Second national lockdown starts

Today marks the start of a second national lockdown, set to last until 2nd December 2020. We know it’s a tough time for businesses in the city. It’s frustrating to have to close your doors again just as you’d started get back on track. However please remember that by following the rules you are helping to protect Portsmouth and save lives. We have outlined details of the extended furlough scheme and other grants and loans that will help you get through this difficult time. We are also here to help you – you can call our business helpline Monday to Friday on 023 9284 1641 and we are regularly updating our business pages.

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Furlough Scheme Extended

The government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until 31 March 21 with employees receiving 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked.

You will still have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5 per cent of total employment costs.

Claim here

Covid-19 Business Grants

The government has announced initial details of three national business grants that will be available to support businesses affected by the lockdown period. We’ve added further details and eligibility information on the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) and the Additional Restrictions Grant to our grants page and will be adding application forms in due course.

More information

Loan schemes extended

The government has extended three business interruption loan schemes and announced a top up to the Bounce Back Loan scheme. The Future Fund Scheme and the Business Interruption Loan Schemes for large and small businesses and the Bounce Back Loan scheme have all been extended until 31 January 2021. You can find more details on these schemes, and other business help on our dedicated support pages.

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Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant extended

The government has extended its Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to cover the periods of November 2020 to January 2021 and February to April 2021.

To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed people must have been previously eligible for the scheme, although you do not have to have claimed the previous grants.

The online service for the next grant will be available from 30 November 2020.

Find out more

Grants for greater wellbeing

The D-Day Story are offering grants of up to £500 to local charities and community groups to support greater wellbeing for the people of Portsmouth.

The grants must be used for projects that can be delivered in line with COVID-19 guidance and that meet one or more of the following:

  • Improving the health and wellbeing of local people
  • Community celebrations and bringing people together online
  • Sharing the stories of D-Day and Landing Craft Tank 7074

There will be two rounds of applications, with the deadline for the first round of applications on 15 November.

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Are you a Portsmouth City Council business tenant?

We know this is still a very unsettling time for our tenants and we will continue to support you as much as we can during this period, particularly those tenants that are most at risk. Our coronavirus tenant support scheme is still open so please complete the form if you need help.

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Inclusive Recovery Fund open

The Inclusive Recovery Fund is a £4.75 million fund to help social entrepreneurs in England, designed to help social entrepreneurs deliver their important services and grow their impact while adapting to the challenges the Coronavirus crisis has presented.

The fund will offer grants between £10,000 and £500,000 to asset or mission-locked ventures, with an emphasis on ventures with ideas to accelerate their growth, build resilience and create a deep and lasting impact.

It aims in particular to support those with direct experience of the social problems they are seeking to address, known as leaders with lived experience.

Applications are open until Friday 13th November.

Apply now

Post Brexit hiring laws

The way you hire from the EU is changing. From 1 January 2021, the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system that will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which employers recruit internationally.

You will need to be a licensed sponsor to hire eligible workers from outside the UK. This normally takes eight weeks and fees apply.

Find out more