02 April 2020

Small business grants were originally announced in the Budget at £3000 for those entitled to the small business rates relief (SBRR), a week later on March 17th the chancellor made an announcement of a business rates holiday for all business in England for 20/21. In addition the grants were increased as below.

The proposed grants are:

Small Business Grant Scheme– £10,000 available to those eligible for the small business rate relief scheme (SBRR) or rural rate relief scheme (RRR)– essentially firms occupying properties with a rateable value of less than £15,000. No further action is required for the grant as your local authority will write to you if you are eligible.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) – enhanced grant created for businesses that qualified for the Expanded Retail Discount announced all the way back in late January. The enhanced Grant means that your bill may have to be re-issued. No further action is required for the grant as your local authority will write to you if you are eligible.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of up to £15,000 will get a grant of £10,000,
• while those with property valuations between £15,000 and £51,000 will be eligible for £25,000.
• This includes businesses being used in the main ;

• as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
• for assembly and leisure
• for hospitality, as hotels, guest & boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

Nursery Grant – Further guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government clarified the criteria for a separate 100% Nursery Discount for business rates announced on 18 March after objections from the industry that it had been left out of the holiday available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. Businesses will be entitled to the relief if they occupy premises listed on Ofsted’s Early Years Register.

Estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls that closed as a result of Covid-19 measures to restrict the spread of the virus will also be exempted from business rates in 2020-21,

Some of the key conditions affecting both schemes include:
• Effective from 11 March 2020. Businesses that were dissolved before that date will not be eligible
• Only available for companies in England
• Premises occupied for personal uses will be excluded, along with car parks and parking spaces
• Local authorities can choose to withhold or award grants where they feel their valuations for a property were inaccurate on 11 March 2020. “This is entirely at the discretion of the local authority and only intended to prevent manifest errors,” the BEIS advised.
• The small business grants will not be available for home-workers who do not pay business rates.

The Funding is being released to local authorities now and throughout early April and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is issuing guidance to local authorities explaining the criteria and conditions around the grant schemes.