Government Grant Funding Schemes

COVID 19 News and Updates – UK | Prager Metis | Apr 09, 2020

In response to Covid-19 the Government announced there would be support made available for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLG).

Small Business Grant Fund

Amount of funding being made available

Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all eligible businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.

Eligibility

Businesses with a property that on the 11 March 2020 was eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) Scheme (including those with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 which receive tapered relief) are eligible for this scheme.

Businesses which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the Rural Rate Relief Scheme are also eligible for this scheme.

Eligible recipients will receive one grant per property.

Exclusions to Small Business Grant Fund

You cannot get SBGF for:

  • Properties occupied for personal uses, such as private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.
  •  Car parks and parking spaces.

Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Amount of funding being made available

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) eligible businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for a cash grants.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.

Eligibility

Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Properties which on the 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than £51,000 and would have been eligible for a discount under the business rates Expanded Retail Discount Scheme had that scheme been in force are eligible for the grant. Charities which would otherwise have met this criteria, but whose bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award, should still be considered to be eligible for the RHL grant.

Exclusions to RHLG

You cannot get RHLG for:

  • Properties occupied for personal uses, such as private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings
  • Car parks and parking spaces.
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over.
  • Businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.

Eligible recipients will receive one grant per property. Recipients cannot receive both SBGF and RHLG on the same property

How will the grants be provided?
Central Government will provide funding to Local Authorities that are responsible for business rate billing. Those Local Authorities will contact eligible businesses to arrange payment of the grants.

Who will receive this funding?
The person who according to the billing authority’s records was the ratepayer for the property on the 11 March 2020.

Am I in receipt of Small Business/Rural Rate Relief Scheme or Expanded Retail Discount?
The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your business rates bill. The bill will also confirm whether you are in receipt of either relief.
Alternatively, the rateable value of your property can also be checked using the link here.

When can I expect to receive the grant?
The Government made an early payment of £3.4 billion to local authorities on Friday 27th March 2020 to ensure grants would get to businesses as soon as possible. Most local authorities have announced that they have begun the process of making payments to eligible businesses.

Where the business rates are not paid by direct debit and therefore the local authority does not have the bank details of the business, the authority may then be in contact to request these details or alternatively require the business to submit an application form. As the approach being taken by each local authority seem to vary, we would advise that you check your local authority website for further details.

If you are unsure of your local authority, click here.

Rating List Changes
No changes made to the business’s rateable value or rating assessment after 11 March 2020 will be accepted for the purposes of determining eligibility.
In cases where there are clear errors on the rating list on 11 March 2020, Local Authorities may, at their discretion, withhold the grant and/or award the grant based on their view of which businesses would have been entitled.

Further Information and Guidance
Government Business Support Grant Funding Guidance for Businesses
Coronavirus Business Support