£1m fund for arts, culture and heritage

The arts, culture and heritage sector in South Yorkshire is set to receive a boost with the announcement from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) of funding worth £1m.

The Fund is part of South Yorkshire’s ARG (Additional Restrictions Grant), which has so far provided South Yorkshire businesses with over £45m of support during the pandemic.

The £1m Funding will be managed by South Yorkshire’s local authorities, who will distribute the fund through the commissioning of cultural events, activities or projects, with some businesses potentially eligible for micro grants.

Find out more here. 

Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be ending on 30 September 2021. Claims for September must be submitted by 14 October 2021 and any amendments must be made by 28 October 2021.

For claims relating to August and September 2021, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

Find out more about how the scheme is changing here.


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The SEISS has been extended to 30 September 2021 with a fourth and fifth round of the grant being announced. The two grants will cover the February to April and May to September periods respectively.

Self-employed individuals can apply for the grant to cover a percentage of their average monthly profits.

Individuals can check if they can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and the scheme now allows individuals who became self-employed in 2019/20 to apply for a grant.

Guidance is available on how HMRC will work out your trading profits and non-trading income if you’re self-employed.

The Growth Hub can help with the process or answer questions here.

Claims for the fourth SEISS grant have now closed, the last date for making a claim for the fourth grant was 1 June 2021. Guidance about claiming the fifth grant is now available, the online claims service for the fifth grant will be available from late July 2021. Find out more about the fifth grant here.

Future Fund: Breakthrough

A £375m scheme to drive investment in the UK’s most high growth, innovative and R&D intensive firms is now available.

The government will co-invest with private investors to help scale-up innovations across UK industries including life sciences and clean technology – driving economy and creating jobs.

To be eligible, businesses must have commitments of 70% of an investment round from private investors with a track record of financing innovative companies – such as venture capitalists.

More information can be found on the British Patient Capital website

Help to Grow programme

The government’s Help to Grow programme helps small and medium sized businesses to learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits. 

Businesses can get: 

  • an Executive Development programme that could help you improve business performance and growth potential through Help to Grow: ManagementThe Government will subsidise the costs of training and support through the scheme by 90%. 
  • free online advice and up to £5,000 off software that could help you save time and cut costs through Help to Grow: Digital 

The Management strand launched in June. Find a course near you and register for Help to Grow: Management here.

The Digital strand launches in the autumn. Register your interest in Help to Grow: Digital here.

Recovery Loan Scheme

This loan scheme is aimed at supporting UK businesses as they grow and recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Recovery Loan Scheme has replaced the Bounceback and CBILs loan schemes, which means that businesses of any size can continue to access loans now the previous COVID-19 loan schemes have closed.  

The government will provide an 80% guarantee to lenders to allow businesses to access loans from £25,000 up to £10m.  The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those who have received support from the previous loan schemes. 

The finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including growth and investment. 

The scheme launched on 6 April and is open until 31 December, subject to review. Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders 

 Find out more on the government website. 

Restart Grants for non-essential businesses

The Restart Grant scheme is for businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors. Eligible businesses will receive a one-off grant of up to £18,000, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • Is based in England
  • Is rate-paying
  • Is in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care or gym sectors
  • Was trading on 1 April 2021

Local councils will use their discretion to determine whether businesses meet the eligibility criteria for this grant scheme. Eligible businesses will be paid:

  • A one-off grant of up to £18,000 in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors
  • A one-off grant of up to £6,000 in the non-essential retail sector

The Restart Grant closed to new applications on 30 June 2021. If you haven’t received your payment by 31 July 2021 please contact your local council.

Local Restrictions Support Grant

These national schemes, all delivered through local authorities, are to support local businesses during the national lockdown periods and periods of local restrictions.

The Local Restrictions Support Grants closed to new applications on 31 March 2021. If you haven’t received your payment by 30 April 2021 please contact your local council.

Community Renewal Fund

The UK government is providing an additional £220 million funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022. This Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) was designated as a lead authority by the UK Government.

Working with the four local councils of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield, we sought proposals from across the region for submission to the Government in June.

