In these unprecedented and worrying times, it is natural that your thoughts will turn to the financial impact that the pandemic will have on your organisation. During times of enforced closure, income is likely to significantly reduce while costs may continue to exist. Organisations that own, lease or licence their facilities and those that employ staff/coaches and pay taxes are likely to face added overheads.
Government Support Packages
On the 5th January 2021 the Government released various support packages which they have made available to try and reduce the negative financial impact on organisations (including clubs/groups), businesses and the self-employed. Full information on the support available can be accessed here however these schemes include:
Business Support Grants (England)
One off, top up grants of between £4,000 and £9,000 per property are available to help organisations in the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors through to the Spring. Any business, which occupies a property and is the business rate payer, that has been legally required to close as a result of the national lockdown, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, may be eligible for a grant. Grants will be allocated on a per-property basis. The value of the grant available varies based on the rateable value of the property:
£15,000 or under
£15,000 - £51,000
These one-off grants are available in addition to existing support measures for businesses. For further details click here.
Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) 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. Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria and can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG. Click the link to your council’s website: Find your local council
Please note that it may take time for your Local Authority to update information on their website regarding how to access and apply for this grant.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (up to 30 April 2021)
If your organisation has a paid workforce that you cannot maintain because your operations have been affected by the coronavirus, you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough. This scheme enables you to claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Click here for more information.
There are various other Government support packages and schemes available which include but are not limited to:
- A 12-month business rates holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses.
- Business Loan Schemes (including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loans)
- Specific funds for Social Enterprise and Charities (including Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund)
- The ability to deferring VAT and Income Tax payments.
The Government’s Business Support Finder can help you find out whether your organisation is eligible for any of the support packages: Government Business Support Finder
Sport England Funds
Sport England has released a number of different funds to help support organisations’ return to play. These include:
Return to Play: Small Grants This fund offers grants of between £300 and £10,000 to help organisations who deliver sport and activity to respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a coronavirus-safe way. The fund can contribute towards the costs incurred by issues such as having to deliver activity to smaller groups than normal or purchasing the correct hygiene and safety equipment. As a result of the current lockdown restrictions, the fund can also contribute up to £2,000 towards the running costs of organisations that support the most deprived communities in England. Priority will be given to organisations located in the 30% most deprived areas of England (with an IMD ranking of between 1 and 9,853). Click here to view the IMD ranking of your organisation’s location. Return to Play: Small Grants Further Info
Return to Play: Community Asset Fund This fund offers grants of between £10,001 and £50,000 to help local sports clubs and organisations adapt and open important places and spaces to help their local community return to play safely. This could include contributing to covering the costs incurred by converting existing space to meet social distancing guidelines or improving a facility’s ventilation. Again priority will be given to organisations delivering in the 30% most deprived areas. Return to Play: Community Asset Fund Further Info
Return to Play: Active Together This is a crowdfunding initiative that can match fund, up to £10,000, successful Crowdfunder campaigns. It is designed to help clubs and organisations to run their own crowdfunding campaigns and provides access to expert advice and guidance to support you. Active Together can support fundraising for things such as a loss of income due to the crisis, or any other Covid-19 related needs. Return to Play: Active Together Further Info
Financial support packages may also be available from your Local Authority, your National Governing Body of sport, banks/lenders, plus grant giving and philanthropic organisations. These may continue to evolve so please check the relevant websites regularly. Further information can also be the found on:
- The Government's Business Support website
- Sport England
- The Sport and Recreation Alliance SRA
- Good Finance – Covid-19 Resource Hub for Charities & Social Enterprises
Please keep reviewing these websites regularly for the latest information.