COVID-19 has created extra challenges for the social sector. Many of your staff may now be working from home. You may have had to cancel events and change how you support your service users.
There is support out there to help, from new technologies to guidance and funding, but it isn’t always easy to find. We’re trying to bring all the relevant resources together on this page and will be updating it regularly.
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- COVID-19 Emergency Funding for Charities and Social Sector Organisations
- Charity Bank’s response to COVID-19.
This page was last updated on 01 April 2020.
What measures has the Government announced that will help charities and social enterprises affected by COVID-19?
Government support measures of interest include:
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The scheme will cover up to 80 per cent of wages for those who would otherwise have been laid off due to COVID-19. The scheme is backdated to 1 March and it also applies to some workers laid off after 28 February. All UK businesses, including charities and social enterprises, are eligible.
To access the support employers will need to designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify employees of this change; then submit information on ‘furloughed workers’ to HMRC via a new online portal.
Deferring VAT payments
VAT payments will be deferred for three months from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. All UK businesses are eligible. No applications required.
Statutory Sick Pay relief
Relief to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to employees for sickness absence due to COVID-19 available to any UK business with under 250 employees. Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP. A rebate scheme is being created.
Rates holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses
A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. No action is required. The government has published guidance for local authorities on determining eligibility criteria for business rate relief. Nursery discount guidance has been published here.
Grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Those of a rateable value of under £15,000, will receive £10,000. Those with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000, will receive £25,000. No action is required. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.
Small Business Grant Scheme
Small businesses based in England, that occupy property and receive Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief (RRR) are eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000 to help meet ongoing business costs.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Small and medium-sized UK businesses may be able to access bank lending and overdrafts. To be considered you must have a turnover of under £45 million and meet the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria.
HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
UK businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s Coronavirus helpline on 0800 0159 559.
The COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme
The Welsh Government has announced a £100m 'COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme' to support Welsh businesses, social enterprises and charities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Scheme will be available from the Development Bank of Wales for a limited period. It is intended to provide support to businesses who are experiencing cash flow difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
Find out more on the COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme.
Further information from the government:
- GOV.UK: COVID-19 latest information and advice
- Public Health England: Coronavirus guidance
- NHS coronavirus advice
- Worldometer: Global statistics on the coronavirus
- World Health Organisation (WHO): Information and guidance on COVID-19
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
- Financial Times: Coronavirus tracked - the latest figures as the pandemic spreads
Further guidance for charities and social enterprises:
- Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO): COVID-19 guidance
- Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA): COVID-19 guidance
- Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA): COVID-19 guidance
- Social Enterprise UK: Coronavirus Support and Resources
- Social Enterprise Mark: Support and Resources for Social Enterprises during the Coronavirus crisis
NCVO: Protecting your staff, volunteers and beneficiaries
- Preventing the spread of COVID-19
- Protecting staff, volunteers and visitors
- Employees and sick leave
- Events, board meetings and AGMs
- Supporting staff and volunteers to work from home
- Supporting beneficiaries/service users
- Supporting members of communities facing discrimination
NCVO: Contingency planning and financial implications
- Developing a contingency plan and how will your insurance will be impacted
- Immediate actions to manage your finances
- What to expect from funders
- How your investments will be impacted
- Other financial implications
Free business support for charities:
Cranfield Trust provide free tailored business support to charities and the social sector. During this challenging time, all services can be accessed remotely, so you can still get the expert business support you need, wherever you are.
Here are some of the ways Cranfield Trust can help you – all these services are free for charities to access:
- 1:1 telephone support - from experts on topics including finance, communication, and business contingency planning.
- HRNet - tailored HR and employment advice for charities in England and Wales.
- Management Consultancy – longer term support, to help your charity thrive.
- Mentoring - personal support for leaders in difficult times.
- GOV.UK: Guidance for social or community care and residential settings on COVID-19
- GOV.UK: COVID-19 guidance for educational settings
- NHS England: Coronavirus information for health professionals
- GOV.UK: Filing charity annual returns during the Coronavirus pandemic
- GOV.UK: Guidance on charities and risk management
- Zurich: Organisational resilience guidance on pandemic planning
- Charities Facilities Management Group: Business continuity for charities
- Bates Wells: Navigating COVID-19 legal issues
- WEIL: COVID-19
- Mills & Reeve: Coronavirus
- Linklaters: Covid-19 - Practical guidance on significant commercial and legal issues
- Charity Commission on safe giving to charities as communities respond to Coronavirus
- Action Fraud: Coronavirus-related fraud reports increase by 400% in March
- Action Fraud: Charities
- Action Fraud: Loan Scams
- INTERPOL: INTERPOL warns of financial fraud linked to COVID-19
- Charity Fraud Awareness Hub
- Fraud Advisory Panel
- ACAS: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for employers and employees
- Croner: Coronavirus Q&A for UK Employers
- National Emergencies Trust: UK disaster relief fund for frontline charities
- Scottish Government: £350m fund for councils, charities, businesses and community groups
Charity Bank has developed a list of emergency funds for charities and social enterprises that are experiencing difficulties. Read more
Fundraising & Philanthropy:
- The Institute of Fundraising: Information for fundraisers about coronavirus
- NPC: Why government and philanthropists must come together for charities now
- GOV.UK: COVID-19 travel advice
- GOV.UK: COVID-19 specified countries and areas with implications for returning travellers or visitors arriving in the UK
- Social Investors: respond to COVID-19 (co-signed by Charity Bank)
- Grant Funders: respond to COVID-19
- National Lottery Community Fund: response to COVID-19
Mental health resource:
Working from home resources:
- BBC: Coronavirus: Five ways to work well from home
- SCVO: John Fitzgerald - My top ten remote working tips
- SHP: Home working advice and wellbeing considerations for self-isolation
- FT: Tips for working from home — in style
- Ofcom: Stay Connected during the coronavirus
- Vested: Tips & Tricks for Remote Work
We are entering an unprecedented and fast-moving, constantly changing situation. Whilst we will do our best to keep this page updated, it should not be considered a source for the latest government advice which should be obtained directly from https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. Links to external providers should not be considered a recommendation or endorsement of those providers’ products and/or services.