You can read more about the submission here.

Welcome Back Fund

The Welcome Back Fund is providing councils across England a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe return to high streets and help build back better from the pandemic.

The fund will allow local authorities in England to put in place additional measures to create and promote a safe environment for local trade and tourism, particularly in high streets as their economies reopen.

This funding builds on the £50 million Reopening High Street Safely Fund (RHSSF) allocated to councils in 2020 and forms part of the wider support government is providing to communities and businesses.

More information will be available on your local council’s website soon.

Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice

Businesses will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation from April 2021 to September 2021. This is an extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive to March 2021 and an increase of payment from £1,500 to £3,000.

You can apply for incentive payments for these apprentices from 1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021.

For more information visit the government website.

VAT reduction and deferral

It was announced in the budget that the temporary reduced rate of VAT at 5% for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector will be extended until 30 September.

From 1st October, the VAT rate will increase to 12.5% before returning to the standard rate of VAT from April 2022.

Businesses that took advantage of the VAT deferral on VAT returns from March to June 2020 can now opt to pay the deferred VAT in instalments from March 2021, rather than pay the deferred VAT in a single payment.

Businesses that wish to pay in instalments must apply for the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme.  It was also stated that VAT thresholds will not change before 1 April 2024.

To pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus, visit the government website.

Business rates

The Chancellor has announced that the business rates relief has been extended and then discounted.

For eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and nurseries there is a 100% relief on business rates from April to 30 June 2021.

From July, eligible businesses will have their rates discounted by two thirds (66%) until 31st March 2022.

Your local council should apply the discount automatically so contact them if you’re not getting a relief you think you’re entitled to. Find out more here.


If you did not make a Self-Assessment Tax payment in July 2020, the deadline to pay your Self-Assessment bill was 31st January 2021, or 31st March 2021 for hospitality and tourism businesses. You may be eligible to set up a payment plan online or may be able to set up a Time to Pay Arrangement with HMRC if you’re unable to pay any other taxes in full. This lets you spread the cost of your tax bill by paying what you owe in instalments.

If you need more time to pay, you can find out what to do if you cannot pay your tax bill on time.

Insurance pay outs for small businesses

Thousands of small businesses with business interruption insurance policies will receive pay-outs from their insurance company to cover losses from the first national lockdown.

During the lockdown of last spring, many businesses had their claims refused by insurers on the basis that only specialist policies covered such unprecedented restrictions.

However, a selection of policy wordings has been tested in court, with the Supreme Court ruling largely in favour of small businesses.

If your business had business interruption insurance cover before the first national lockdown in March 2020, now would be the time to get in touch with your insurance provider to make a claim.

UK Export Finance (UKEF)

UK Export Finance provides financial support for businesses exporting goods and services.

The Export Working Capital Scheme provides partial guarantees up to 80% of a loan to help UK exporters access working capital finance for specific export-related contracts.

The Direct Lending Facility Scheme loans within an overall limit of £8 billion to overseas buyers, allowing them to finance the purchase of capital goods and/or services from UK exporters. The loans can be made in up to eight currencies, with a value limit of £200 million and a fixed rate of interest.

Enquiries for the two options can be sent by email to: customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

The COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) closed to new purchases on 23 March 2021. Under this scheme the Bank of England bought short-term debt from large companies beginning in March 2020.

Find out more here.

Further financial support from government

The following schemes were announced in the March budget:

Extension to loss carry back 

 Unincorporated businesses that are not members of a corporate group will be able to claim tax relief for up to £2 million of losses in each of the 2020/21 and 2022/22 financial years.  

 Corporation tax 

 Businesses with profits of less than £50,000 will continue to pay 19% Corporation Tax. The rate of corporation tax will increase to 25% on profits of £250k and more from April 2023.   

 New super-deduction capital allowance for business investment 

 For the next two years businesses that invest in plant and machinery for their businesses will be able to reduce their tax bill through a 130% upfront capital allowance super-deduction.   

 More information will be provided here when it is published by the government. In the meantime, you can find out more about the recent budget announcements on the government website.