VALUE (RV) OR EQUIVALENT ANNUAL RENT VALUE

GRANT VALUES SELF EMPLOYED, HOME BASED, SOLE TRADER, LICENSED MARKET TRADER

RV up to £15K

£6,000  

RV £15,001 to £51K

£9,000  

RV Over £51K

£13,500  
   

£3,750

Checklist before applying

You must provide information and documents to support your grant application, so the checklist is to be used to help you gather the information BEFORE you start to complete the online application form.

It is essential that you read the Guidance Notes, Checklist, Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notice

You must complete the online application form in one session as it cannot be saved.  Any missing or incorrect information will delay the appraisal and payment process.

Important points to read before applying

  • You may encounter problems using the 'Safari’ web browser. We recommend that you use Chrome, Edge or Internet Explorer.

  • You must complete the online application form in one session as it cannot be saved. Any missing or incorrect information will delay the appraisal and payment process.

  • We expect to see a large volume of applications for this round of support.  We’ll be working through your applications as fast as we can and you will be contacted by email when your application has been processed.

  • We’d advise businesses not to call or email for updates on their application unless you think you have made an error on your original application.  You will be contacted directly as soon as your application is processed.

  • We will endeavour to process applications within 4 to 6 weeks after the application window closes. If this timescale changes, we will update all Sefton businesses through the InvestSefton mailing list. Sign up by emailing Investsefton@sefton.gov.uk

  • We’re making grant applications as simple and speedy as possible, but we must follow strict processes to avoid fraudulent claims. We know this is frustrating but it’s so important we uphold these strict standards and we do appreciate your continued patience.

  • Enquiries about the LCR Local Business Support Grant must be directed by email to lbs.roundthree@sefton.gov.uk

Announced on Thursday 28 January 2021, the Liverpool City Region confirmed that £10m in top-up grants would be made available for all 1,500 businesses supported by the first two rounds of the Liverpool City Region’s emergency COVID-related support grants.

Sefton businesses will be contacted directly to explain how they can receive their top-up if they were awarded grants in the previous two rounds.

All businesses should be contacted via email by Friday 5 February 2021.

Please note: This scheme is now closed to new applications.

In November 2020, the Government announced additional Covid 19 grants to support local businesses, the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) and the Additional Restrictions Grant.

The Liverpool City Region has combined these 2 grants to create the Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grant (Expanded Scheme).

Who can apply?

You can apply if you meet one of the 3 descriptions below. You can only apply for one grant per business.

  1. A Retail business that:
  • operates from commercial retail premises
  • has been forced to close due to national restrictions
  • is not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)
  1. A business that directly supplies to the Hospitality and Leisure sectors that:
  • operates from commercial premises
  • is noteligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)
  1. A home-based business (for example, a self-employed person, sole trader, or a limited company) that:
  • predominantly works in or supplies to the Hospitality and Leisure sectors
  • can no longer generate income through usual channels, e.g., meeting customers
  • has ongoing business-related costs
    Licensed Market traders (in any part of the Retail sector) are eligible to apply under this category.

Further details on eligibility can be found in the Guidance Notes and Checklist document that can be found at the bottom of this webpage. PLEASE READ BEFORE APPLYING. 

How much will I get?

Please refer to the grant payment amounts in the Guidance Notes and Checklist document which you will find at the bottom of this webpage.

How will the Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grant (Expanded Scheme) be paid?

Grants will be awarded as a one-off payment paid by BACS bank transfer.

Important information before you apply:

Before applying for the Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grant (Expanded Scheme) we would urge you to read the Guidance Notes and Checklist document. You will find this document at the bottom of this webpage. By reading this document first you will have a better understanding of the application process and the EVIDENCE that you will be required to provide and upload with your application.  Your application will not be processed if you have not supplied the correct evidence.

How to apply

The Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grants (Expanded Scheme) will be open for applications that meet the eligibility criteria from 11am on Monday 30 November 2020 and close at 5pm on Friday 11 December 2020.

This scheme is now closed to new applications.

PLEASE NOTE

The Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grant (Expanded Scheme) is being administrated by a small team within Sefton Council. This grant is NOT part of Business Rates or InvestSefton and therefore please do not call either of these teams if your query relates to this grant.

Enquiries for the Hospitality and Leisure Grant (Expanded Scheme) are being dealt with by email only and can be sent to handlgrants@sefton.gov.uk

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The application window now closed.

