News and information for West Oxfordshire’s businesses - 16 Nov 20
Update on business grants
You will be aware that the government has announced further measures to help businesses through the latest lockdown. This includes extensions to the Job Retention Scheme and support for the self-employed.
The Council has been tasked with administering two government grants to support businesses impacted by the lockdown.
The first grant (the Local Restrictions Support Grant or LRSG) is for those businesses required to close by law during the latest national lockdown period. This includes:
All non-essential retail
Leisure and sports facilities
Personal care facilities
This grant differs from the grants for the first lockdown in that payment is not automatic, businesses need to apply for the grant. The application form is now live on our website.
The second grant the Council is responsible for administering (the Additional Restrictions Grant or ARG) is to support businesses that have had their trade affected by the restrictions. This includes:
Closed businesses that don’t pay business rates
Businesses that have not been required to close, but are still severely impacted
This scheme will open for applications later this month. We will notify businesses when it is open via our usual social media channels, this newsletter and our website.
Businesses can apply for funding to reimburse a number of costs associated with increasing their capacity and ability to complete customs declarations, ahead of new rules coming into play from January 2021. Funding is available for:
Training that helps your business to complete customs declarations and processes
Hiring new staff to help your business complete customs declarations
IT improvements to help your business complete customs declarations more efficiently
Innovate UK has established a loan scheme to help businesses that are having problems continuing innovation activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans of between £250,000 and £1,600,000 are on offer for a maximum term of seven years.
Enterprise Nation is running the UKs largest online Christmas market on 04 and 05 December. Virtual stalls are free but there is a limited number and they will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Therefore, if you are interested in a stall you need to apply ASAP.
The latest lockdown has thrown the importance of looking after mental wellbeing into sharp relief. The lockdown can accentuate the stress and the feelings of isolation and loneliness, particularly among the self-employed. There is support available:
Leapers is a community of support looking after the mental health of self-employed
Oxfordshire Mind is an information service for those concerned about their own mental health or that of others.
The government has published guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus
This week sees the inaugural Power of Purpose week (POP) organised by OSEP. POP is a series of events and activities celebrating business as a force for good and it will include a virtual 'social enterprise meet the buyer event'. Full details of the week's programme are on the POP website.
The UK is leaving the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union at the end of the year and there are some definite actions businesses need to take now, regardless of the trading arrangements we end up with.
Businesses can get a personalised summary of the actions they need to take by using the simple tool below.