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Business NK - COVID19

Financial support for businesses

LRSG (Closed) Addendum & Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Required to Close - Update

The Government announced continued business support on 22 February 2021 with allocation due to Local Authorities early March, this will be under the familiar LRSG (Closed) Addendum scheme. This will be a 44 day payment up until the 31 March 2021, payment will be made automatically to businesses that were successful for the previous LRSG CA schemes. Payments will be made 5 March 2021.

For information the LRSG (Closed) Addendum is to support businesses who are on the ratings list who have been forced to close during the national lockdown in November and the current lockdown. Businesses that have already applied to this grant are not required to apply again, if you feel that you are eligible, have read the original policy here and have not been in receipt of a grant please email providing your business name, nature of business and rates number. Should you be successful following the application process you will then automatically receive the LRSG Closed Addendum and the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP).

At this time we are not aware of support post 31 March.

Future Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) Required to Close Support

The Grants Team are delighted to announce that we are looking to re-open the ARG (Required to Close) scheme, this was originally launched in mid-January, however we are looking to open this up to new applications between 1 March to 19 March 2021 for businesses that have been required to close but are not on the business ratings list. We will communicate further information on this through our website early next week. Please be aware that if you have already successfully applied under this scheme, we are looking to make an automatic payment to the account details we have on record, covering businesses for the 44 days they are still required to close. Businesses that have already applied to this grant are not required to apply again.

Prime Minister sets out roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions

Boris Johnson has announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England.

  • Government publishes four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and provide a route back to a more normal way of life.
  • Each step to be assessed against four tests before restrictions ease, starting with the return of schools on 8 March.
  • PM is clear that the decision on each stage will be based on data not dates, and government will move cautiously to keep infection rates under control.

Further information can be found here, and you can view the PM's statement to the House of Commons here.

DIT Internationalisation Fund

The Department for International Trade has launched its new European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) for eligible East Midlands businesses. Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity (subject to eligibility and availability).

To secure a grant, you will need to fund a proportion of your costs yourself. This varies according to where your business is based and will be either 40 or 50% of the total cost.

The fund can be used to support areas including (but not exclusively limited to):  

  • Market research
  • IP advice
  • Translation services
  • International social media/SEO
  • Trade fairs (where no TAP funding is available)
  • Independent market visits
  • Consultancy and other international commercial services

Call for businesses to join the National Workplace Testing Programme

The National Workplace Testing programme will identify more positive cases of Covid-19 and ensure the isolation of those who are infected, protecting key workers and our vital services.

The programme is aimed at individuals without symptoms and who cannot work from home during lockdown. Companies in England with over 50 employees can register on to order coronavirus tests for their workforces.

New Covid-19 legislation for employers

There is a new offence under the self-isolation regulations for an employer to knowingly allow an employee who should be self-isolating to attend work with a fine of up to £10k per individual breach.

Local authorities have the power to investigate these breaches, and the Covid-19 taskforce is working with NHS and Test & Trace to ensure the exchange of necessary data to support a prosecution following a pro-active investigation. Read the specific employer requirement under paragraph 7, and enforcement under paragraph 11 here.

Resources from HMRC and BEIS

HMRC has produced a playlist of videos that outline the new trading processes and requirements that were introduced on 1 January 2021. 

BEIS has launched a series of on-demand videos to help UK businesses understand the new rules for doing business with Europe. The videos cover 18 topic areas with additional information for different sectors.  Go here to register for immediate access to the videos. 

Key Worker Testing Sites

Quick-response virus tests are available for anyone whose work currently requires them to work away from home or in a public-facing role. It allows critical workers to quickly identify whether they are fit and safe to work or whether they are carrying the virus asymptomatically.

This means that factory workers, health care workers, shop staff within essential retail, the self-employed, tradespeople and people who work in public-facing roles, alongside others or in other people's homes can get a free test to avoid the spread of the virus.

The Sleaford site is at Better Gym on East Road, NG34 7EH. It is open from 8am-8pm daily including weekends on a walk-up basis. Anyone who tests positive or has been in close contact with a positive case is require to self-isolate for ten days. For more information please see the section entitled Key Worker Testing Sites here. 

Free support for North Kesteven businesses

NKDC offers the service of a Business Support Adviser, Phil Means. Phil can assist businesses and provide bespoke advice and support.

If you are in business and feel you could benefit from free business advice please contact him. Either call Phil on 07920 472671 or email

EU Transition

A list of government helplines organised by theme and key actions for businesses has been published online, this is available to view here.

A helpline has also been allocated for additional support, the Business Support Helpline can help identify the actions businesses need to take. For more information call 0800 998 1098.

Covid-19 Response - Spring 2021

The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.

Business recovery webinars

VisitEngland’s free webinar programme has been developed with businesses at the core.

With the UK travel industry being forced to evolve in response to a constantly changing landscape, the range of webinars provide practical insight and valuable information from within VisitBritain/VisitEngland and across the wider travel industry. Find the full list of webinars here.

Quarterly Economic Survey 2021

The Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) Quarter 1 is now open, and compares the last three months to the quarter before.

By completing this survey we can add a strong Lincolnshire voice to the national results, which are passed over to policymakers to help the country bounce back strongly. Take the survey here.

Sleaford Neighbourhood Plan

Sleaford Town Council has extended the deadline for their Neighbourhood Development Plan survey until 26 March.

They want to hear from as many businesses as possible, could you help shape the future of Sleaford? Take the survey here.

Are you on social media?

If so, join our Business NK group here or follow us on twitter. We share information, support and advice on each platform.

Webinars for the weeks ahead

01/03/2021 11:00-12:00  Supercharge your Instagram

02/03/2021 13:30-15:00  Facebook for business

02/03/2021 14:00-15:00 Managing financial risk and getting paid when trading internationally

03/03/2021 11:00-12:00 Cyber Aware with NCSC

04/03/2021 09:30-11:30  ChamberConnect: Five Pillars of Successful Growth for Small Businesses Workshop

04/03/2021- 25/03/2021 13:00-16:00 Resilient Lincolnshire Leadership Masterclasses

05/03/2021 10:00-16:00 Digital Manufacturing 101 for SMEs