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On 23 March, the UK government declared a complete shutdown of retail, hospitality and leisure industry to tackle the spread of Coronavirus. It was reported on 28 April, that 1 in 4 businesses within the hospitality sector completely diminished and most of them were nonoperative against the lock down measures.
In April, it was also predicted that 800,000 to a million businesses across all industries were unlikely to survive. According to the recently announced strategy by the government which sees lock down measures being eased in 3 stages, the hospitality and leisure industry will be permitted to revive their function in July time, provided we’re doing well against the virus.
There will, however, be a set of statutory provisions published by the government to regulate the resumption of face to face interaction within hospitality, to ensure the Coronavirus transmission rate does not spike again.
There has been a concerted effort by the government to support businesses through a £7 billion Budget package. In the form of Small Business Grant Fund, and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Funding Scheme, those applicable can see themselves being restored through grants which will not need to be repaid. We constructed an overview of how these grants work, and the assessment process being engaged.
Who can apply?
All grants will be paid by your local authority who will contact you themselves. However, the below criteria must be met to qualify. If you have not yet been contacted by your local authority, you should contact them instead or head onto their website, as there may be a requirement for you complete a Form.
What is the eligibility criteria for Small Business Grant Fund ?
- Your business needs to be registered in England
- Your business must be eligible for Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) on or before 11 March 2020.
You should check your rates bill to see if you are in receipt of this relief.
Business rates is a tax chargeable on a property used for business purposes, and most business and non-residential properties are subject to it. This is the case even if part of your building is used for residential purposes. To be entitled to relief from business rates your property must have a rateable value of under £15,000, and be the only property being used for business purposes. Rateable value is an estimate of how much the property could have earned annually if rented on the open market. If you are eligible for this grant scheme and have not been contacted yet, please speak to your local authority to clarify as all businesses should’ve been contacted by now, and many already be in receipt of their funds.
How much will you be paid?
You will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund:
- Your business has to be within the Retail, hospitality and Leisure industry and be registered in England
- If you are in receipt of Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,00.
The rateable value of the business will determine how much you’ll be provided.
How much will you be paid?
You will be paid a cash grant of either £10,000 or £25,000 per property.
- If you have a rateable value of up to and including £15,000, you will receive a grant of £10,000
- If you have a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000, you will receive a grant of £25,000.
What are the exclusions for the SBGF and RHLS ?
There are some exceptions to both schemes, as provided:
- Properties not occupied for business purposes
- Car parks or parking spaces are not included
- Liquidated or dissolved businesses as of the 11 March 2020
- RHLS property with a rateable value of over £51,000.
This article is intended for guidance only and must not be relied upon for specific advice.