Coronavirus: Government Backed Grant Funding Schemes

In his budget on 11 March 2020, the Chancellor set out an initial package of measures to support businesses through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

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Coronavirus: Government Backed Grant Funding Schemes

In his budget on 11 March 2020, the Chancellor set out an initial package of measures to support businesses through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19. In England, these measures include non-repayable grants which take the form of two funding schemes, Small Business Grant Funding (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funding (RHLGF), details of which are set out below:

SBGF

What is it?

A cash grant of £10,000 for small businesses based in England who pay business rates

Eligibility

Business eligible to receive grants under the SBGF scheme are those which:

  • are based in England
  • as at 11 March 2020, were eligible for business rate relief under:
    • the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) scheme – i.e. occupied a property with a rateable value under £15,000, including those with a rateable value of between £12,000 and £15,000 eligible to receive tapered relief
    • the Rural Rate Relief scheme (RRR), which is available to certain business based in a rural area with a population below 3,000
  • occupy a property other than:
    • a property occupied for personal use
    • a car park or a parking space

Value

The grant will be £10,000. SBRR is only available in relation to one property per business, and therefore generally businesses will only be eligible for one grant

RHLGF

What is it?

A cash grant of up to £25,000 per property for business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors

Eligibility

Business eligible to receive grants under the SBGF scheme are those which:

  • are based in England
  • are in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector
  • occupy a property wholly or mainly used:
    • as a shop, restaurant, cafe, drinking establishment, cinema or live music venue
    • for assembly and leisure
    • as a hotel, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

Value

For business properties with a rateable value of up to £15,000 (as at 11 March 2020), the grant will be £10,000 per property

For businesses properties with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000 (as at 11 March 2020), the grant will be £25,000 per property

Business properties with a rateable value of £51,000 (as at 11 March 2020) will not be eligible for an RHLGF grant

Application

There is currently no formal application process for SBGF or RHLGF. If you are deemed eligible, your local authority will write to you outlining your entitlement.

If you believe your business qualifies for a grant under the SBRR or RHLGF scheme, but you are yet to receive any correspondence from your local authority, do not panic. We understand that most businesses eligible for a grant have not yet been contacted by local authorities, as guidance for local authorities on how they process and approve grants has only recently been produced by the Department for Business Energy Innovation & Skills (BEIS). In addition, the funding from central government to local authorities to allow them to make grant payments is not expected to be provided until early April.

Comment

While the SBBR and RHLGF grants will provide welcome support to small businesses impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions introduced by the Government, they are limited in their scope. In particular, support under these schemes will not be available to those SME’s who operate businesses from their home and so are not subject to business rate liability. A support scheme for self-employed workers, many of whom will fall into this category, was announced by the Government on 26 March 2020.

For more information on financing for your business during coronavirus, please contact Michael Hall on michael.hall@keebles.com or call Michael on 0114 290 6370.

 

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