26th March 2020

Grant funding scheme – Coronavirus

In addition to our other statements about the Coronavirus pandemic, in this blog we have collated some information about Small Business Grants Funding, Job Retention, Government Schemes and support available.

If you are planning to apply for the either the SBGF (Small Business Grants Fund) or the RHLGF (Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund) then please ensure you check your last NDR (Non-Domestic Rate) invoice. You should have received this in the last couple of weeks and it should be in your current and correct trading name.

If it isn’t, then please send a copy of your invoice to your Trust Inns’ credit controller who will send a copy of your pub lease/tenancy agreement to the council. This will help to make the process of your grant application a little smoother.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

In order to safeguard jobs through the pandemic the UK government has introduced measures to pay 80% of employee’s wages (up to a value of £2,500 per month) as the employer cannot afford to pay them due to loss of business.

To be eligible employees must have been on the payroll from 28th February 2020 onwards and wages can be backdated to 1st March 2020.

How do you access this?

  1. You need to “furlough” workers that are no longer in work due to the effects of the Coronavirus. These employees must be given the choice to accept this.
  1. These staff remain on your payroll and you must continue to pay them. The Government are working on measures to set up a system which will reimburse you.
  1. Initially set up for three months, the Coronavirus Retention scheme will be extended if the government feel it is necessary.
  2. Employers are welcome to “top up” staff wages so they are paid all of their usual wages: 20% from their employer and 80% from the government. If your staff don’t agree to be furloughed then they are free to take unpaid leave or redundancy.

*Furlough is temporary leave of employees due to the needs of the company or employer –in this case because a loss of business amidst the pandemic. It is a term used to avoid laying off or making staff redundant. Furloughing staff is subject to contract law.

If you choose to go down this path then it is important to understand that your staff are unable to work in the business at all and so you cannot use them to in other ways eg to deliver goods or implement a takeaway service. As yet, we are not aware of when funds for the job retention scheme will be reimbursed to employers.

Coronavirus support for the self-employed

Government is widely expected to release a new package of support measures to help the self employed by the end of this week. Martin Lewis has produced a video which looks at what the government is considering the issue and what is likely to happen next.

Building your business through other forums

Gift card platform Toggle has made its service free for the duration of the Coronavirus lock down. You could use this a way to allow customers to either buy gift cards for future use or allow customers to “pay it forward” for meals for loved ones close to you (and they may be miles away). Any business can now access Toggle at usetoggle.com using the promo code FUTUREFIT and quickly set up a bespoke, branded gift card web-shop free of charge.

Line cleaning

We’ve already shared the Cask Marque line cleaning guide whilst your business is closed, but we also now have details for your post-mix system. Britvic has produced guidelines for operators for closures of up to eight weeks, with more guidance to follow if the situation continues beyond that time.

Thank you for reading this Trust Inns’ Blog post, if you would like to read more please see our dedicated blog page. Furthermore, if you are a Trust Inns pub and would like to feature in a blog post on the website, please contact us.

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