Policy update of grant eligibility: Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund - is your Lincolnshire business eligible?

Two business grant schemes, the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, were announced by the Chancellor on 11 March and 17 March 2020. Amends have been made to both since they were first announced – we’ll review the key changes in this blog.

What's the difference between the two schemes?

Small Business Grant Fund: 

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

 

Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant: 

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11th March with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for cash grants of up to £25,000 per property.

  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000.01 or over 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 which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.
  • The scheme will apply equally to all areas of England.

 

What conditions are attached to this grant funding?

  • Any business who accepts this funding must confirm they comply with all the applicable State Aid requirements.
  • Businesses who accept this funding must also provide the information requested by the Local Authority to support monitoring and assurance.
  • The default position is that these grants would be liable for tax, as are the business costs this grant is supporting

 

The following businesses are eligible:

Businesses that were in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate as of 11 March will be eligible for the Small Business Grants Fund.

For the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants Fund, businesses that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount Scheme with properties that have a rateable value of under £51,000 are eligible.

 

What happens if I have multiple properties?

Businesses with multiple properties can only receive one grant under the Small Business Grant Scheme. However, businesses eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme can claim one grant per eligible property.

It is worth noting that if a business receives a Small Business Grant, they will not be eligible for a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant on the same property. Equally any properties falling within both the Small Business Rate Relief and Expanded Retail eligibility should be awarded one £10,000 grant. Businesses cannot be awarded both grants on the same property.

 

There are some other exclusions which include

  • 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.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, businesses which as of the 11 March were in were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible.
  • Hereditaments with a rateable value of £51,000 or over.
  • Only one grant may be awarded per hereditament.

 

How will businesses be identified for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme?

Local Authorities hold information on Small Business Rate Relief, Rural Rates Relief, retail and hospitality businesses within their areas, and will be contacting eligible businesses. Appropriate businesses will be notified via either email or letter. If you want to check your eligibility Call the COVID-19 Information and Advice Helpline on 01522 782189 or email businesslincolnshire@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

 

Payment:

Local Authorities responsible for business rate collection will deliver this funding to businesses. Local Authorities will contact eligible businesses directly. All local authorities including ours here in Greater Lincolnshire are being encouraged to get the grants out as soon as possible.

Useful Links

This information we receive from the Government is correct at the time of publishing but is changing frequently. The world of funding and grants can be confusing and stressful in what is already a very anxious time for many. Call the COVID-19 Information and Advice Helpline on 01522 782189 or email businesslincolnshire@lincolnshire.gov.uk for one-to-one advice. Updated advice can also be found at www.greaterlincolnshirelep.co.uk  and www.buisnesslincolnshire.com