Page last updated: 4:26PM 10 January 2022

Latest government guidance

On 8 December 2021, the Prime Minister announced that England will be moving to Plan B following the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the UK.

The announcement and an overview of the measures can be found on the government's website.
GOV.UK: Prime Minister confirms move to Plan B in England

Make sure you're meeting all current requirements and guidance for your sector. Find out what you should be doing on the government's working safely guidance page.

 

Coronavirus resources

We've created a range of resources to help you reopen your business safely, including posters, checklists and how to make QR codes.

 

Grants

£1 billion in support for businesses most impacted by Omicron across the UK

On 21 December,  the Chancellor announced that a support package of grants would be made available for businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant. Government has stated:

  • businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses
  • government will cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK
  • £30 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling more cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the winter

Update: 10 January 2022

Business Sheffield has received the Government’s guidelines for administering the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG).

We are aiming to make our new online application form available early in the week commencing 17 January.

Due to the auditing requirements from Government, we are not able to make automatic top ups and new applications will be required for all grants. There will be a single application process. The application process will be the same for rate payers and non rate payers. Grants to non rate payers will be funded through the additional funding that the Government has allocated to the Additional Restrictions Grant.

Subject to eligibility criteria, businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors, many of which have seen a decline in footfall and increased cancellations due to the Omicron variant, will be able to apply for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises depending on their rateable value/fixed property costs:

  • businesses with rateable value/fixed property costs of £51,000 or above: £6,000
  • businesses with rateable value/fixed property costs between £15,000 and £51,000: £4,000
  • businesses with rateable value/fixed property costs of £15,000 or below: £2,667

OHLG is specifically for businesses in the Accommodation, Hospitality and Leisure sectors. For Hospitality businesses to be eligible, the majority of their income must be derived from people eating and drinking inside their premises. Full eligibility criteria will be published when the application process goes live.

All eligible businesses should receive a grant if they submit an application before the application closure date.

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.

Business Productivity Grants

The Business Productivity Programme operates across South Yorkshire, with Business Sheffield delivering support in Sheffield. Advisors work with eligible SMEs to understand and source solutions to productivity challenges, helping businesses navigate a route to increased productivity and growth following the Covid pandemic.

There are grants available through an application process to support businesses to address their productivity challenges.

  • the grant can support up to 50% of a business’s total project cost
  • the total project cost can be up to a maximum of £24,999
  • grants are primarily aimed at capital costs, but some revenue costs can be supported

The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Contact Business Sheffield on 0114 224 5000 to discuss an application and your growth plans.

Digital Innovation Grants

These grants are closed for 2021. It is anticipated that the next round of Digital Innovation Grant applications will open in February 2022.

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.


Temporary Coronavirus Pavement Cafe Scheme

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.

 

Loans

Recovery Loan Scheme

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.

 

Rent for council business and community tenants

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.

Email Property Services at propertyservices@sheffield.gov.uk or ICAM at icam@sheffield.gov.uk.

 

Support measures

Retail Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) Business Rate Relief 2021/22

100% rate relief has finished, but Retail, Hospitality and leisure businesses can still get 66% relief until March 2022. 

Contact business rates on business.rates@sheffield.gov.uk for an application form.

Retail Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) Business Rate Relief 2022/23

We are aware that Government has recently issued guidance to Local Authorities on the above rate relief and how it will assist businesses in the financial year 2022/23. 

  • we are currently working through this guidance and will publish more detail in January 2022 on how this will operate and what businesses need to do
  • the aim will be to have this relief applied to business rates bills issued in March 2022 for the financial year 2022/23, although if this is subject to an application process this may not be possible in all cases
  • currently businesses do not need to do anything in respect of this relief. If this changes we will update businesses here. Please keep checking these pages for any updates
  • we encourage any business who has not applied for RHL relief for 2021/22 to do so by emailing business.rates@sheffield.gov.uk

CARF – Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund - Business Rate Relief 2021/22

Government has recently issued guidance to Local Authorities on the above rate relief which was related to an announcement in March 2021. Government announced its intention to provide business rates relief to businesses who had appealed to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) for a reduction in their Rateable Value due to a Material Change in Circumstances (MCC) arising out of the Covid -19 pandemic

  • we are currently working through this guidance and will publish more detail in January 2022 on how this will operate and which businesses will be eligible
  • we know that businesses who have benefited from Retail Hospitality and Leisure Relief, Nursery Relief and Airport Relief will not be eligible for this relief
  • this relates to the financial year 2021/22 but can be awarded up to September 2022
  • currently businesses do not need to do anything in respect of this relief. If this changes we will update businesses here. Please keep checking these pages for any updates

You can contact Business Rates about other matters at business.rates@sheffield.gov.uk.

 

Charities support

The Charity Commission has produced advice for the charity sector.

Applications to the Coronavirus Community Support Fund are now closed but the National Lottery Community Fund is continuing to fund projects and organisations supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Income tax deferral

If you cannot pay because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be able to pay your Self Assessment tax in monthly instalments. Find out more on GOV.UK.

 

Statutory Sick Pay relief

As increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases means more workers taking time off work, the government is reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS).

The SSPRS will help 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. Firms will be eligible for the scheme from 21 December 2021 and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January. More guidance will be published by Government soon.

Employers will be eligible for the scheme if:

  1. They are UK-based
  2. They employed fewer than 250 employees as of 30 November 2021
  3. They had a PAYE payroll system as off 30 November 2021
  4. They have already paid their employees’ COVID-related SSP

 

VAT support

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.

Contact Business Sheffield