Latest government guidance
On 21 February 2022, the Prime Minister gave a statement to Parliament on living with COVID-19 and published the government’s plan for removing the remaining legal restrictions while protecting those vulnerable to COVID-19 and maintaining resilience.
Although legal restrictions have been removed, please continue to keep yourself and others safe by following the Government’s guide to Reducing the Spread of Respiratory Infections in the Workplace.
Low Carbon Business Support
Specialist Business Advisors will work with Sheffield SMEs to help identify, fund, and implement measures to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. There are low carbon grants available to part fund improvements within businesses which are identified by a free energy audit and a review with a business advisor. The Low Carbon Business Support Project operates across South Yorkshire.
The project runs until June 2023 and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It aims to create a reduction in Greenhouse Gases (GHG) equivalent to 450 tonnes of CO2, as well as increase long-term profitability for businesses.
Contact Business Sheffield on 0114 224 5000 to discuss the Low Carbon Business Support Project and your business specifically.
Digital Innovation Grants
This grant is currently closed for applications. We expect it to reopen again soon.
The Digital Innovation Grant (DIG) programme supports Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Yorkshire to develop their use of digital technology.
The Digital Innovation Grant Programme is an ERDF funded project and Barnsley MBC are the accountable body.
There are grants available through a competitive application process. Following a call for applications, completed applications will be assessed for eligibility then ranked according to a number of economic and inclusive growth indicators. The grant funding will be available for up to 50% of the value of an investment, with a minimum award of £1,000 up to a maximum of £5,000.
If you'd like to apply please contact Business Sheffield’s team of advisors at BusinessSheffield@sheffield.gov.uk or call 0114 224 5000. They'll help you develop your application and make the most of the grant.
Business Productivity grant
This grant aims to support Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in South Yorkshire to improve their productivity through the provision of capital or revenue grant, and to improve how they measure and report productivity gains.
The grant will provide 50% of funding for projects up to £24,999. The maximum grant that can be awarded per business is £12,499. The other 50% must be provided by the applicant. Priority will be given to applicants that best demonstrate how the grant will have a positive impact on productivity and the creation of new employment opportunities in South Yorkshire.
Applications for this grant are closed but we expect them to open soon. If you're interested in applying, please contact Business Sheffield on 0114 2245000 or email BusinessSheffield@sheffield.gov.uk. One of our Business Advisors will talk you through the eligibility criteria and discuss your potential application.
ReNew Sheffield Call for Projects - Fargate and High Street
We are looking for businesses and organisations who want to transform empty shops and underused spaces in the Fargate and High Street area to create long term solutions. Eligible projects could receive a grant for capital works of up to £50,000. The deadline for submitting an expression of interest is 22 May 2022.
Please email initial enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses can apply for a temporary pavement cafe consent. This is intended to help get businesses back up and running during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is free and lasts until 30 September 2022.
The licence allows businesses to provide tables, chairs and associated furniture on the public highway or footway immediately outside or adjacent to your premises. This is for customers to consume food and drinks outside, subject to certain conditions.
The scheme helps businesses access loans and finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period. There are some changes to the scheme from 1 January 2022. This scheme is now extended until 30 June 2022.
You can view eligibility criteria, find a lender and apply on the gov.uk website.
We encourage council business and community tenants with outstanding rent arrears to make urgent contact with Property Services or ICAM (Income Collection and Management), to discuss repayment plans as appropriate.
Business Rates Expanded (Capped) Retail, Accommodation, Hospitality and Leisure Scheme Discount 2022-23
For the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, the amount of relief under Expanded Retail, Accommodation, Hospitality and Leisure Discount is set at 50%.
Please note that this discount will not be applied automatically.
If you would like to apply for this discount, please:
- visit the Business Rates Relief page on our website
- read the full details you find under ‘Expanded Retail, Accommodation, Hospitality and Leisure Discount’, and complete the form
- return it by post or email to the addresses on the form
- if your business has multiple properties for which you wish to claim the discount, you’ll need to fill in a form for each
The Government guidelines state that to be eligible for the discount the premises must be:
- occupied (empty premises do not qualify)
- have an occupied rates charge for the year (properties receiving 100% Small Business Rate Relief, for example, do not qualify)
- be wholly, or mainly, used for retail purposes for visiting members of the public
Please refer to the Government guidance for qualifying businesses, Expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021: coronavirus response local authority guidance.
If you’re not sure whether your business will qualify for this discount, please contact Business Rates.
Please note that a cash cap and subsidy control obligations apply to the scheme and may affect whether your business is entitled to receive the discount in this period.
Business Rates Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund
The Business Rates Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund supports businesses who were:
- affected by the pandemic, and
- were ineligible for previous Covid Business Support Grants support linked to business rates
Relief is provided as a reduction to the amount of Business Rates you owed in 2021/22. Eligibility criteria and exclusions apply.
The deadline for applications is midnight on 31 July 2022.
You can contact Business Rates about other matters at email@example.com.
The Charity Commission has produced advice for the charity sector.
The National Lottery Community Fund continues to fund projects and organisations supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have launched a Covid Recovery Fund for the voluntary and community sector. The fund provides organisations in these sectors with needs that have arisen from COVID-19. Read our press release SheffNews.:Covid Recovery Fund for voluntary and community sector.
From 24 February 2022, the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test will end. COVID provisions for Statutory Sick Pay will still be able to be claimed for a further month.
As increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases means more workers taking time off work, the government has reintroduced the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS).
The SSPRS helps small and medium-sized employers by reimbursing them for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences, for up to 2 weeks per employee. Employers can also make claims retrospectively for employees who were off work on or after 21 December 2021.
Employers are eligible for the scheme if:
- They are UK-based
- They employed fewer than 250 employees as of 30 November 2021
- They had a PAYE payroll system as off 30 November 2021
- They have already paid their employees’ COVID-related SSP
The VAT deferral scheme has now closed. If you are still unable to pay the VAT due and need more time contact the HMRC Coronavirus helpline on 0300 200 3835.