Coronavirus Support Resources – Finance

AIM advice on government support available for museums in response to COVID-19

This page was last reviewed on 23 March 2021. 

This page summarises current financial support made available to museums by the UK Government. The latest news from the Chancellor’s Budget announced on 3 March includes:

  • The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of September 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages.
  • Restart Grants of up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses – including museums.
  • Small and medium-sized employers across the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible SSP costs per employee.
  • The government will continue to provide eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England with 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.
  • Extension of the temporary reduced rate of 5% VAT for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sector until 30 September 2021.
  • The fourth Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits.

See the 2021 Budget briefing from CFG for more information on how this budget impacts charities>>

You can read more from the 2021 Budget announcement on the Government website here>>

CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS SUPPORT MEASURES

CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME – extended

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – will remain open until end of September 2021.

Employees will continue to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. There will be no employer contributions beyond National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pensions required in April, May and June. From July, the government will introduce an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September, as the economy reopens.

  • This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs.
  • As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.

The HR Dept have shared this useful FAQ to the Job Support Scheme, which you can read here>>

BUSINESS GRANTS

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors required to close due to the latest national lockdown (5 January 2021) will receive a one-off grant – Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

Any business which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant. Grants will be awarded following the same process as in 2020, so any museums eligible previously will be eligible again. You can check your eligibility at the link below and then make your application via your Local Authority.

You can check your eligibility and apply here>>

You can read the full announcement from the Chancellor here>> (published 5 January)

RESTART GRANTS – new – updated 19 March

The Restart Grant will be a one-off grant funding scheme in Financial Year 2021-22. It will support hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises with one-off grants of up to £18,000 in Strand Two of the Restart Grant.

Museums and art galleries are specifically listed under leisure businesses.

Grants available from 1 April 2021 but applications can be submitted in advance.

The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  1. Businesses occupying hereditaments with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £8,000.
  2. Businesses occupying hereditaments with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £12,000.
  3. Businesses occupying hereditaments with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £18,000.

Click here to check if you’re eligible for a Restart Grant>>

CLAIM BACK STATUTORY SICK PAY – extended

The scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

Small and medium-sized employers across the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible SSP costs per employee. This scheme is a temporary COVID-19 measure intended to support employers while levels of sickness absence are high.

Find out more here>>. 

BUSINESS RATES RELIEF – extended

What is it?
The government will continue to provide eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England with 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business For properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.

Eligibility
You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:
• your business is based in England
• your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments (buildings) that are wholly or mainly being used:
• as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
• for assembly and leisure
• as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access?
This will have applied to your council tax bill in April 2020. Local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge and they will do this as soon as possible.

Update 04 09 20 – Colin Hunter, of Lambert Smith Hampton summarises changes to Business Rates over 2020>>.

LOCAL AUTHORITY DISCRETIONARY GRANTS

A fund has been set up for certain small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs, previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme, including small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief.

– Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and must be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

-There will be three levels of grant payments: £25,000, £10,000, and Local Authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000.

Guidance on the Local Authority Discretionary Grants>>.

VAT

VAT REDUCTION – extended

The government will extend the temporary reduced rate of 5% VAT for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sector until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard 20% rate, a 12.5% rate will apply for the subsequent six months until 31 March 2022.

VAT DEFERRAL – New Payment Scheme

Any business that took advantage of the original VAT deferral on VAT returns from 20 March through to the end of June 2020 can now opt to use the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme to pay that deferred VAT in up to eleven equal payments from March 2021, rather
than one larger payment due by 31 March 2021, as originally announced.

LOANS

BUSINESS INTERUPTION LOAN SCHEME

What is it?
• Access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value and for up to 6 years
• Following announcements on 17 March, the interest free period will be extended to 12 months (up from 6 months).
• Loans will be available to applications now.

Eligibility
You are eligible for the scheme if:
• your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
• your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

How to access?
The scheme is open now. To access talk to your bank or an approved partner>> as soon as possible to discuss your business plan.

RECOVERY LOAN SCHEME – new

  • The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close. Once received, the finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including growth and investment.
  • The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender to ensure they continue to have the confidence to lend to businesses.
  • Launches 6 April and is open until 31 December, subject to review. Loans will be available through a network of accredited lenders, whose names will be made public in due course.

SUPPORT FOR SELF-EMPLOYED

What is it?

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

The government has confirmed that the fourth SEISS grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. The grant will cover the period February to April, and can be claimed from late April. Self-employed individuals must have filed a 2019- 20 Self Assessment tax return to be eligible for the fourth grant.

The government has announced that there will be a fifth and final SEISS grant covering May to September. The value of the grant will be determined by a turnover test, to ensure that support is targeted at those who need it the most as the economy reopens.

  • People whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive the full grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500.
  • People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, capped at £2,850.
  • The final grant can be claimed from late July. We expect further details in due course.

How to access?
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Eligibility

To be eligible you need to:

  • Be self-employed or a member of partnership;
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
  • File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
  • Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
  • Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
  • Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.

How to access?

Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account.

You can find out more on the government pages here>>.

INSURANCE

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

SCOTLAND

For information on support available to museums in Scotland, please use the links below:
Coronavirus advice for businesses in Scotland>>
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)>>

WALES

For information on support available to museums in Wales, please use the links below:

Support for businesses in Wales>>
Support for the third sector in Wales>>

NORTHERN IRELAND

Measures specific to Businesses and Employers in Northern Ireland can be read here>>.

USEFUL LINKS

UK Government economic factsheet (published 5 November 2020)>>

UK Government COVID-19: support for businesses
Charity Tax Group Coronavirus information hub
Charity Finance Group Coronavirus resources
Watch webinars from the government on the financial support available here. 

AIM Coronavirus resources
All AIM Coronavirus resources can be found here