The application window for the Liverpool City Region ‘Trading On’ scheme has closed.

The deadline for your business to apply for the Trading On scheme has now passed. The application window closed on Friday 12 November at 5pm. If your businesses application has been accepted, you should expect to receive your payment in January 2022.

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Liverpool City Region leaders have agreed to extend the deadline for their £8.1m Trading On Scheme designed to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new window for applications opens 10.00 am Monday 29 November 2021 and closes 5.00 pm Friday 10 December 2021. Businesses that have already applied are being appraised and do not need to reapply.

The additional £8.1m to support local businesses – known as the Trading On scheme – was secured by the Liverpool City Region after it successfully distributed more than £44m in emergency funding to more than 4000 businesses across the city region.

The original £44m from the government’s Additional Restrictions Grant scheme was secured by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, following negotiations with government when the city region was first put into Tier Three restrictions in October 2020.

The £8.1m in funding available under the Trading On Scheme is allocated to the city region’s six local authorities, proportionate to population.  This latest support scheme will specifically support small or medium-sized businesses (SMEs), with between 10 and 249 employees.

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The government has provided Liverpool City Region Combined Authority with additional funding due to the impact of Covid-19 on the city region economy. This means each local authority will receive a small amount of funding to help businesses severely impacted by the pandemic.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding is being used for the ‘Trading on Scheme’ and will be administered by each local authority in the city region: Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. The Trading on Scheme budget allocated to Liverpool City Council is £2,592,501.84. This latest support scheme will specifically support small or medium-sized businesses, with between 10 and 249 employees. We have been working with Liverpool Chamber, Marketing Liverpool, Liverpool Hospitality and Liverpool Council to ensure that we keep support Liverpool’s business community.

The deadline to submit your application is Friday 12 November, 5pm.

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Who can apply?

The Trading on Scheme is for small to medium sized businesses and charities, based in Liverpool, who have been severely impacted as a result of Covid-19.

Businesses and charities that meet all the following criteria can apply:

  • Can accept the grant under Subsidy Control/State Aid rules.
  • Is viable and trading on or before 1 April 2021.
  • Employ globally between 10 and 249 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) working at least 35 hours per week and are on payroll (sub-contracted staff are not counted towards the headcount).
  • Is based and has commercial property-related costs in Liverpool and can evidence 2021 annual rental costs including service charges and annual business rates (where applicable).
  • Must demonstrate the business has been severely impacted as a result Covid-19. You must provide proof, for example, loss of turnover or income. A suitably qualified accounted must also verify this loss by completing the accountant’s letter template (see ‘before you apply’).

Who can’t apply?

Your business or charity is not eligible for this grant if any of the following apply:

  • You have received grant payments that, along with any grant funding that may be awarded under this scheme, exceed the maximum permitted levels of Subsidy Control.
  • You employ fewer than 10 full time equivalent staff or greater than 249 staff.
  • You cannot evidence loss via an accountant’s letter.
  • You are based in residential property.
  • You are a mobile businesses without commercial property-related costs.
  • You are advertising and billboard properties.
  • You are predominantly funded by the public sector (e.g. schools and other education providers, care homes, health care settings)
  • You are a place of worship (except organisations trading within these settings)
  • Your businesses is dissolved or about to be dissolved.
  • Your business is insolvent or has had insolvency action instigated against you, including any petition or subject to a striking off notice. (The records of each business and of each individual applying for a grant will be checked as part of the grant appraisal process.)
  • Your business is dormant, i.e. not trading but not insolvent.

Before you apply:

You must submit the following information with your application:

  • Completed Accountant’s letter using the template provided, with supporting evidence, referencing key data from accounts, which will quantify the loss incurred by the business over the comparative period.
  • Last three months of full business bank statements showing all business transactions, containing name, address, full account number and sort code
  • Details of annual property costs (business rates bill/s for all premises occupied in the Liverpool City Region, copy of full signed lease agreement/s, rental/mortgage payments)
  • A recent utility bill (gas, electricity, water, broadband); please note mobile phone bills are not admissible.
  • Names and values of previous grants received during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • It is imperative you involve a businesses accountant to support your application.

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Summary of details:

The new ‘Trading On’ grants for businesses are targeted slightly differently for businesses operating in the city of Liverpool.

The new grant is open for businesses with 10 – 249 full-time employees that can show they have been substantially impacted by Covid restrictions – either turnover, profitability or number of employees, with specific reference to loss of income compared with pre-Covid performance.

All businesses apply through their local City Council portal from Monday 29 November at 10am to Friday 10 December at 5pm and businesses must submit evidence to support their application – the involvement of the businesses accountant is crucial in supporting the application.

Eligible businesses are limited to one grant for the whole business, not for each location. If you have more than one premises in the Liverpool City Region, you must apply to the Local Authority where the highest number of your full-time employees are based.

Your local City Council will use a criteria to determine the number of successful applications and the size of grants distributed. These grants will be between £5,000 and £50,000. They will not be evaluated on a first come first serve basis.

All businesses can apply for the grant, but Liverpool City Council are particularly keen to support Visitor Economy businesses as they have been most substantially and directly hit by the restrictions.

It is anticipated that payments of grants will be made in January 2022.

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In a joint statement, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, Cllr Mike Wharton, Leader, Halton Borough Council, Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader, Knowsley Borough Council, Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Ian Maher, Leader, Sefton Borough Council, Cllr David Baines, Leader, St. Helens Borough Council and Cllr Janette Williamson, Leader, Wirral Borough Council said:

“Throughout the past 18 months, we have worked together to project our region from the biggest challenge it has faced since the war. That collaboration, creativity and hard work resulted in millions of pounds of support that helped sustain thousands of businesses in all parts of our region through the worst of the pandemic.

“More than £44m was distributed to more than 4,000 businesses, saving many more thousands of jobs and livelihoods in the process. We start our recovery from a much stronger position as a result.

“That recovery is already well underway and received a massive boost in May, with the launch of Mayor Steve Rotheram’s £150m COVID Recovery Fund, which has allowed our region to get a headstart on the rest of the country.

“Today, we’re launching another £8.1m of funding for SMEs, who make up a massive chunk of the local economy. Together, we are making sure that the Liverpool City Region has the fastest and strongest recovery possible, with no one left behind.”

The government requires each council to exercise its local knowledge and judgment in devising a grant scheme that aligns best with the particular economic characteristics of its area by funding those businesses that have been severely impacted by Covid-19. Because of this and the limited amount of funding available, the amounts of grant funding for individual businesses will vary across different local authority areas.

For more information on the individual schemes, including eligibility and how to apply, businesses should visit their local council website.