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.
Government support for UK businesses
Arts Council England Culture Recovery Fund (CRF): Arts Council England have announced details of the remaining £400 million worth of grants available from the Culture Recovery Fund. Businesses can apply for grants of £25,000+ or repayable loans of £1,000,000+ until 26 January. Arts Council England confirm that both new and unsuccessful applicants from round one are welcome to apply, as well as supply-chain organisations. Read an important update here.
Arts Council England Developing your Creative Practice (DYCP): This fund aims to support creative practitioners who want to take time to focus on their creative development. £18 million has been invested by the National Lottery and will be awarded over four rounds between October 2020 and October 2021.
The Furlough Scheme, which was due to end on 31 October, is now extended until the end of April 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Employers can choose to bring employees back part time or furlough them full time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions. Furthermore, anyone made redundant after 23 September can be rehired and put back on furlough.
Local Restriction Support Grants (LRSG) are for businesses that have been forced to close due to local and/or national restrictions. Applications must be made via your Local Authority. Read the new Government guidance for Local Authorities.
Additional Restriction Grants (ARG) are for businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed. The scheme provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. Government specifies: “This could include businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.” The DCMS has confirmed that the recent ARG top-up is still open to events businesses so we urge you to contact your local authority to find out more. Furthermore, some PLASA members have reported success by contacting their local authority SME growth manager.
Discretionary Grants have been created to support small and micro businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes. Applications must be made via your Local Authority.
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 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.
Creative Scotland’s Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers has re-opened with £3 million available to support creative freelancers working in Scotland who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scotland’s Pivotal Event Business Fund has also been set up and will award Scottish event businesses grants between £25,000 and £150,000. Please note that the first step of the application (Expression of Interest) has now closed.
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.
- 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
Government support for UK freelancers and self-employed
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 is now accepting applications until 29 January 2021 which will cover another 80% of average trading profits from November to the end of April, up to a maximum of £7,500. A fourth and final grant is expected to be announced soon.
The additional third and fourth grants are only for those eligible for the first two – 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.
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.
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
Events Industry Forum
The Events Industry Forum has published an update to the COVID-19 outdoor events guidance, produced in association with DCMS.
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.
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.