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Welcome to the Growth & Skills Hub

We are here to help you access the right support and training opportunities for your business.

Need a helping hand but are unsure which way to turn? We are two projects working hand-in-hand to help businesses realise their potential.

We can also help you through these unprecedented times and deal with the impact of Coronavirus.

Call one of our friendly, locally based experts to talk about what support is available to you and your business.

01209 708660 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

 

The Government has announced two grant schemes to help businesses recover from COVID-19.  Both schemes are funded by the England European Regional Development Fund and will be delivered via Growth Hubs.

  • Kick-starting Tourism Package
  • Wider Economy Business Support

In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly these grants are being combined to form the Kickstart Grant Scheme.  The Scheme launched at 10am on Wednesday 2nd September and is currently paused. Click here for more information

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This scheme comes to an end on the 31st of October. It will be superseded by the Job support scheme (see below) on the 1st of November.
UK employers can access CJRS support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off. Full details....

Job support scheme

A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus. Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.

Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work - but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary. In order to support only viable jobs, employees must be working at least 33% of their usual hours. The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month. The Job Support Scheme will be open to businesses across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme, with further guidance being published in due course.

Find out more on the Job Support Scheme here.

Pension Advice 

Automatic enrolment and DC pension contributions: COVID-19 guidance for employers from The Pensions Regulator.

Self-employment income support scheme 

Self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus can apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. 

The Government is continuing its support for self-employed individuals by extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS). An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS and are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus.

The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875. An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April.

People can make their claim  based on their Unique Tax Reference number. HMRC has assigned eligible self-employed individuals a specific date to apply on and this can be checked on HMRC’s online checker at any time. People will not be able to apply before their claim date but can make a claim after that day.

If you are unable to apply for this scheme, you may be eligible for Universal Credit

VAT cut for tourism and hospitality

The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors will be extended to the end of March 2021.  

Deferred VAT payments for 3 months

Business who deferred their VAT bills will be given more breathing space through the New Payment Scheme, which gives them the option to pay back in smaller instalments. Full details...

You will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022.

Deferred Self Assessment payments 

Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from an additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

Time To Pay

HMRC have scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities. 

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 08000 241222 for practical help and advice.

Sign up to a HMRC webinar about the support available to help you and your staff.

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force and the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism as soon as possible. Full details...

How to apply: There is an online service for small and medium-sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.  

Sign up to a HMRC webinar about the support available to help you and your staff.

Pension Advice: Automatic enrolment and DC pension contributions: COVID-19 guidance for employers from The Pensions Regulator.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The government has introduced a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority. Full details...

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

How to apply:  You do not need to do anything. This will apply to your tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. 

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000. Full details...

How to apply: Letters with details about business grants have been sent to businesses, or business correspondence addresses. The Council has asked businesses to complete an online form with some simple bits of information to be able to pay your grant. 

If you can’t access your business premises or haven’t received your letter then please contact the Council on 0300 1234 171 and they will be able to help.

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

A business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year has been introduced. 

How to apply: You do not need to do anything. This will apply to your tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. Full details...

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

The government provided funding for local authorities to support small businesses that are in receipt of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief and therefore pay little or no business rates. Letters with details about business grants have been sent to businesses, or business correspondence addresses. 

If you can’t access your business premises or haven’t received your letter then please contact the Council on 0300 1234 171 and they will be able to help.

The government is extending four temporary loan schemes to 30 November 2020 for new applications: As a result, more businesses will now be able to benefit from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, supports primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance . Full details...

How to apply: The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website, however you should approach your own provider – ideally via the lender’s website. You may also consider approaching other lenders if you are unable to access the finance you need.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will be given the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme for Small Business

The Bounce Back Loan scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. Full details....

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Businesses will be given the option to repay their loan over a period of up to ten years through a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses.

How to apply: Businesses can access these loans through a network of accredited lenders.  For more details on how to apply visit the British Business Bank website

 

Fisheries Response Fund (FRF)

The Fisheries Response Fund (FRF) will directly contribute towards the fixed business costs of over 1000 catching and aquaculture businesses that have been adversely impacted by the downturn of export and domestic markets for fish and shellfish. Full details...

How to apply: Qualifying fishing vessel owners will be contacted directly in stages by MMO. Further information for aquaculture businesses here.

 
 

We’ll work with you on a one-to-one basis to uncover the skills your business needs, and introduce you to training to get results. 

 

We work with local businesses to find the right guidance and support to help their business work smarter, develop and grow.

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