Financial scheme information
Updated at 3pm on 7 May 2020
Support for the voluntary sector affected by Coronavirus is being reviewed daily and updated on a regular basis. Below is a list of the current information available along with links to more details on each scheme and how to apply for it.
Alternatively, the government has now launched a Business Coronavirus Support Finder to quickly help businesses determine what financial support is available for themselves or their business.
A £750m package has been announced to keep struggling charities afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cash grants will be given directly to charities providing key services during the crisis. As part of the scheme, £360m will be directly allocated by government departments to those charities. Another £370m will go to small local charities, including those delivering food and essential medicines and providing financial advice.
You can find out more here
Job Retention Scheme
Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover 80% of the wages of their workforce who remain on payroll but are temporarily ‘furloughed’, (not working) during the coronavirus outbreak. Any employer in the country- small or large, charitable or non-profit will be eligible for the scheme. You can find out more here.
The government are offering all voluntary organisations which are Valued Added Tax (VAT) registered the option to defer payments for 3 months. Read more about VAT deferral here.
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Charities and voluntary organisations that are hit financially by coronavirus will only be able to apply for government loans if more than half their income comes from trading activity. You can find out more here.
Expanded Retail Discount Scheme
Offers 100% business rates reliefs to businesses in the retail sector, in 2020/21, regardless of their rateable value. You can see full details here. Please note that local authorities will be rebilling charities in some cases having already issued a rates bill before the Scheme was announced. You can find out more on business rates holiday for retail hospitality and leisure here.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
This relief is supplemented by one-off cash grants of up to £25k per eligible property with a rateable value <£51k, for organisations included within the Retail Discount definitions (which in addition to many retail properties also include providers of leisure and hospitality services). There is no need to claim unless you do not think the Local Authority is aware of your eligibility for the grants.
Find out more here
Other Funding, Information and Assistance
A local infrastructure charity for the VCSE, providing information, support and guidance to charities across the county and supporting the coordination of volunteers as part of Coronavirus (COVID-19) response.
This website is updated daily, as they are receiving information directly from the government, the Charities Commission and numerous national umbrella organisations.
They also have a direct link from the website to national sources such as NCVO, ensuring that users can access the very latest guidance. You can find out more on the Spark Somerset website
Somerset Community Foundation
Have launched the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal. The funds raised by this appeal will help form the Somerset Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund, ensuring support swiftly reaches local charities and community organisations across the county of Somerset. Grants from the Fund will be made on a rolling basis beginning as soon as funds become available. Details of the funding criteria can be found on the Somerset Community Appeal webpage.
Arts Council England Emergency Funding
£160 million of emergency funding is being made available for organisations and individuals who need it during the Covid-19 crisis. They have also changed the funding requirements for those currently in receipt of funding, to help alleviate pressure on them.
You can find out more here
Support and advice
Free information, support and advice for those needing help during Covid 19 can be obtained from:
Guidance to help manage financial difficulties in your charity caused by coronavirus
Many charity trustees are having to cope with serious financial challenges during Covid 19 that will have a major effect on their charities and those who depend on them. The government has therefore put together some guidance and practical steps for trustees, especially at smaller charities, who may need help facing difficult situations or decisions. You can find it here
Guidance for the Charity Sector
Find guidance to help with running your charity during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak here.
Heart of the South West Growth Hub
You can also find free support, advice and information on sources of finance, along with assistance on working from home through your local Heart of the South West Growth Hub.
HMRC Covid Helpline
HMRC have additional helplines, including one set up to support voluntary organisations concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus on 0800 0159 559. You can find more details about contacting HMRC here.
The charity Mind provide advice on how to support your mental wellbeing during this difficult period. The Mind website includes practical advice on coping with staying at home and updates on how the new coronavirus laws could affect your rights. There is also useful information for any young person who is currently struggling.
Contact the debt charity Step Change to get expert debt advice and fee-free debt management to help you tackle your debts.
You can find out more on their website or phone 0800 138 1111