Supporting Business

Wakefield, along with the rest of England is under national restrictions until 2 December when it is expected we will return to a regional tiered approach. 

Local restrictions support grant for businesses affected by local and national restrictions

Q. If I am a business who is legally mandated to close, however I pay my Business Rates through my landlord, will I still be able to claim the national restrictions grant?

A. No, only the individual registered as the rate payer is able to make a claim, in order to be eligible for the national restrictions grant a business must be a business rate payer and legally mandated to close.

Q. If my business is not legally mandated to close, however I am severely impacted due to restrictions, or I have voluntarily closed as it is not financially viable to remain open, will I be eligible for a grant?

. No, there are 3 grants available at this time:-

  • Local Restrictions Support grant for businesses subject to Tier 2 restrictions, these are Leisure, Accommodation and Hospitality.
  • Local Restrictions Support Grants for Night Time Entertainment Venues, who have been forced to close from March 2020, these are nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars.
  • National restrictions support grant, for businesses who are the registered business rate payer and have been legally mandated to close due to national lockdown, a full list of businesses can be found here.

We will provide more detail about further grant funding as this become available, please continue to review the Wakefield First Website for more information about further grants.

The Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG) helps businesses that have been impacted by or required to close due to the government's local and national restrictions. Read more about the Local Restriction Support Grant scheme. 

There are currently three schemes live that businesses can access. 

We have developed a single application form covering all schemes.  Eligible businesses will only need to apply once for support under the Local Restrictions Support Grant schemes, and eligible businesses will receive a single payment to cover the period they have been affected by local and national restrictions. 

Below is an overview of the schemes and what is available please read through the below guidance before accessing the application form here.

Local Restrictions Support Grant For Businesses Affected By Tier 2 Restrictions 14 October 2020 To 4th November 2020)

From 00:01 on Wednesday 14 October 2020 tier 2 (local COVID alert level: high) restrictions apply to Wakefield.

Restrictions applied to the following businesses:

  • Leisure
  • Accommodation
  • Hospitality businesses

How to qualify

To qualify for a grant your business must be:

  • A Leisure, Hospitality or Accommodation business
  • Occupying premises registered for businesses rates

The amounts you will receive depend on the rateable value of the property and the length of time that the business remains closed. Payments will be made as follows:

Rateable value of premises Grant payment per 14 days Grant payment per 28 days
£15,000 or under£467£934
£15,001 to £50,999£700£1,400
£51,000 or over£1,050£2,100

An initial payment will be made on a pro-rata basis covering the period  14th October 2020 to 4th November 2020.

If your business meets the criteria you can apply for the grant using our online form.

Local Restrictions Support Grants For Night Time Entertainment Venues

From 1st November 2020, Businesses who have been forced to close since March 2020 will be eligible to receive grant support. 

Eligible businesses are;

  • Nightclubs, Dance Halls and Discotheques
  • Sexual Entertainment Venues and Hostess Bars

    The amount they will receive will be as follows
Rateable value of premises Grant payment per 14 days
£15,000 or under£667
£15,001 to £50,999£1,000
£51,000 or over£2,100


Local Restrictions Support Grant For Businesses Closed Due To National Restrictions (5 November To 2 December 2020)

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December 2020 new restrictions are in place across England, including the closure of certain businesses and venues. These include:

  • all non-essential retail, including but not limited to, clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm and not including alcohol), click and collect, drive-through or delivery.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, such as bowling alleys, leisure centre and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spars, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture and tanning salons.

A full list will be provided by the government in the coming days; you can find out more on GOV.UK.

Financial support is available to businesses affected by the closures.

How to qualify for financial support

To qualify for a grant your business must have been:

  • open as usual before any restrictions were in place
  • registered for business rates at the premises on the first full day of the restrictions i.e. the 5th November.
  • required to close down due to the restrictions imposed by the government
This criteria may be updated if we receive new details.

There will also be a discretionary fund for businesses that don't have a business rates account. We're awaiting further guidance but it's likely that a local discretionary scheme will be in place.

If you don't have a business rates account but your business has closed and you wish to be considered for a grant, please still complete our application form and we'll contact you when we know more details of the discretionary scheme.

How much support you'll receive

The payment amount will depend on the rateable value of the property as in the table below. The payment will cover the full four weeks from 5 November to 2 December 2020. Payments will be made as follows:

Rateable value of premises Grant payment per 28 days
£15,000 or under£1,334
£15,001 to £50,999£2,000
£51,000 or over£3,000


Apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant for a closed business here

State aid

These grant payments count towards state aid. By accepting this grant you must confirm that you're not in breach of state aid rules. Read more about state aid.

Data protection

Any information you give to us will be held securely and in accordance with the rules on data protection. We will treat personal details as private and confidential and safeguard them. We will not disclose them to anyone unconnected with the council unless you've consented to their release or in certain circumstances where:

  • we're legally obliged to do so;
  • disclosure is necessary for the proper discharge of our statutory functions;
  • disclosure is necessary to enable us to provide you with a requested service or deal with your enquiry;
  • we are under a duty to protect public funds.