In response to the variety of business restrictions that are currently impacting upon the Liverpool’s hospitality and leisure businesses, Sefton Council, in conjunction with our neighbouring local authorities and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority are launching the Liverpool City Region Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant. 

The fund will offer grants focused on helping businesses to retain jobs and meet operational costs during these difficult periods of trading and is designed to be complementary to additional measures provided by the Government such as the Jobs Support Scheme and the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

Who can apply?

These grants are for businesses in the Leisure & Hospitality industry whose activities have been significantly affected by Covid-19 restrictions.  The grant will support businesses that are able to continue trading through these difficult times, or that have been forced to close as part of the Government’s Tier 3 Lockdown.

Detail on eligibility can be found in the attached guidance.

Payment of the Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Grants will be awarded based on the number of Full Time Equivalent people that businesses employ as well as the rateable value of the commercial premises occupied.  Grants will be paid on a phased basis and future payments will be subject to the satisfactory receipt of relevant information that shows that the business is still trading, that it is employing the number of staff claimed for and that it is able to receive the grant as per State Aid rules.

Important Information before you apply

Before applying for the Hospitality and Leisure Grant we would urge you to read the Guidance Notes and Checklist – you will find this document further down this webpage. By reading the document first you will have a clearer understanding of the process and evidence that you will be required to provide and upload with your application.

The Hospitality and Leisure Grant is being administrated by a small team within Sefton Council – this grant is NOT part of Business Rates or InvestSefton and therefore please do not call either of these teams if your query relates to the Hospitality and Leisure Grant.  Enquiries for the Hospitality and Leisure grant are being dealt with by email only and can be sent to handlgrants@sefton.gov.uk

How to apply

Please note, the deadline for applications was 30 October - the grant is currently closed.

How much will I get?

If your application is successful, the amount you get depends on the number of Full Time Equivalent staff in your organisation, whether your business is continuing to trade and the Rateable Value, or level of rent payments associated with your property.  For further information on this, please refer to the full guidance notes.

Further FAQs

Since launching the fund, we have received a wide range of questions from local businesses when they apply. There were too many to put on this page so we've created the Liverpool City Region Hospitality and Leisure Sector Fund FAQs document for you to read (see below).

The Discretionary Business Grant fund was launched on Thursday 11 June 2020 and as of Wednesday 23 September 2020 all available funds have been allocated. 

All successful applicants have been notified. If you have any queries in relation to the Discretionary Grant, please email discretionarygrant@sefton.gov.uk stating your business name and the application reference number in the subject line of the email.

The Discretionary Business Grants Fund aimed to help those small businesses with fixed commercial property costs which were not eligible for other existing Government cash grants schemes. It was for businesses who have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Businesses who were eligible for other existing Government support grant schemes were not eligible for the Discretionary Business Grant.

Funding for the Discretionary Business Grant was limited and the funding was allocated on a first come first served basis when all of the required evidence had been submitted.

To ensure that you are notified of any future business grant funding, please subscribe to the InvestSefton mailing list by emailing your business details to investsefton@sefton.gov.uk and ask to be added to the mailing list.

In response to the Coronavirus the Government announced there would be support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

Note: This scheme is now closed to new applications.

If you have recently submitted an application you may be requested to submit additional evidence in support of your claim. If we require additional evidence, we will e-mail you and provide you with a date by which the evidence must be submitted. It is important that you provide the evidence required by that date. If you do not, we will not be able to pay you a grant.

The Government has introduced a scheme for a one off payment of £1000 for wet-led pubs impacted by the Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions between 2-29 December 2020. Grants will be payable to eligible business rate payers as named on the Council’s records, and who were trading on 30 November 2020. For the purposes of this grant businesses who were forced to close during Tier 3 and/or national lockdown restrictions are considered to be trading on the qualifying date.

Note: This scheme is now closed to new applications. 

Current Government guidance indicates that businesses may have to provide evidence of their eligibility for this payment by providing a copy of their accounts from prior to 11 March 2020. If we require this evidence, we will request it from you before we can confirm payment.

Eligibility

For the purposes of this grant, pubs should under normal circumstances (without local or national restrictions) be open to the general public, allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided, allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed and permit drinks to be purchased at a bar, and under normal circumstances derive less than 50% of their income from food sales.

