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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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government has released guidance and support measures specifically for businesses and employers related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and this will be updated regularly.

Government guidance to help businesses understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic - includes new guidance for pubs, bars, restaurants, accommodation providers and hairdressers. 

Online tool to help carry out a risk assessment and make adjustments to the site and workforce for reopening

Back in Business – local guidance on operating safely during the coronavirus pandemic

Financial Business Support Finder: see what support is available for you and your business.

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

Click here for more information on both grant schemes.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

UK employers can access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off. 

From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. Full details....

How to apply: The scheme is live but no new staff can be furloughed after 10 June, more details on how to claim here and a webinar on the Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing here

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

NOW OPEN: 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, worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500, paid in a single instalment. 

This scheme is being extended. You’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant in August 2020, capped at £6,570. 
Find full details and an eligibility checker here.

How to apply: 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.

Frequently Asked Questions on self-employment income support scheme

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

Deferred VAT payments for 3 months

The deferral will apply from 20  March until 30 June. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. Full details...

How to apply: This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period.

Deferred Self Assessment payments 

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period. Full details...

How to apply: This is an automatic offer with no applications required. 

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: The new online service has now launched 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.

NOW CLOSED

Cornwall has received around £13.5m from the government to use for grants for small businesses.

The Government set out the guidelines for distributing this new pot of money, which is for businesses not eligible for other grant funding schemes including the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.      

For more details visit the Cornwall Council site. 

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 next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible. 

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 council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to 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 has provided additional 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. This provides a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs. Full details...

How to apply: Letters with details about business grants have been sent to businesses, or business correspondence addresses. The Council need 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.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

NOW LIVE: A new temporary 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 .

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims). The Scheme supports loans of up to £5 million in value and businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free. 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 their 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.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme for Small Business

NOW LIVE: The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

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

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. Full details....

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.

 

Can your business help the response?

Could your business help with the response to COVID-19?  Find out more here.

 

Useful links:

Notice to display to show you have made your workplace COVID-secure

Government Guidance Staying alert and safe (social distancing)

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do

If you would like to receive updates on the government’s response to COVID-19 you can sign up for email alerts.

Guidance on coronavirus testing; who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available.

List of businesses and premises that must remain closed as part of further social distancing measures

Additional resources for businesses 

Resources from national organisations like Chamber of Commerce, FSB, Companies House, and local bodies like Cornwall Council and Visit Cornwall. 

Local help for your business

Local resources, guides and information to help you through the impact on COVID-19

COVID-19 Impact Survey

Help us capture information on how #COVID19 is impacting local businesses

 

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.

News & Events

See all our latest News & Events from around Cornwall & Isles of Scilly.

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