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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Watch the #WeMakeEvents video and find out more about how you can get involved.
UK Music have teamed up with recording artists, venues, festivals, production companies and industry businesses for the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign. Their aim is to highlight the importance of the music sector and have attracted support from Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Paul McCartney.
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
Key industry bodies, the Association of British Theatre Technicians, PLASA, Production Services Association, Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, have collaborated to create letters templates for you to send to your local MP.
Support available for businesses from the UK Government
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover 80% of the wages of ‘retained’ employees, capped at a maximum of £2,500/month per employee. In order to ease out of this scheme, employers must pay National Insurance and pension contributions from August, followed by 10% of pay from September, rising to 20% from October. Furthermore, employees may return to work part-time from July with employers paying 100% of wages. This scheme will end on 31 October.
- Bounce Back Loans are available for small and micro businesses, offering loans which are 100% Government backed and interest free for 12 months.
- 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. To apply, talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers as soon as possible.
- The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund will pay 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 will pay grants worth £10,000 to companies who do not pay business rates due to small business rate relief (SBBR). If you are eligible, you will be 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.
- 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.
- The Business Support Finder Tool is a quick and easy way to find out what financial support is available for your business.
- Business rates have been scrapped for all ‘retail, leisure and hospitality’* companies.
- IR35 has been postponed by a year to 6 April 2021.
- GOV.UK provides more information on all of the above.
* PLASA has written to the 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.
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 Coronavirus outbreak.
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 allows most self-employed people in the UK to claim a grant worth 80% lost earnings across three months, capped at a total of £7,500 (£2,500 per month). The grant will be paid from June in one lump sum. A second grant will be made available in August, offering 70% of lost earnings covering a further three months, capped at a total of £6,750 (£2,250 per month).
To be eligible, 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. If you’re eligible, you must apply on or before 13 July 2020.
Help for mortgages and rent
The UK Government has set a holiday for mortgage payments until 31 October– we advise you contact your bank. The UK Government has also announced a temporary ban on evictions for renters.
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 Coronavirus Self-employed Income Support Scheme payment. Also, the Government has sought to make claiming easier by removing the requirement to attend a Job Centre.
- 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 has 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
Light & Sound International (LSi)
LSi have compiled a comprehensive live list of news, resources and offers in relation to Covid-19.
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. They are encouraging freelancers to complete the BIG FREELANCER SURVEY to build a big picture that represents how the pandemic has impacted our livelihoods.
Music Industry Therapist Collective
The MITC has a free downloadable guide to anxiety relief and self-isolation.