For these purposes, the definition of a pub excludes: restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, snack bars, guesthouses, boarding houses, sporting venues, music venues, festival sites, theatres, museums, exhibition halls, cinemas, concert halls and casinos.

Eligibility for this grant is in addition to any other support grants available to businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The Government has provided Councils with guidance to provide a discretionary discount scheme for businesses. The Council has determined that in accordance with that guidance businesses may qualify for a discount in the following categories.

  • shop
  • restaurant, café, bar or pub
  • cinema or music venue
  • hospitality or leisure business - for example, a gym, a spa, a casino or a hotel

Full details of eligibility can be found below in the document entitled ‘Eligibility for Expanded Retail Discount’ at the foot of this page.

If you are eligible, you could get:

  • 100% off your business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021)
  • 100% off your business rates bills for the first 3 months of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021)
  • 66% off your business rates bills for the rest of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022)

Businesses will not be required to apply for the discount as it will be applied automatically. Businesses that have already received the 100% discount for 2020/21 will have the relief extended until 30 June 2021 and the reduced discount of 66% from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 automatically applied. The discount scheme will end on 31 March 2022.

Business Rate bills for 2021/22 have been withheld until we can apply the discount and we will not be collecting payments until July 2021. No cash caps will apply for the period between 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

Cash Caps

From 1 July 2021 until 31 March 2022 there will be a cap on the cash value of discount that a business can receive.

Businesses will be eligible to receive a discount on more than one property. However, the total cash value of that discount must not exceed: -

  • £2,000,000 for businesses that were instructed to close on 5 January 2021 due to the imposition of COVID19 lockdown restrictions.
  • £105,000 for businesses that were allowed to remain during the national lockdown restrictions commencing 5 January 2021.

No business can, in any circumstances, exceed the £2 million cash cap across all of their properties in England. Where a business, eligible for the closed cash cap, also occupies properties which do not meet the criteria for the closed cash cap, and the value of the discount on the closed properties is less than £2 million, then they may also claim the discount on other eligible properties, but only up to the cap of £105,000, in respect of those other eligible properties

Example

A business whose rate bill from 1 July 2021 onwards on properties eligible for the closed cash cap is £1 million and also occupies other eligible properties with a rates bill of £3 million is able to claim up to £1,105,000 in discount from 1 July 2021 onwards (i.e. £1million on their closed property and then up to the £105,000 cash cap on their other eligible properties).

Where a business has a qualifying connection with another business then those businesses will be considered as one business ratepayer for the purposes of the cash caps.

A business shall be treated as having a qualifying connection with another where both ratepayers are companies, and

  • one is a subsidiary of the other, or
  • both are subsidiaries of the same company; or
  • where only business is a company, the other business (the “second ratepayer”) has such an interest in that company as would, if the second ratepayer were a company, result in its being the holding company of the other.

In those cases where it is clear to the Council that the ratepayer is likely to breach the cash caps, then the Council will automatically withhold the discount. In other cases, the Council will include the discount in bills and ask the ratepayers, on a self-assessment basis, to inform the authority if they are in breach of the cash caps.

Opt out 

Business will have the option to refuse the discount for 2021/22. When a business has chosen to opt out of the discount that decision may not be withdrawn at a later date.

The Government has provided Councils with guidance to provide a discretionary discount scheme for nurseries. The Council has determined that in accordance with that guidance businesses may qualify for a discount in the following categories if both: 

  • your business is on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • your premises are wholly or mainly used to provide the Early Years Foundation Stage of education

If you are eligible, you could get:

  • 100% off your business rates bills for the 2020 to 2021 tax year (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021)
  • 100% off your business rates bills for the first 3 months of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021)
  • 66% off your business rates bills for the rest of the 2021 to 2022 tax year (1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022)

Businesses will not be required to apply for the discount as it will be applied automatically. Businesses that have already received the 100% discount for 2020/21 will have the relief extended until 30 June 2021 and the reduced discount of 66% from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 automatically applied. The discount scheme will end on 31 March 2022.

Business Rate bills for 2021/22 have been withheld until we can apply the discount and we will not be collecting payments until July 2021. No cash caps will apply for the period between 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

Cash Caps

From 1 July 2021 until 31 March 2022 there will be a cap on the cash value of discount that a business can receive.

