Member support from PLASA
Free business helpline
As part of your membership, you have unlimited access to business support from Quest, both Legal and HR advice. You can phone Quest directly on 0116 243 7588 or log into your online portal here. (Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t have your login details).
Free HR and employment law service
We have arranged one hour of one-to-one time with Nicky Gleadow, Managing Director for The HR Point. To use this please phone 01903 783584 or email email@example.com.
Health & Safety documents
PLASA have collated most of the known Health & Safety documents produced by the industry and the government with relation to a return to work in the Covid-19 period.
Industry surveys and initiatives
Join the collective effort to amplify the industry’s voice and call for meaningful support from government until the industry is allowed to operate in a way that is not limited by social distancing policies. Click here to find out how you can get involved.
Working to support government officials in understanding the unique issues facing the events industry due to Covid-19, we have produced two infographics illustrating how the events supply chain will be impacted without further government support.
Customisable letter templates
We have published an updated set of letter templates ready for you to customise and send to your local MP. Click here to download the letters.
Support available for businesses from the UK Government
The Job Support Scheme will replace the Job Retention Scheme, known as the ‘furlough scheme’, which is due to end 31 October. The new scheme will continue for six months and will protect employees from redundancy.
To be eligible, employees must work for at least a third of their usual hours and be paid accordingly by their employer. The remaining time not worked will be split into three thirds. One third will be paid by the employer and another third will be paid by the government. The government payment is capped at £697.92 per month, so you will receive at least 77% of your pay as long as you earn less than £38,000 per annum.
The Job Retention Bonus will pay employers £1,000 for every member of previously furloughed staff retained to the end of January as long as the employee earns over £520 per month.
Bounce Back Loans are available for small and micro businesses and are 100% government guaranteed. With the new “pay as you grow scheme”, these loan repayments can now be paid over ten years and you can move to interest-only or suspended payments for up to six months without affecting your credit rating.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme will allow qualifying small and medium businesses to borrow up to £5m with no interest payable for six months and an extended payment period of up to ten years. To apply, talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers.
The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund offers grants worth £25,000 to ‘retail, hospitality and leisure’* businesses who currently pay business rates, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. Applications must be made via your local council.
The Small Business Grant Fund offers grants worth £10,000 to companies who do not pay business rates due to small business rate relief (SBBR). If you are eligible, you would have been contacted by your local council.
The Coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund has been created to support small and micro businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes. Applications must be made via your local council.
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding for businesses who create six-month work placements for who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
The New Payment Scheme will allow business who deferred their VAT payments to split it into 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year instead of paying one lump sum in March 2021.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) can be reclaimed by small and medium businesses for paid Covid-19 related absences for up to two weeks without the need of a GP fit note.
IR35 has been postponed by a year to 6 April 2021.
Business rates have been scrapped for all ‘retail, leisure and hospitality’* companies.
* PLASA wrote to DCMS and BEIS seeking clarification on this definition. The Government guidance states that it includes live music venues, theatres and nightclubs, however confusion remains over who is eligible. PLASA has heard from members who have successfully applied for and received grants who say you must keep pushing your local authorities and be prepared to jump through hoops.
- GOV.UK provides more information on all of the above.
- The Business Support Finder Tool is a quick and easy way to find out what financial support is available for your business.
Free advice for businesses and the self-employed via the Government Business Support Helpline:
- England: 0300 456 3565
- Wales: 0300 060 3000
- Northern Ireland: 0800 181 4422
Support with tax: Time to Pay service
HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to help support people through the Covid crisis.
The helpline number is: 0800 0159 559
Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to 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
Support for freelancers and the self-employed from the UK Government
Coronavirus Self-employed Income Support Scheme
The Coronavirus Self-employed Income Support Scheme will continue until the end of the 2021 tax year. This scheme has already provided two grants covering up to 80% and 70% of lost earnings. The third grant will cover 20% of lost profits from November to the end of January capped at £1,875 per month. The fourth and final grant is set to cover a percentage of lost profits from February to the end of April.
These additional grants are only for those eligible for the initial grants – you must be self-employed or a member of a partnership, have an average annual trading profit of less than £50,000, receive over half of your earnings from self-employment, and have been trading in the last financial year, trading now, and planning to do so this coming year.
Help for mortgages and rent
How to claim benefits
If coronavirus means you’re unable to work for any reason and you’ve paid enough National Insurance Contributions, you might be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance if you’re ill, or Universal Credit if you need help with costs like children or housing.
If you’re self-employed and need to claim Universal Credit, the rules around the minimum income floor will be relaxed for the duration of the outbreak of coronavirus. Furthermore, you can still apply for Universal Credit whilst waiting for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme payment.
- This page provides information specifically about coronavirus and claiming benefits
- Here’s how to apply for Universal Credit if you’re having issues paying bills and rent
Free online training
The Department of Education created The Skills Toolkit, a growing directory of free online courses in numeracy and digital skills from recognised organisations such as the Open University, Google, FutureLearn and Cisco Networking Academy.
Support for European and international members
View the European Commission coronavirus resources, including their €2.4 trillion recovery plan for Europe.
Find out more about where you can access EU Finance.
The Enterprise Europe Network is helping SMEs navigate the Covid-19 crisis, providing information about regional, national and European measures.
PEARLE, Live Performance Europe, has created a map of how live events are planning to re-open in various countries across Europe. They are also urging governments to take emergency measures and they have detailed several measures provided by the European Commission to support member states.
Support for the events and entertainment sector
Our Connect to Wellbeing page signposts to mental heath support from across the industry.
Light & Sound International (LSi)
LSi have compiled a comprehensive live list of news, resources and offers in relation to Covid-19.
We Make Events
The campaign website has collated a list of industry funds and mental health support.
Backup, the technical entertainment charity has a Hardship Fund which industry professionals can apply for until 30 October 2020.
Stagehand have launched a Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund, with the first round of applications closing on 27 October.
WOMAD are offering training bursaries for festival crew of up to £2,000.
Society of London Theatre (SOLT) & UK Theatre
A collaborative project to signpost theatre professionals to a range of mental health and financial support.
The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT)
ABTT have compiled another comprehensive list of community initiatives, free training and online events.
Freelancers Make Theatre Work
A collective voice to advocate for the UK freelance theatre workforce.
Music Industry Therapist Collective
The MITC has a free downloadable guide to anxiety relief and self-isolation.