Coronavirus: guidance and support for business

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

Find out whether you and your business are eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants.

Find financial support on the GOV.UK website


Grants and support for businesses - from Oxford City Council

Covid Additional Relief Fund

On 25 March 2021 the Government announced a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion. The fund will be available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.

On 15 December 2021 the Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill 2021 attained Royal Assent.

This Bill allows Local Authorities to design a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) Discretionary scheme to reduce Business Rate chargeable amounts in respect 2021-22 subject to Government guidance provided.

Government guidance provides the following exclusions:

  • Ratepayers who would have been eligible for the Extended Retail Discount scheme (ie retail, hospitality and leisure) or Nursery Discount for 2021-22.
  • Awards will only be in relation to occupied premises. No eligibility for businesses when the hereditament was unoccupied (other than closed temporarily due to government advice on COVID-19)

Support to be directed to:

  • Ratepayers adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt.

Subsidy Allowance

Payments under this scheme are subject to Subsidy Allowance conditions, including subsidy obligations set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU.

Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances will not be eligible to receive funding.

Next Steps

Full details of the scheme and the application system is available on the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund page.  


Business Grants 2022

On 21 December 2021, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, announced a further £1 billion in support for businesses most impacted by Omicron across the UK.

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant is now closed to applications - the closing date was 18 March 2022.

Omicron Additional Restrictions Grants are now closed to applications - the closing date was 11 March 2022.

Applications for ARG Hardship/Survival and ARG #Buildbackbetter Grants are now closed.

Local Restriction Support Grants and Additional Restrictions Grants prior to the 31 May 2021, and Restart Grants prior to 30 June 2021 are no longer open to applications.

Any applications submitted prior to the relevant closing dates will be processed in due course.


Charities

Support for charities

Charities that need an extension to their annual return deadline due to the coronavirus pandemic should contact the Charity Commission, the regulator has said. More information about support for charities can be found on the Civil Society website.

Grants to support community and cultural organisations

A number of funding bodies have established grants to support community and cultural organisations during this challenging time. Visit our External Funding Opportunities page for details.

We also have various grants schemes that you can apply to. Find out more on our grants page.


Support for businesses - from UK Government

 

Further information about the support available for businesses can be found on the Government's website. The site is being updated regularly with information and guidance for businesses about how to apply for grants, loans and rate relief.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to businesses

  • Loans, tax relief and cash grants are available
  • Employers might be eligible for financial support to pay wages
  • Self-employed people might be eligible for a taxable grant covering 80% of trading profits

Funding and support

Self-employed people and sole traders

Further support


Scam emails and crime

Scam emails

With new Government support recently announced, it is highly likely that a wave of scam emails, calls and text messages claiming to be from HMRC will circulate.

These will likely offer financial help in exchange for your bank details. Do not respond to the message and delete it immediately. HMRC does not contact people out of the blue asking for bank details.

Guidance from National Business Crime Centre

Information about how to secure your business premises, what to do if your staff fall victim to assault, queueing outside your premises, and how to reassure your customers.

Vulnerability assessments

Thames Valley Police are offering vulnerability assessments for small and medium-sized enterprises and charities that will provide an overview of the network security weaknesses that could be exploited by criminals.

If you are interested in accessing this service please contact cyber.protect@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk


Temporarily ceasing trading

If you make the decision to temporarily cease trading, please let your landlord know so ;they can help ensure you have all the appropriate health, safety and security measures in place.

If your landlord is Oxford City Council, please email: assetmanagement@oxford.gov.uk.


Reopening your business

You must not reopen if your business is closed under current government rules. Check if your business or venue can open.

The government has published guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

This guidance is being regularly updated and business owners should check frequently for any updates.

The Food Standards Agency has provided guidance for reopening a food business, and for adapting an existing business to meet a takeaway or delivery model. This will give you a practical framework to identify what you need to do to continue, adapt, or restart operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When reopening a business after an extended period of time it is important to be aware of the dangers presented by potential Legionella growth during stagnation. This may involve flushing through the water system prior to use, or taking additional measures as appropriate.

Oxford City Council urges all business owners to review the guidance, to re-assess their business operation and take appropriate actions which will enable them to re-open, keeping employees and the public safe.

Enforcement of health and safety regulation in the UK is either the responsibility of the relevant local authority or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), depending on the work activity.

Generally speaking, the HSE enforce the higher risk workplaces, such as construction and manufacturing. Further information available on the HSE website.

For health and safety advice please contact HSE in the first instance or on 0300 003 1647.

Oxford City Council's Business Regulation Team can be reached on 01865 252862 or via foodsafety@oxford.gov.uk. The Team deal with Food Safety and Health and Safety across Local Authority enforced premises. Please contact the team if you have any concerns with any premises in Oxford.


Contacting us

If you have any concerns or questions about any of the above, please contact us directly by emailing: economicdevelopment@oxford.gov.uk.

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