Businesses will be eligible to receive a discount on more than one property. However, the total cash value of that discount must not exceed more than £105,000 for all eligible properties in England

Opt out

Business will have the option to refuse the discount for 2021/22. When a business has chosen to opt out of the discount that decision may not be withdrawn at a later date.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and support to maintain services and supplies to the Council during the Covid-19 outbreak.

We know that this continues to be a very challenging time and that we will all need to continue to work together. 

We also appreciate that some suppliers may struggle to fully meet their full contractual obligations, and that we may need to alter our requirements, temporarily suspend some services, or change ways of working to do what is necessary for our community.

During this period the Council would like to work together with our contracted suppliers to provide support where it is possible in order that we can resume normal contract service delivery as soon as possible once the Covid-19 outbreak is over.

Supplier relief

In addition to supporting the prompt payment of invoices Sefton Council has been working with the Government and are able to offer some supplier relief (support). This will be on a case by case basis according to the nature of the services, goods or works being provided, the challenges being faced, the contracted terms and the constraints of any statutory requirements.

Every contract will have its own unique characteristics and therefore the relief available will vary case by case, but some examples could be as follows:

  • Extension of current contracts to ensure continuity of supply to Sefton Council.
  • Forward ordering of goods and services if required
  • Change is service delivery model to facilitate continuity of supply to Sefton Council
  • Payment in advance or interim payments where justifiable.
  • Extensions to time of delivery where justifiable.
  • Redeployment of capacity into other areas of Council needs

Please note that the Sefton Council is itself experiencing staffing issues due to isolation and school closures and cannot guarantee a response time to any enquiries but we will therefore aim to achieve this support to the best of its ability.

There may be other forms of relief that may be helpful in the short-term so please feel free to suggest those if it ensures we can maintain business continuity.

Supplier relief is currently available up to the end of June 2020, and this may be extended further at a later date if we are advised of this by Government.

Requesting Relief

If you need some flexibility or support up to the end of June 2020 and would like to request some contractual relief you should make contact with your normal Sefton Council contract manager or day to day contact to discuss the options that might be available.

Please could you then follow up with a formal relief request by email to your contact and to central.procurement@sefton.gov.uk  with your request and your rationale and justification in order that Sefton Council can quickly determine the best solution in the best interests of both parties and our community.

Supplier Obligations during the Relief period

Sefton Council needs all suppliers to ensure that business continuity is maintained wherever possible, and that you enact your business continuity plans to do your utmost to support the Council’s requirements.

In some cases the Council may need to make quick decisions with imperfect information. Any supplier relief offered is conditional on suppliers agreeing to act and work on a total open book basis, with appropriate cost transparency in order that the Council can continue to meet its value for money obligations.   

To qualify suppliers must accept Sefton Councils Model Interim Payment Terms (which are available on request) and commit to continue to pay staff and subcontractors and make cost data available to the Sefton Council during this period.

If it is found that any supplier is found to be taking undue advantage or failing in their duty to act transparently and with integrity, then the Council has a right to act to recover payments made.

Thank you for your support  at this difficult time. By working together we aim to deliver the best possible outcomes for Sefton businesses and residents throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor announced a number of other measures as part of his package of support:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme;
  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments;
  • Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank;
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans;
  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme.

Further details can be found at:

The Invest Sefton website

The Government website 

The EU State aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted in the UK following the end of the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020. This does not impact the limited circumstances in which State aid rules still apply under the Withdrawal Agreement, specifically Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. However, in the vast majority of cases this will not apply.

The United Kingdom remains bound by its international commitments, including subsidy obligations set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU. BEIS Guidance for public authorities explaining the subsidies chapter of the TCA, World Trade Organisation rules on subsidies, and other international commitments can be found here.

Further information can be found on the subsidy allowance page of this website.

Trading On Scheme Checklist FINAL Ver 1 (pdf 153KB)
Trading On Scheme Guidance Notes FINAL Ver 1 (pdf 176KB)
Trading On Scheme Terms And Conditions FINAL Ver 1 (pdf 131KB)
Trading On Scheme Privacy Notice Final Ver 2 (pdf 150KB)
Trading On Scheme Accountant Letter FINAL ver 2 (pdf 188KB)

Last Updated on Thursday, August 4, 2022

Recite Me Button