Coronavirus is having a huge impact on businesses and charities right across Wales. And in the sports sector, the pandemic has pulled down the shutters on events, training and activity which will no doubt leave many clubs and organisations struggling financially.
Here is a round-up of government support, advice, loans and grants and available to help you stay afloat.
Latest updates and advice
The best thing you can do is keep up to date. The situation is changing quickly so you need to stay on top of the latest policies and advice.
You can do this by visiting the Welsh Sports Association (WSA) which is updating the Welsh sports sector on a daily basis.
If you sign up to become a WSA member, you can gain access to free expert helplines which can provide advice on HR, VAT, legal issues, taxation, insurance and safeguarding.
A really important note for clubs…. Clubs that are affiliated to a national governing body that is a member of the WSA can share the benefits for free. Check to see if your NGB is a member here.
The Welsh Government has announced the following measures:
Covid-19 non-domestic rates (NDR) grant schemes
- Businesses in Wales have until 30 June to apply for a grant linked to Non-Domestic Rates (NDR). The scheme will close to new applications at 5pm on 30 June. If you are eligible and you have not already applied, make sure you apply via your local authority before this date. Any applications received after 5pm on 30 June 2020 will not be considered.
- A new £26m support package – an extension to the existing Covid-19 grants scheme announced last month. This will support an additional 2,600 properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or below. This includes charity run shops, sports premises and community centres which, until now, have not been eligible for this type of support. Read more here.
- Business Rates Relief
- The Economic Resilience Fund - providing additional support to businesses, charities and social enterprises, is now paused, following a huge number of applications.
- Business Advisory Support. Although the Economic Resilience Fund remains paused, business advisory support is still available online through the Business Wales service to assist with financial planning and recovery. Find out more here.
Welsh Government and Third Sector Grants
The Welsh Government has issued guidance for third sector organisations in receipt of Welsh Government grants during the disruption caused by COVID-19.
The UK Government has announced a number of UK-wide measures
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing. From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the grant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June. This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current 3 week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June. Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12 June. For further details click here.
- Extra protection for businesses has been announced with a ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments.
- Bounce Back Loans will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for loans of up to £50,000. The scheme is now live. Find a lender here.
- The Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) has been extended to the end of June - a one-month extension.
- Business Support Finder Tool. You can use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.
- Webinars are available to explain The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. Register here.
- Tax credits payments will not be affected for those people who can’t work their normal hours because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments affected if they are still employed or self-employed. More here.
- The Self-employment Income Support Scheme starts in earnest from 4 May with HMRC contacting eligible customers. HMRC is also inviting its customers to go online and check their eligibility for SEISS.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- The COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility for larger firms administered by Bank of England on behalf of HM Treasury
- The Time to Pay service for businesses paying tax
Help with tax liabilities
HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
For those who are unable to pay due to coronavirus, HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore:
- agreeing an instalment arrangement
- suspending debt collection proceedings
- cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately
The helpline number is 0800 0159 559 - and is an addition to other HMRC phone contact numbers.
Support for Employers from JobCentre Plus
The Employer Help website from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) offers a range of advice to help your business overcome the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether your business needs to expand rapidly, or you’re worried about redundancies, you can find advice on next steps and the best ways to support your staff including:
- financial support for your business
- support from Jobcentre Plus
- Coronavirus business support finder
- Jobsearch help for your staff
- financial support for your staff
Support from high street banks
Many high street banks have announced measures such as payment holidays to help customers manage the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The following are general helplines or dedicated numbers for Coronavirus support:
- Natwest – speak to your relationship manager or contact 0345 711 4477
- Barclays – speak to your relationship manager or call 0800 1971 086
- Lloyds – promoting up to £2 billion of finance without fees to small businesses. Speak to your relationship manager.
- HSBC – Helpline 08000 121 614.
