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Coronavirus - grants for businesses and charities

Find out about financial support and grants available from central and local government for businesses and charities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 What support is the government offering businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The Chancellor announced a number of measures to support businesses with effect from 1 April 2020. Unfortunately, the announcement came after the 2020/21 business rates bills had been sent out.

As part of these additional support measures, the council has processed changes to the Retail Relief scheme which means all retail, leisure and tourism properties will pay no business rates in 2020-21, regardless of their rateable value.

The existing Retail Relief scheme previously covered retail properties only, with a rateable value up to £51,000, but the government has:

  • widened the Retail Relief scheme to include the leisure and tourism industry, including hotels, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and gyms, 
  • removed the £51,000 rateable value ceiling level.
  • children's nurseries occupied by providers on the Ofsted’s Early Years Register, and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years, will not have to pay business rates in 2020/21. There is no rateable value limit on the relief. 

All those businesses affected will receive a revised rates bill for nil. Those businesses who pay by Direct Debit and now qualify for this relief will not have a payment taken.  All relief awards are subject to state aid de minimus regulations

The list below sets out the types of uses that the Government does not consider to be an eligible use for the purpose of this relief. 

Business premises that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Financial services (such as, banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders)
  • Medical services (such as, vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (such as, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/Financial advisers)
  • Post office sorting offices
  • Business premises that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public. 

There is no rateable value cap on this relief for the financial year 2020/21 only.

Business Rates Grants

The government made three grants schemes available to help support businesses during this period. The funding was made available to help small, rural, retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by COVID-19. 

Please note: These grant schemes closed on 28 August 2020, no further applications are being accepted.

Discretionary Grant Fund

The government made available a limited pot of money in the East Riding for a local discretionary grant fund to help businesses who supply the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors that have not been able to access other forms of support, that have suffered a significant loss of income during the lockdown and that have not qualified for other forms of financial support. 

Please note: This grant scheme is now closed, no further applications are being accepted.

How do I apply for a Local Authority Discretionary Grant for small businesses and charities?

A new funding scheme aimed at small businesses, micro-businesses, charities and those businesses that we have identified as supplying the retail, leisure and hospitality industry, who have not previously qualified for government funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, is now available.

Small and micro businesses and charities that have suffered a significant loss of income during the lockdown and haven’t qualified for other forms of financial support can apply for grants of up to £25,000. 

The fund is limited to £4million and will be administered in two phases.

Please note: The discretionary grant scheme is now closed, no further applications are being accepted.

How do I apply for Small Business Grant Funding?

Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) with a rateable value of under £15,000 or in receipt of Rural Rates Relief (RRR) as of the 11 March were eligible for a payment of £10,000.

Please note: The Small Business Grant Funding scheme is now closed, no further applications are being accepted.

How do I apply for Rural Rate Relief Grant Funding?

Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) with a rateable value of under £15,000 or in receipt of Rural Rates Relief (RRR) as of the 11 March will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.

Please note: The Rural Rate Relief Business Grant Funding scheme is now closed, no further applications are being accepted.

How do I apply for Retail Hospitality and Leisure Relief Grant Funding?

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) 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 were eligible for one cash grant per business premises:

  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,001 and less than £50,999 will receive a grant of £25,000. 

Please note: The Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant Funding scheme is now closed, no further applications are being accepted.

I have further questions regarding the government grants, can you help?

My business is not in the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Business Rates list, what do I do?

Payment of small business grant funding is subject to criteria set by central government. 

To qualify, the business must be: 

  • in the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) business rates listing 

and 

  • in receipt of either small business rates relief or rural rate relief. 

Contact the Valuation Office Agency to register for business rates and find out more on the GOV.UK website.

I have not informed you that I have started a business in a property that is in the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Business Rates list, how can I claim a grant?

To register your company for business rates, please supply the following:

  1. a copy of the lease for the property in your limited company name 
  2. confirmation of the date you occupied the property 
  3. confirmation that you were still in occupation of the property on 11 March 2020
  4. a utility bill in your limited company name for the property address. 

Please email the above to business.rates@eastriding.gov.uk or alternatively post to: 

Business Rates
County Hall
Cross Street
Beverley
HU17 9BA

I run a business from home, do I qualify for a grant payment?

To qualify for a grant, your property must be in the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Business Rates list. 

If a business is run from home the VOA decides whether the property should be brought into the ratings list or not. Many businesses that are run from home are not classed as rateable by the VOA.

Contact the VOA to advise them of your property usage and find more information on the GOV.UK website.

I am not the ratepayer - my landlord pays the rates on this space. Will I get funding?

You may be eligible to claim the Local Authority Discretionary Grant

How does this funding work with shared space or services offices, where tenants are not the rate payers?

Applications can be made for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant. 

Why are you giving money to all eligible businesses, and not just those affected by COVID-19?

The government acknowledges that the majority of small, rural, retail, leisure and hospitality ratepayers are likely to be affected by COVID-19.

Are there any conditions attached to this grant funding?

Any business that accepts this funding must confirm they comply with all the applicable state aid requirements. Details can be found within the grant application form.

Is this funding taxable?

The default position is that these grants will be liable for tax, as are the business costs this grant is supporting.

Can businesses with multiple properties claim multiple grants, for example, can a hairdresser with three shops, each with less than a £15k rateable value, claim three £10k grants?

Businesses can only get one grant under the Small Business Grant Scheme. 

Businesses eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme can claim one grant per eligible property. 

Will businesses be able to claim support from both the grant scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, small business grants fund and the discretionary grant?

No, a business can only claim one grant on the same property. 

Do businesses who do not pay business rates such as those operating out of Business Centres or Enterprise Zones qualify for cash grants?

Businesses may be eligible to claim the Local Authority Discretionary Grant. 

Charities getting Charitable Rate Relief get the Expanded Retail Discount, so why not the grant?

Charities receiving Charitable Rate Relieve can't be eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief and therefore cannot be eligible under the Small Business Grants Fund.

They may be eligible under the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants Fund or the Local Authority Discretionary Grant scheme

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