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FAQs - Covid-19 funding and support

09 April 2020

For charities and social enterprises.

Many charities and social enterprises are being buffeted by the storm caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Most will have had to significantly re-organise the way they operate, some will have been forced to shut up shop without any certainty of how long this may last.

Uppermost in the minds of all will be the need to protect beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and anyone else who might come into contact with the charity from Covid-19. Alongside this many charities will be faced with the competing needs of providing support to beneficiaries at this time of heightened need versus securing the immediate and longer term financial position of the charity.

For many frontline organisations a pressing priority is to bolster the short term cashflow position.

What Government support is available for charities and social enterprises?

The Government has launched a package of measures that many charities and social enterprises may be able access including:

  • the Job Retention Scheme.
  • Statutory Sick Pay relief, covering those who have self-isolated in accordance with Government guidance.
  • Business rates holiday which will assist charities and social enterprises in the retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery sectors, including charity shops, sports clubs  and art and heritage  attractions.
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – which is available to any charity or social enterprise that generate more than 50% of its turnover from trading, provided the CBILS-backed facility will be used to support primarily trading in the UK.
  • Deferral of VAT payments which were otherwise due to be paid in the period 20 March to 30 June 2020.
  • HMRC's Time to Pay Scheme.

For further details of the above and other government support see: Government Guidance: Covid-19 Support For Businesses

In addition to the above measures the Government is providing £750 million for frontline charities across the UK to ensure they can meet heightened demand as a result of the virus as well as continuing their day-to-day activities supporting those in need. The funding package includes:

  • £360 million to be distributed direct from government departments to charities providing key services and helping vulnerable people through the Covid crisis. £200 million has been earmarked for hospices, with the remainder going to the St John's Ambulance, Citizens Advice Bureau and charities that support vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse and disabled people.
  • £370 million for small local charities working with vulnerable people, including through the National Lottery Community Fund
  • A Government promise to match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s 'Big Night In' fundraiser on 23 April – with a guaranteed government contribution of £20 million.
  • Government departments are working 'at pace' to identify priority recipients and the National Lottery Community Fund is urgently looking at putting an application system in place, so that charities can receive 'in the coming weeks'.

For further details see: £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities

What other funding and support is there for charities and social enterprises?

A comprehensive list of over 200 UK wide, UK country, regional, local and global sources of funding and support is available here: Coronavirus Funders List .

Co-operatives UK has collated a list of funding sources that may be most relevant to the co-operatives and social enterprises. See here: Co-op UK Covid-19-related-funding.

This article was updated on 09.04.2020

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Chris Billington or any of the Charities and Social Economy team on 0113 243 6100.

You can also keep up to date by following Wrigleys Charities team on Twitter

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors. 




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