COVID: What Support is Available for Businesses?
Here we answer key questions on the latest information on financial support, mental health and wedding restrictions.
Finding the latest information on Weddings during Covid?
Our COVID news articles are kept up to date whenever we encounter a new, or changing situation.
We link to government and news sources within these articles to take you straight to the official information. Below is a list of regularly updated articles you may find helpful.
Looking for the government links?
Here are the official government documents and guidance for weddings across the UK.
What financial support is available to wedding businesses?
From Income Support Schemes, Bounce Back Loans, and Job Support Schemes, these are the latest financial support schemes designed to help businesses get through this crisis.
On 5th November 2020, the Chancellor announced that an extension to this scheme. A third grant will cover a 3 month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 March 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant calculated at 80% of 3 months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total.
Read more on the government website and find out whether you are eligible to apply.
This is a loan designed to help small and medium-sized businesses. The government will guarantee 80% of the finance to the lender. They will also pay interest and any fees for the first 12 months. If you feel you may be eligible, the scheme is open until 31 March 2021.
Read more about CBILS and find a lender on the government website.
This scheme is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow up to 25% of their turnover, a total of £2,000 to £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan. For the first 12 months, there won’t be any fees or interest to pay. After the first year, the interest rate will be 2.5% a year. It takes moments to apply and the payment can be in your account in days. The scheme is open for applications until 31st March 2021.
Read more about the CBBL.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) is designed to support businesses that have been required to close because of government-imposed local lockdown restrictions for at least 3 weeks.
It is a grant scheme and for businesses that pay business rates on their premises. However, local councils may (at their discretion) provide funding for those businesses that don’t pay business rates.
Read more and check your eligibility for this grant on the government website.
The government has announced an extension to the flexible furlough scheme until the end of March which will now cover 80% of wages for the days employees are unable to work. Employers are only required to pay National Insurance and pension contributions.
Read more about this latest update.
Useful Links for Financial Concerns and Mental Health
Financial concerns can have a negative impact on your mental health, causing stress and anxiety in an already difficult time. Looking after your mental health has never been more important.
These charities and resource websites can help you and your colleagues if you are struggling.
- Citizens Advice – Informative resource for concerns surrounding COVID-19 and finance
- Mind – Charity for Mental Health with excellent resources and support phone lines
- Turn2Us – Charity supporting those in financial distress
- Anxiety UK – Charity dedicated to supporting individuals who are struggling with stress and anxiety. They also offer workplace training to help you support your team
- NHS Mental Health Support Links – The NHS has listed charities that can offer specific advice and support for a number of mental health concerns.
Planning ahead for your business
On 22nd February 2021, Boris Johnson made an announcement setting out his four steps to easing England’s lockdown for different parts of society and the economy. Boris Johnson says the lockdown will be eased in four steps with a minimum of five weeks between each step.
The Prime Minister hopes to be able to lift the majority of rules by 21st June, but this is dependent on cases, deaths and hospital admissions continuing to fall. The five-week period between each step is to ensure four weeks for data to be gathered with at least 1-week notice if any changes need to be made. Boris Johnson was clear that the decision to move into the next stage will be based on “data not dates” but gave a rough estimation as to when this might be at the earliest. Read our article on how weddings are affected by each step of unlocking for more information on this.
- April to June – If these four stages go ahead, we shall see a steady expansion of weddings. It will be easier for local authorities to regulate and monitor weddings in Covid-safe venues and we’d like to see those venues opening under restaurant guidelines with numbers dictated by risk assessments and capacity. Solutions are needed to enable Covid-safe weddings to take place in other venues such as marquees at home, as these events haven’t previously been overseen by anyone with Health and Safety training. Many other activities such as photobooths, close-up magic, fireworks, live entertainment, as well as drinks and canapé receptions, have now been adapted to work within Covid guidelines and may be permitted under Covid-risk assessments.
- July to September – The number of recent bookings for this period, especially September, shows that confidence is high. There is real hope that weddings can return to near-normal later in the summer. It is so much easier to enable good ventilation and use of outdoor spaces in the summer months. We are confident that data from Spring weddings will demonstrate that larger weddings with fewer restrictions can be supported and that any breaches in social distancing haven’t put guests or staff at unnecessary risk.
- October onwards – Advances in ventilation for venues, along with a wider rollout of vaccines, should ensure that it is safer for large numbers to socialise indoors during the winter months. This may be the point that marquee weddings at home become comparatively safe, with processes for COVID-safe weddings in venues well documented and easy to replicate.
Be ready for proposal season
40% of proposals take place from December to mid-February and this year we are expecting a higher number as there has been a pent-up market over the past 8 months.
It is easy to just focus on surviving the winter but for those with confidence in their business plan, early 2021 will be the best opportunity to build up a strong flow of bookings to help your business recover fast.
Work out the most cost-effective way to attract new bookings, through updating your website, spending time on social media, adding your business to wedding directories or guest blogging.
Speak to a member of our team to find out more about how we can help you to promote your business during this important marketing period. Our offices are open as usual and you can call us on 01235 770078 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.