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COVID - Business Support Grants explained
19 November 2020
With ‘Lockdown 2’ in effect for England, the Government’s announced additional funding available to support businesses who’ve been forced to close or are continuing to suffer as a result of Covid. This announcement follows hot on the heels of an announcement on the 22nd October promising additional support, before the lockdown was put in place.
Central Government’s advised that the distribution of the funding available will be administered locally by the relevant Local Authorities and to date many of these Local Authorities aren’t as yet set up to process any applications.
The picture’s somewhat confusing, but the general message is that if you’re currently feeling the impacts of the pandemic directly or indirectly, there’ll likely be some form of financial assistance available.
To help you understand what’s available, we’ve attempted to summarise the current measures announced or in play as follows:
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed): Available to businesses who’ve been required to close for the current ‘Lockdown 2’ period.
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) – Further support available to businesses required by law to be closed since the original lockdown from 23rd March 2020.
Additional Restrictions Grant – Local Authorities have been allocated cash to support business in their local regions that have been required to close or been severely impacted by the new lockdown period.
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) – Businesses that have been impacted by the lockdown period within an area designated Alert Level High (Tier 2) or Very High (Tier 3) with a directive to focus on leisure & hospitality businesses.
For some of these support measures, the qualifying criteria’s clear, but others less so and Local Authorities will have discretion on how to distribute the cash allocated for each fund.
Generally, the level of support will be pegged against the Rateable Value (RV) of a business premises, but the big change from the initial round of support is the grants will now be available to businesses with larger or more valuable properties that have an RV in excess of £51,000.
We expect some Local Authorities may automatically allocate some of the grants to businesses that are eligible, but as in the original round of support, many will require a business to apply for the support and this will likely be via an online portal administered by each individual Local Authority.
We’d urge all our clients to review any grants they may be eligible for and to make enquiries with the Local Authority in which you have business premises and remember you can make multiple claims if you have multiple business premises.