Government releases further information on CoronaVirus Grants

The Chancellor announced business grant schemes in the Budget on 11th March 2020. After this, the level of funding was increased in a statement on 17th March 2020. The government has now released further information on these grants which we wanted to share with you.  Please note this guidance is for England only.

The grants that are available are:-

  • Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF);
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

How much funding will be provided to businesses?

  • Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all 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;
  • 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 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property;
    • 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 £15,000 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;
    • Businesses that are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.

Who will receive this funding? 

  • The person who according to the billing authority’s records was the ratepayer in respect of the hereditament on the 11 March 2020;
  • Where the Local Authority has reason to believe that the information that they hold about the ratepayer on the 11 March 2020 is inaccurate they may withhold or recover the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer;
  • Local Authorities should make clear to recipients that the grant is for the ratepayer and may be liable for recovery if the recipient was not the ratepayer on the eligible day;
  • Landlord and management agents are urged to support local government in quickly identifying the correct ratepayer.

State Aid

  • The United Kingdom left the EU on 31 January 2020, nonetheless, under the Withdrawal Agreement the State aid rules continue to apply during a transition period, subject to regulation by the EU Commission;
  • Authorities will be familiar with the administrative approach taken to State aid on previous business rates relief schemes operated under section 47. It is likely that payments made under these Schemes can be provided in the same way, however, further guidance will be issued shortly on this.

Exclusions

  • Hereditaments occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts, and moorings;
  • Car parks and parking spaces;
  • Hereditaments with a rateable value of over £51,000.

If you have any questions regarding this information you can contact the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on businessgrantfunds@beis.gov.uk and the detailed guidance can be read here.

As always we are on hand to help you decipher this information and our expert team can be contacted to discuss your specific scenario on  0330 22 33 660.