Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance

 

In response to coronavirus, the government announced there would be support 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 and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. Eligible recipients will receive one grant per property.

How much funding will be provided to businesses?

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)

Businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000 in line with the following eligibility criteria:

  • Properties included in this scheme are those, which on 11 March 2020, were eligible for relief under the business rate Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (including those with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 which receive tapered relief).
  • Properties that were not eligible for percentage SBRR relief (including those eligible for the Small Business Rate Multiplier) are excluded.
  • Properties, which on 11 March 2020, were eligible for relief under the rural rate relief scheme are also eligible for this scheme.

Exclusions

  • Properties occupied for personal uses. Examples given by the government include private stables, loose boxes, beach huts, moorings, car parks and parking spaces.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, businesses, which on 11 March 2020, were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG)

Businesses in England in receipt of the expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) and with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible. Where the property has a rateable value of up to £15,000 a grant of £10,000 will be payable. Where the property has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 a grant of £25,000 will be payable in line with the following eligibility criteria:

  • Properties, which on 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 for that date are eligible for the grant.

Exclusions

  • 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.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, businesses, which on 11 March 2020, were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.
  • Properties occupied for personal uses will not be eligible. Examples given by the government include private stables, loose boxes, beach huts, moorings, car parks and parking spaces

Who will receive this funding?

The person who, according to our records, was the ratepayer in respect of the hereditament on 11 March 2020 will receive the funding.

Where we have reason to believe that the information we hold about the ratepayer is incorrect, we may withhold payment of the grant while we take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer. If we discover that we have paid the wrong ratepayer then steps will be taken to recover the grant.

Payments obtained by fraudulent activity

The government has made it very clear that they will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back. We will be given access to additional tools to offer support in identifying this activity.

State aid

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. Nonethelessm under the Withdrawal Agreement, the state aid rules continue to apply during a transition period, subject to regulation by the EU Commission. This grant will count towards state aid but the 'de minimis' limit has been raised to 800,000 Euro over a rolling three-year period for coronavirus related support.

If you are receiving, or have received, any 'de minimis' aid granted during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), you should let us know the details.

Information required to pay the grants

We already hold a lot of the information that the government has asked us to collect to pay the grants. However additional information over and above what we currently hold is required. We ask you to complete an online data capture form via the blue box below to provide us with your most up to date information. This will ensure that we pay the right people the right grant.

If information you provide differs from what we have on file (for example, the bank account you ask us to pay the grant to differs from the account you have previously paid a direct debit from) then we may contact you to verify this. We hope you understand we will only be doing this to ensure that the process has not been intercepted by a third party trying to misappropriate the funds.

Complete data capture form >

When will we pay the grant money?

We are working seven days a week, including evenings and weekends, to get the grants paid as soon as we possibly can. We know that it is difficult not to enquire about your payment, but the less resource we have to put into answering ongoing questions, the quicker we can pay the grants. We will publish how many grants we have paid daily on our coronavirus page so that you can see that we are working through them.