Business Grants from your Council
The Government, as part of its package of measures for Businesses, had announced that businesses will be entitled to grants from their local councils to help with the downturn in business due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
This help was to arrive by the beginning of April which is now. So where are we with arrival of these grants?
To be clear the support will take the form of two grant funding schemes in Financial Year 2020-2021, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLG).
Eligibility is based on rateable values recorded on the rating list at 11 March 2020.
Premises which have closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19 will be treated as occupied for the purposes of this relief.
Cash grants will be sent to the person named as the ratepayer in the local authority’s records on 11 March 2020. Landlords and managing agents are encouraged to help identify the ratepayer for properties they manage.
How much funding will be provided to businesses?
Under the SBGF all businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000 in line with the eligibility criteria.
Under the RHLG, businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property:
Property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
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.
So where are we now?
Most councils should by now have been in contact with the eligible businesses inviting applications.
Now is the time to make your application if you have received the eligible letter. The onus to apply is on you and the application needs to be done online.
It starts by visiting the Council’s website and creating an account. This saves you time with auto-completion of your contact information when completing forms and the ability to view a history of your requests and accounts. Although most councils seem to have their own slightly different format, they all have a separate page on their websites for help wiyj the Covid-19 outbreak.
The process seems to be simple enough once you are on the website and once the Council receives the information it will take a few days to process and then come back to you with approval of your application or if not, reasons why.
It is important to look at all the help available to you thus far and decide which is best for you in conjunction with your cash flow. The following is the other help available for businesses:
Time to Pay – delay payment of PAYE/ NIC / Corporation Tax/ Income Tax
Defer payments of VAT liability for the quarters ending in FEB/MAR/APR
Furlough workers under the Job Retention Scheme
Business Rates Holiday if you are in the hospitality, leisure or retail industry
Business Interruption Loans