We may use the information you've provided for the prevention and detection of fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies responsible for public funds or for auditing them for these purposes.

Please note: checks will be undertaken to protect the council against fraudulent activity. The government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud and any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back

You can download and view our transparency statement here.

Apply For An Additional Restrictions Grant

The Government has announced additional financial measures to provide support businesses affected by Covid-1 as a result of national restrictions, covering the 4th November to 2nd December 2020. 

Wakefield Council have been allocated discretionary funding under the Additional Restrictions Grant and are pleased to announced that the form for the Additional Restrictions Grant is now live and businesses can apply to the scheme via the application form (see below link) hosted on the corporate website. 

APPLY FOR THE GRANT VIA THE ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS GRANT APPLICATION FORM HERE

Where we have all the necessary information, we will endeavour to make a payment within 10 working days.  Please note, there are a number of checks undertaken by central government.  These checks are out of our hands.  Should we need anything further from applicants, we will contact you directly.  

Please note - Payments will be one off payments made in a discretionary manner.

If you are having trouble completing the form via mobile device please revert back to completing the application form via desktop application.

Businesses who meet the following should check the criteria and apply for the appropriate Additional Restrictions Grant scheme below…

  • Option 1 - Those registered for self-assessment and unable to access SEIS
  • Option 2 - Retail, Leisure and Hospitality supply chain businesses
  • Option 3 - Businesses not eligible for the main grant

Grant scheme criteria:

Option 1. Those registered for self-assessment and unable to access SEIS

This scheme is designed to support individuals who are self-employed and / or registered for self-assessment, but have been unable to receive financial support under my other scheme such as the Self Employment Income Support scheme.  This includes, but is not restricted to, those that work from home, freelancers, mobile health and beauty and personal trainers.

Under this scheme eligible applicants will receive a single, one off payment of £1000.
In order to receive the payment, applicants must:

  • Be registered for self-assessment after 5th April 2019  and on or before 30th October 2020, and have a UTR number as of 4th November 2020
  • Be able to provide a copy of their UTR number (in the form of wither  provide a copy of the letter received from HRMC confirming their UTR number or a screenshot of their online self-assessment account which clearly shows the UTR) 
  • Not be eligible to receive support under the SEIS 

Option 2.  Retail, Leisure and Hospitality supply chain businesses

It is recognised that under the existing Local Restriction Support Grant Schemes, there are businesses that have been allowed to stay open, but nevertheless have been severely impacted as they rely on those sectors mandate to close.  To this end, the ARG 2 scheme will provide one off financial assistance to businesses who meet the following criteria:

  • Have demonstrable fixed property / business costs.  
  • Be able to demonstrate a reduction in income of at least 25% compared to the previous year
  • Evidence that they supply to RHL sector

Eligible businesses will receive the following:

  • Businesses with a rateable value and / or fixed property costs Under £15k -  £1,000
  • Businesses with a rateable value and / or fixed property costs 15 to 51k  - £1,800
  • Businesses with a rateable value and / or fixed property costs 51k over -  £2,800

Option 3.  Businesses not able to access the main grant

Due to the conditionality of grants under national restrictions, there are a number of businesses impacted that may fall outside the eligibility criteria.

ARG3 is designed to support those businesses who cannot access any of the other LRSG grants.

Those eligible for this scheme will be businesses that:
  • Have been legally required to close but are not the business rate payer / do not pay rates
  • Rate paying businesses not required to close but severely impacted
  • Those who physically occupy managed workspace / shared accommodation
  • Can provide a copy of their rental / lease agreement

Eligible businesses will receive the following:
  • Where the annual rental is up to and including £10,000 pa, a one off grant of £1,800
  • Where the annual rental is between £10,001 and over pa, a one off grant of £2,800

If you are a business that meets the above criteria of a scheme please complete the application form here
 : 

What does it mean for businesses and venues?

Which businesses can open?

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

Which businesses must close?

  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Support for businesses

Your business may be eligible for financial support as part of a grant system. For more information about the help available to businesses and the financial support available visit https://www.wakefieldfirst.com/covid-19/

The team can be contacted at businesssupport@wakefield.gov.uk or by calling 01924 306630

Frequently Asked Questions – For Businesses

Which hospitality businesses can sell takeaway alcohol?

Any hospitality business can offer a takeaway with the following considerations: 

  • Food and non-alcoholic drinks on a takeaway basis can be served between 5am and 10pm. This means that customers can enter the premises to place and collect their order. Food and non-alcoholic drinks can also be sold for delivery where orders are made online, by telephone or by post, and via click and collect; and drive through.
  • Food and drinks for delivery between 10pm and 5am are via click and collect and drive through only. Click-and-collect and delivery services can only operate where goods are pre-ordered (by phone, online, via a mobile app or by post) and collected without entering the premises
  • Alcohol for consumption off the premises for delivery, click and collect and drive through. As above, this means it must be pre-ordered (by phone, online, via a mobile app or by post) and must be collected without entering the premises.

