As part of the governments coronavirus business support package, they announced two grants to be administered by local authorities which are the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
We have provided details below on the eligibility criteria of each scheme and how they can be accessed.
Small Business Grant Scheme
This scheme provides a one off grant to small businesses who pay little or no rates due to small business rates relief. To be eligible a business must:
- Be based in England
- Be a business that occupies a property
- Be a business receiving small business rates relief or rural rates relief as at 11 March
The Government website states that all eligible businesses will be contacted directly by their local authority, although some have decided to operate an applications process. Given the fact that different authorities are operating different application schemes we would suggest that if you believe that you may qualify and you have not already heard from your local authority you should view their website as the application may be required to be made online.
The required information to make the claim appears to be:
- Business name
- Property address
- Rates reference which will be shown on your rates invoice
- Rateable value of property which is also on your rates invoice
- Contact details
- Bank details for the payment to be made electronically
The funding for these schemes is now in place and payments appear to be taking between 3 and 14 following an application.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
This scheme provides a one off grant of up to £25,000 to businesses who operate in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of up to £15,000 will qualify for a grant up to £10,000.
Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value above £15,000 but less than £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.
To be eligible for this scheme a business must:
- Be based in England
- Be in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector
- Have a rateable value less than £51,000
Properties that will qualify for the scheme must be occupied and being wholly or mainly used as:
- Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
- For assembly and leisure
- As hotels, guest or boarding premises and self catering accommodation
As with the Small Business Grant Scheme, the Government is advising that local authorities will be contacting all eligible businesses although again some authorities are operating an online application system.
We would again advise that given the fact that different authorities are operating different application schemes, if you believe that you may qualify and you have not already heard from your local authority you should view their website as the application may be required to be made online.
It is also worth noting that the Government have announced a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year for all retail, leisure and hospitality business in England regardless of the rateable value.
Should you require further clarification on the above, or any other matter, please contact your Fairhurst partner.