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Coronavirus Business Rates Grants

BRIEFING NOTE                                                                                              

CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS RATES GRANTS

The Government has announced a series of measures to assist businesses.  There are two types of measures being offered – reliefs and grants.  This briefing note sets out a summary of the grants that will be enacted through the business rates system. Please also read our briefing note on reliefs.

The Government has announced that applications for grants closed on 31st August 2020.  However we would recommend that each case is still examined to determine if there were any extenuating circumstances for any late applications.

Grant Funding Schemes

Scheme 1 : Small Business Grants Fund

All properties in receipt of rural rate relief or small business rates relief on 11 March 2020, therefore including those with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000, will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000.

There will be one grant per hereditament.

There are exclusions such as properties which are occupied for personal use, eg private stables, beach huts and moorings even if they are in receipt of relief.

 

Scheme 2 : Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund

Hereditaments which on 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than £51,000 and would have been eligible for a discount under the business rates Expanded Retail Discount Scheme had that scheme been in force for that are eligible for the grant.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property with a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property with a rateable value of over £15,000 but less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

There will be one grant per hereditament.

Exclusions from this scheme include businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000, businesses that are not part of the business rates system, car parks and parking spaces and properties which are occupied for personal use, eg private stables, beach huts and moorings.

Process for the relief to be provided

Central Government has instructed individual local billing authorities to award the grants to ratepayers, unless there is concern over the identification of the ratepayer.

State Aid

Whilst the Government has applied for State Aid limits to be removed when applying reliefs from business rates payments, this is not the position with grants. There is at present an €800,000 state aid limit applied to this grant system per business.

Businesses with many qualifying hereditaments will need to monitor this carefully

Changes to Rating List Assessments

Any changes to assessments which might either decrease or increase the level of rateable value after 11 March 2020 are to be ignored unless it is clear to the Billing Authority that there is a manifest error.

 

If you would like more advice about your particular situation, please contact our business rates partners Simon or Alan – shown below.  As they are currently working from home, please make contact initially by email and Simon or Alan will respond as quickly as possible.