One of the first measures the government announced in response to the Coronavirus outbreak was the award of grants of £10,000 or £25,000 to eligible small businesses across the UK operating from premises with a low rateable value. These grants will be formed of a one-off payment and are not repayable.
To recap, the £10,000 Small Business Grant Fund was available to any business premises that was eligible for either full or tapered relief under the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme, which broadly speaking is any premises with a rateable value of below £15,000.
The £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant is exclusive to businesses operating in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, with premises of a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000. The government gave some guidance as to the types of businesses which would fall into these sectors in a note issued to local authorities, a link to which can be found at the foot of this notice.
There have been a number of questions clarified by the government in relation to this scheme in recent days, with the most important of these clarifications being:
1. Grants are made on a premises by premises basis and so if one business has a number of premises, the eligibility to the grants should be considered for each individual premises
2. Where a business is in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, but their premises’ rateable value is below £15,000, they will be eligible for the £10,000 grant but not the £25,000 grant
The government made the funds to administer these grants available to local authorities yesterday, and many local authorities have now released their respective claim forms to apply for these grants. It goes without saying that the sooner these forms are completed, the sooner the much needed funds will reach business bank accounts.
Each local authority will create their own form and as such different information may be requested by different councils, however generally speaking you will require at least the following information when completing your claim form:
1. Business Rates Account Number
2. Business Name
3. Business Address
4. Company Number (if a Limited Company)
5. Contact Email Address
6. Contact Telephone Number
7. Bank Account Name
8. Bank Account Sort Code
9. Bank Account Number
Of course, if further information is required and you are unsure what is being requested or how to locate it, your usual contact at Rickard Luckin will be happy to assist you with this.
Some councils have already contacted ratepayers in their region to encourage the completion of the forms, but if you haven’t yet received an e-mail, there are links below to the relevant section of a number of local authority websites:
Rochford district council
Southend-on-Sea borough council
Uttlesford District Council
Colchester Borough Council
Maldon District Council
Chelmsford City Council
At this moment in time, Epping Forest District Council, Castle Point District Council and Harlow Council are yet to release additional information in relation to their respective forms, whilst Braintree District Council and Tendring District Council have advised on their website that they have today sent the application forms to eligible businesses via Royal Mail to the registered trading address.
One note of caution is that, unfortunately there are members of our society that will use times such as these to prey on the vulnerability of others, and so whenever completing forms with potentially sensitive financial information, we would always urge you to ensure you are fully confident that it is an official form. Again, if further information is required or you are unsure what is being requested or how to locate it, your usual contact at Rickard Luckin will be happy to assist you with this.
Government guidance on which types of businesses fall into the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors can be found here .