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

Reopening your business safely

Further guidance about safely reopening your business in line with the Government's roadmap out of lockdown 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 reopening of businesses

Guidance for employers on workplace safety and safely reopening businesses in line with the Government's Roadmap out of lockdown is available at gov.uk


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.

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.

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.

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 

Update to COVID-19 business grant subsidy allowance

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. The United Kingdom remains bound by its international commitments, including subsidy obligations set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU.

On Thursday 4 March new subsidy allowances were established for the COVID- 19 business grants schemes, on the basis of the principles set out in Article 3.4 of the TCA.

Updated COVID-19 business grants subsidy allowances provided on the basis of the TCA

The below scheme rules should be applied to applicants at the level of economic actor, which is defined as an entity or a group of entities constituting a single economic entity regardless of its legal status, that is engaged in an economic activity by offering goods or services on a market.

There are three subsidy allowances for this scheme set out below: Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance, the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance and the COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance.

Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance

Grants may be paid in accordance with Article 3.2(4) of the TCA, which enables an applicant to receive up to a maximum level of subsidy without engaging Chapter 3 of the TCA. This allowance is 325,000 Special Drawing Rights, to a single economic actor over any period of three fiscal years, which is the equivalent of £335,000 as at 2 March 2021. An applicant may elect not to receive grants under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and instead receive grants only using the below allowances available under this scheme.

COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance

Where the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance has been reached, grants may be paid in compliance with the Principles set out in Article 3.4 of the TCA and in compliance with Article 3.2(3) of the TCA under the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance (subsidies granted on a temporary basis to respond to a national or global economic emergency). For the purposes of these scheme rules, this allowance is £1,600,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received under the COVID-19 business grant schemes and any State aid previously received under Section 3.1 of the European Commission's Temporary Framework across any other UK scheme. This may be combined with the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance to equal £1,935,000 (subject to the exact amount applicable under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator).

COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance

Where an applicant has reached its limit under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, it may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000 per single economic actor, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The Special Allowance covers only the applicant's uncovered fixed costs incurred during the period between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2022, including such costs incurred in any part of that period ('eligible period');
  • Applicants must demonstrate a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period in 2019. The calculation of losses will be based on audited accounts or official statutory accounts filed at Companies House, or approved accounts submitted to HMRC which includes information on the applicant's profit and loss;
  • 'Uncovered fixed costs' means fixed costs not otherwise covered by profit, insurance or other subsidies;
  • The grant payment must not exceed 70% of the applicant's uncovered fixed costs, except for micro and small enterprises (for the purposes of this scheme defined as less than 50 employees and less than £9,000,000 of annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet), where the grant payment must not exceed 90% of the uncovered fixed costs.

Grant payments under this allowance must not exceed £9,000,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received in accordance with Section 3.12 of the European Commission's Temporary Framework; all figures used must be gross, that is, before any deduction of tax or other charge; Grants provided under this allowance shall not be cumulated with other subsidies for the same costs.

An applicant must be able to provide the necessary documentation to demonstrate it is eligible for funding under this COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance. Local Authorities must first verify that an applicant can meet all the criteria set out under this allowance before providing further funding under this allowance.

Grants provided in excess of the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance may not be granted to applicants that were defined as an 'undertaking in difficulty' (as defined in Annex B below) on 31 December 2019. In derogation to the above, grants can be granted to micro or small enterprises (as defined above) that were already in difficulty on 31 December 2019 provided that they are not subject to collective insolvency proceedings.

Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol

Grants in scope of Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol remain subject to EU State aid rules2, following the end of the Transition Period which ended on 31 December 2020. Article 10 provides that EU State aid rules will continue to apply to the UK in respect of measures which affect trade in goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the European Union.

In assessing whether Article 10 may apply, Local Authorities are directed to Section 7 of the technical BEIS Guidance which covers the practical application of Article 10. Local Authorities applying Article 10 must follow Section 7 of the technical BEIS Guidance.

General

BEIS may vary the terms of these schemes or suspend or close the schemes with immediate effect, without notice and at any time.

For the avoidance of doubt, grants under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance, the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance and the COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance may be combined for a potential total allowance of £10,935,000 (taking into account all grants previously received under the COVID-19 business grants schemes and subject to the exact amount applicable under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator).

Local Business Support Grant (Round 3) Accountants Letter Template (pdf 161KB)
Local Business Support Grant (Round 3) Privacy Notice (pdf 247KB)
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Round 3) Terms and Conditions (pdf 188KB)
Local Business Support Grant (Round 3) Checklist (pdf 147KB)
Local Business Support Grant (Round 3) Guidance Notes (pdf 178KB)
Eligibility for Expanded Retail Discount (pdf 102KB)

Last Updated on Friday, July 23, 2021

Recite Me Button