Find coronavirus financial support for your business
Find out whether you and your business are eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants.
Grants for businesses
Important notice: Warning of possible Covid grants scam
We been made aware of a new scam attempt aimed at businesses claiming Covid grant funding.
The form, although littered with obvious errors, attempts to collect personal details from the applicant including name, date of birth, bank account number, sort code, bank card details and security code number.
We will never ask for bank card information or mother’s maiden name during the application or processing of any Covid related business grant. This is a clear attempt by scammers to harvest personal data including bank details.
Local Restriction Support Grants prior to the 16 February 2021 are no longer open to applications. Any applications submitted prior to the closing date will be processed in due course.
Grants for 16 February to 31 March 2021
Oxford City in National Restrictions (Lockdown) - 16 February 2021 to 31 March 2021 – to apply for grants for this period go to our Grants for businesses - 16 February 2021 to 31 March 2021 page. Applications for this scheme will close 31 May 2021.
Grants from 1 April 2021
The Restart Grant scheme is a one off payment for businesses on the ratings list only.
Before you proceed - This grant application form will ask you to declare if you are in receipt of any subsidy (a subsidy is a benefit/payment given to an individual, business, or institution, usually by the Government) which must include any grants received from the Local Authority in respect of Covid 19. We will require you to list the grants you have received and to complete a declaration confirming that you will not exceed the relevant threshold.
The rules are complex, so if you are unsure on what you need to declare you are advised to take independent advice. If your application form is incomplete it will be rejected and the grant will not be paid.
Additional Restrictions Grant
This scheme enables local authorities to pay discretionary grants of up to £2,000 per 28 days to the following types of business, if eligible:
- Closed businesses that do not have a rateable value
- Businesses that have been severely impacted rather than closed
- Home and Mobile workers/businesses that legally require authorised licences or registrations to operate/trade, including private hire and taxi drivers licensed by Oxford City Council – one-off grants of up to £540 towards the one-year costs of the licence/registration
Please follow the link below to apply for an Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for the period 2 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.
Please note that you only need to apply once for an Additional Restrictions Grant from 2 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.
If you’ve already applied for an Additional Restrictions Grant for 2 December 2020 to 15 February 2021, your application will be automatically extended to 31 March 2021.
Grants for Hospitality business outdoor seating
As announced in March with the registration of Expressions of Interest by 28 March 2021, grants of up to £3,250 to enable hospitality businesses to recoup costs incurred in establishing infrastructure changes to highways (roads) or footways (pavements) to create outdoor seating zones will be available soon.
We are continuing to process the significant number of grant applications that we’ve received as quickly as possible.
Loans and other funding for businesses
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Loans of up to £5m for small- and medium-sized businesses, interest free for six months.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough)
UK employers with a PAYE scheme can receive up to 80% of salaries (up to £2,500) to pay furloughed employees. The scheme is extended until the end of March 2021.
Convertible loans to innovative UK-based companies of between £125,000 and £5m.
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate
The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small- and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus.
Bounce Back Loan
Loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 for UK-based small and medium-sized businesses.
Support for self-employed
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
A grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of profits, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
Retail, hospitality and leisure sectors
Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure will not have to pay business rates for the 2020/21.
No need to apply – Oxford City Council will apply the business rates holiday to your bills
Restaurants operating as takeaways
Planning rules are to be relaxed so that pubs, cafés and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak – but you must notify Oxford City Council if you are planning to do this.
Guidance about food safety
Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries
Ofsted-registered children’s day nurseries do not have to pay business rates for the 2020/21 tax year.
No need to apply – Oxford City Council will apply the business rates holiday to your bills
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.
Further government support
Deferral of Self-Assessment payment
The Self-Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020, may now be deferred until January 2021.
Time To Pay
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay Scheme.
If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
More information about Government support
Business Support website
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.
- Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership guidance
- Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce guidance
- Federation of Small Business guidance
- ICAEW practical business guidance
Scam emails and crime
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
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 [email protected]
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: [email protected].
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 [email protected]. 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.
If you have any concerns or questions about any of the above, please contact us directly by emailing: [email protected].