The Government recently announced a new three-tiered system of local COVID alert levels in England, ranging from Medium to Very High. Local COVID alert levels set out information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do and how to manage an outbreak in their area.
Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton are currently placed on a High COVID alert but you can check the local COVID alert level of your area here.
Following this, the Government also announced an expansion to the Job Support Scheme and new Local Restrictions Support Grants.
The expansion of the Job Support Scheme
Businesses who are legally required to close as part of local or national restrictions will be able to receive grants to pay the wages of staff who can't work, in order to protect jobs and enable businesses to reopen quickly once the restrictions are lifted. The Government will pay two thirds (or 67%) of eligible staff members salaries, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month.
Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and their employees must be unable to work for a minimum of 7 days consecutively. The scheme will start on the 1st November 2020 and will be available for 6 months with a review point in January 2021. Payments to businesses will be made in arrears via an HMRC claims service which will be available in early December and these will cover November.
Local Restrictions Support Grants Scheme
Businesses who are forced to close in England will be provided with grants, including nightclubs, restaurants, bowling alleys and other similar hospitality businesses. Grants have been increased to be up to £3,000 per month and businesses are eligible for payment sooner, only 2 weeks after closure, rather than the previous 3 week period.
Payments will be made as follows:
- Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month).
- Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month).
- Properties with an rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month)
These measures will remain alongside the Job Support Scheme which is designed to support businesses that are facing lower demand over the winter months, as well as the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus which aims to encourage employers to keep their staff on the payroll. This is part of the Governments wider package of unprecedented measures to help protect, create and support jobs through the COVID19 disruption.
If you are unsure or require any support with any of the schemes mentioned above or any other support needs, please get in touch with our business support team. Black Country Growth Hub provides fully funded and impartial support to businesses and entrepreneurs in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Contact us at 0300 770 2245 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org