- RBS – Speak to relationship manager or call 0345 600 2230
Summary of Government Support
The WCVA’s Third Sector Resilience Fund for Wales remains open to applications: https://wcva.cymru/covid-19-two-new-funds-announced-to-support-voluntary-organisations/ It is providing cashflow support for voluntary organisations in Wales during the current Covid-19 crisis.
The fund is made up of 75% grant and 25% initially interest-free loan. It is available for incorporated voluntary sector organisations that have seen an unprecedented drop in fundraising and donation income. It is designed to help fund the costs of ongoing revenue expenditure, including salaries. Organisations can apply for up to £75,000.
In addition, the WCVA is offering the Furlough Wales Bridging Loan. Up to £25,000 is available to tide voluntary organisations over while waiting for furlough reimbursements from the Government. The bridging loan is available to organisations regardless of the nature of their drop in income (for example, it could be because of a fall in trading income rather than fundraising and donation income).
For more details and to find out if you are eligible, click here.
You can now register for Post Covid-19: health, social care and the voluntary sector – a discussion for charities, local authorities and other not-for-profit stakeholders working in the health and social care environment to identify learning from the Covid-19 pandemic and to explore priorities for co-working. The event takes place on 8 June at 2pm. Click here to register.
It is also worth looking at the WCVA’s:
- weekly newsletter which helps voluntary organisations with issues around digital skills, services and COVID-19 – sign up here.
- guidance to support voluntary organisations with safeguarding issues related to financial transactions during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here.
Sport Wales Emergency Relief Fund
The Sport Wales Emergency Relief Fund is targeted at clubs who are already facing significant challenges after a difficult few weeks and who are likely to need immediate financial support over the next 12 weeks (up to 30th June 2020) if they are to remain an important part of their communities in the future. Each eligible club will be able to apply for a maximum of £5,000.
Any organisation or individuals who can access support through the government’s financial packages should do so in the first instance.
Please note that Sport Wales is working on wider packages of support for its partners. These will be announced in due course.
- The England and Wales Cricket Board’s interim support package aims to assist cricket at all levels of the game.
- The Lawn Tennis Association – in consultation with Tennis Wales – is making a support package available to tennis venues, coaches, officials and players
- The Welsh Rugby Union has announced emergency funding as well as an additional £1000 to all clubs as part of its contingency plans
- Bridgend Sports Support Fund - all sports clubs in the Bridgend area can apply for immediate support towards general operating costs. The deadline for submitting applications is 15 May 2020. Contact email@example.com
- The Swimathon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund has been set up to help small swimming and aquatic organisations. Organisations can apply for grants of a minimum amount of £250 and up to a maximum amount of £1,000.
- Magic Little Grants supports organisations with an income under £250,000 or in their first year of operation.
- The National Emergencies Trust (NET) supports local charities and grassroots organisations. Organisations can apply via their local community foundation. You can contact the Community Foundation for Wales on 020 7713 9326.
- The National Lottery Community Fund will continue to honour current commitments and will continue to be flexible with existing grants. But over the next six months they will prioritise covid-19 and charities that are best placed to support affected communities. Find out more here.
- The Steve Morgan Foundation - North Wales has introduced an emergency hardship fund. Up to £1 million a week for 12 weeks will support charities and not-for-profit companies operating in North Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside. Apply here.
Crowdfunder is waiving its transaction fees to help clubs generate much-needed income.
Fraud and Cybersecurity
With millions of us now working from home, cyber-attacks are on the rise. To find out how to protect yourself, the WSA has published the following guidance.
The ICO has also written a blog for a community groups about data protection.
Welsh Language help
The Welsh Language Commissioner’s office is offering free proofreading of 1000 words to voluntary organisations. Just send the work to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also provide its usual support and advice in planning your Welsh language use.
Club Solutions was created to help sports clubs and volunteers in Wales. So, if you have any further questions or you would like to find out more about managing your club’s finances, please get in touch with our friendly team, or let’s chat on social!