Do I need an alcohol licence to sell takeaway alcohol?

Venues can only sell alcohol via click-and-collect or delivery services but they cannot offer this unless their license already permits them to do so. The venues license must include Off Sales.  

Sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises can only be made with an off sales permission on your premises licence. Licences can be temporarily amended to include off sales until 30 September 2021 by submitting a notification to our Licensing Section under the Business and Planning Act 2020.

What time can I trade until as a takeaway?

Takeaways can allow people to collect from inside the business until 10pm, this must be done in a Covid secure manner.  After 10pm all orders must be delivery only, no one can enter the premises after 10pm. 

Can I provide outside seating for my customers?

Hospitality venues providing food and drink for consumption off the premises are not permitted to allow customers to consume from any adjacent seating to the premises

How can I open to offer a click and collect service?

Non-essential retail can continue to operate a click and collect service.  All goods must be pre-ordered and collected off the premises, customers must not enter the premises for any reason.  A table can be placed across the doorway to allow collection and restrict entry.

What is the definition of a hardware store?

Hardware (such as tools, builders' hardware, paint and glass) stores, building merchants and building services. 

Can Dog Groomers stay open?

Animal grooming facilities may also stay open but must only be used for the purposes of the animal's welfare (and not for aesthetic purposes).

Can Professional Service businesses remain open?

Businesses that provide services (rather than goods) - such as accountants, solicitors, and estate agents - are not required to close, unless listed in the Businesses subject to restrictions. These businesses should take steps to ensure they are COVID-19 Secure including, where possible, providing services remotely or virtually.

Can a retail business selling a mix of essential and non-essential continue to trade?

A business selling a significant amount of essential retail may also continue to sell goods typically sold at non-essential retail. 

Where a business selling essential retail has another, separate business embedded within it that is required to close, the embedded business must close. For example, an electronics business operating a concession within a supermarket must close, as would a bookshop business inside a garden centre.

Where a business has sufficiently distinct parts, and one section provides essential retail and one section provides non-essential retail, the non-essential sections should close to limit interactions between customers. For example a food shop may stay open, but a homeware section on a separate floor or separate building should close.

Can we offer personal care in people homes?

It is prohibited for Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons, tattoos, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing to be provided in other peoples' homes

Can we still deliver educational workshops?

If you are supporting any of the groups listed below you can continue to run support groups and offer educational workshops:

  • victims of crime (including domestic abuse);
  • those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour;
  • new parents;
  • those with, or caring for persons with, any long-term illness or terminal condition or who are vulnerable;
  • those facing issues related to their sexuality or identity including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender;
  • those who have suffered bereavement;
  • vulnerable young people.

Are there any exceptions for gyms to reopen?

Gyms and fitness studios have been mandated to close, they are allowed to offer the following services:

  • for supervised activities for children;
  • for schools or providers for post-16 education or training

What financial support is available for businesses?

Local Authorities have been allocated funds to distribute to eligible businesses, the funding available is to be used across different schemes. The schemes are linked to the Covid alert level and are as follows:

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open).  This is for leisure, hospitality and accommodation businesses affected by Tier 2 restrictions.
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) – This is for businesses occupying premises that are mandated to close under Tier 3 and / or National Lockdown restrictions.
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) – This is for specific sectors forced to close since March 2020. 

Please visit https://www.wakefieldfirst.com/covid-19/  for further information and to apply for the grants.

Financial support for businesses and employees

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for furloughed hours and further economic support announced.

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, which will continue for a further month. Businesses will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November.

For more information visit https://www.wakefieldfirst.com/covid-19/

Office workers

Office workers who are able to work from home should do so and the requirement for customers to wear face coverings will be extended to all users of taxis and private hire vehicles.

Weddings and funerals

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

16 mourners can attend funerals at Wakefield Crematorium and up to 14 mourners can attend funerals at Pontefract Crematorium. This is lower than the Government's rule of 30 however, as these services take place indoors and due to social distancing we can only allow the number of attendees stated above.

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

Information for reopening

National restrictions will be reviewed on 2 December. Please check www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support for the latest information to support your business. Here is some useful information to help you plan for re-opening.

Early outbreak management

Businesses that remain open can use this information to quickly identify and contain any potential COVID-19 outbreak.

Test and trace poster

Advice for employers on social distancing during coronavirus can also be found on the government website.

If you would like help regarding a specific business in Wakefield on interpreting the guidelines and how you can best fit them into your workplace please email food@wakefield.gov.uk (including for non-food related businesses) or call us on 0345 8 506 506 and ask to speak with someone from Environmental Health.

Useful links