COVID 19 and the resulting isolation measures put forward by the UK Government has had a dramatic impact on Sports Clubs and the Leisure industry in general. In this article we will outline some of the most pertinent measures that are now in place for Clubs to seek support from the government and Sport England.
These measures are in place to help you, we believe that every sports club should be seeking to take advantage of these measures. They will be able to help you with some of the following:
- Cover location Rental costs
- Pay your staff and coaches
- Allow you to pause memberships and replace this income with Grants.
- Give you breathing space on things like Tax & Rates.
Please note that this article does not constitute legal or financial advice and is simply a collation of the most important information on the subject that we feel is pertinent. This information is only relevant to the United Kingdom.
Support from Sport England.
Sport England are now rolling out a £195Million package to helps support sports and physical activity during the Coronavirus outbreak. This fund is not limited to recognised sports, so even if your sport or pastime has not got Sport England Recognition you should still enquire.
Community Emergency Fund
This fund will support any organisation delivering community sport and physical activity can apply to our fund if it’s experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.
Amount – Grants between £300 - £10,000 available.
For more information head to the following page:
Sector Stimulation package
This is a £55million fund to help sports and pastime clubs get back on track once the movement bans have been lifted. If you need support in re-launching your club this may be available as part of this fund. – More information to follow on this in the coming weeks.
All information on how Sport England are aiming to support clubs can be found on their website here :
Support from UK Government
The UK Government are in the process of rolling out a huge range of measures for businesses and individuals in the UK. As many clubs will fall under the ‘Leisure’ industry category there are several measures that will aid clubs directly.
**Please note: Many of these measures are England Specific. This is because measures in other areas of the UK are the responsibility of devolved Governments and will be available on their websites, but many are replicated in those areas.
12 Months Business Rates Holiday
If you own or rent a property for your sports or pastime club and pay rates on this property you will be eligible for 100% rates relief for 12 months.
Key Points :
You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:
your business is based in England
your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
How to access the scheme
There is no action required of you. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to provide this support. They will do this as soon as possible.
Cash grants for leisure businesses - Including sports Gyms
This scheme is giving sports and pastime clubs with the right eligibility a Cash grand of £10K - £25K. Note that this grant is not repayable and will be automatically applied to you if you have the correct rateable value on your property.
Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 may be eligible for a grant of £10,000.
Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.
You are eligible for the grant if:
- your business is based in England
- your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector
- your business has a rateable value of under £51,000
- Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used for leisure activities.
How to access the scheme
You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you via letter or email if you are eligible for this grant.
Support for businesses that pay little to no rates.
There is also a Grant scheme in place for businesses that already claim rates relief and therefor pay little to no rates. This scheme will give businesses up to £10,000 to support them during the Coronavirus shutdown.
You are eligible if:
- your business is based in England
- you are a business that occupies property
- you are receiving small business rate relief or rural rate relief as of 11 March
Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for the scheme.
Self Employment Income support scheme.
If your sports or pastime club is your primary income and is not registered as a limited company, you will be eligible for Self-Employment income support. This scheme is aiming to pay 3 months of 80% income up to £2500 at the start of June 2020. You will receive a cash lump sum at that point for all 3 months of support.
This scheme is dependant on your having 3 years of self-employed tax returns. But the Government will consider as little as one year.
If you have not filed your tax return yet, the deadline has been extended by 4 weeks to help you submit and claim your Support through the scheme.
You must apply for this support you will need to go through some checks to outline how your income has been affected.
You will not be able to claim on this scheme if the Self-employed income is not your primary income.
For a full list of conditions and how to apply for help, see the Government guidance on this page:
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Some of you will be running larger scale operations and will be employing staff or coaches under PAYE. You can also claim support for the retention of your staff via the Job Retention scheme. This scheme supports your business by giving you up to 80% to a maximum of £2500 per month per employee.
To claim on this scheme your employee’s status must be changed to “furloughed”, this means the employees are on a leave of absence.
- Your employees should not work during this period of Furloughed status.
- Your employees must be on a PAYE payment scheme.
Full information on this scheme and how to apply can be found here : https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
The Business interruption loan scheme.
This scheme is designed to help businesses with immediate cash flow concerns. You will be able to apply and get access to a Zero rate loan to give you access to fast cash. Some uses for this scheme will be to aid in paying rent on a location, before your grants arrive, or to help to pay outstanding bills or debts that will accrue during this period of absence.
One of the ways you can you use this scheme is to obtain the Loan, then when your Grant arrives immediately pay it off. This sort of Cash flow measure is worth discussing with your financial advisor or an accountant.
The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.
How to Access the loan scheme.
You can find out more about these loans here
These represent the most pertinent and relevant of the measure in place for sports and pastime clubs. These measures will help to support you during this time of closure and are there to be used so please do spend some time checking out these links and familiarise yourself with the information found in them.
Wishing you all the best and good health,
The Coacha Team.
All information on support for businesses and self employed individuals is available at the Government website here :