Support for businesses liable for business rates that are mandated to close during national lockdown and for restrictions under Tiers 2 and 3

Introduction

On Wednesday 9th September, the Government announced there would be further funding to support businesses that are required to close due to localised restrictions being put in place to manage coronavirus and save lives.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ministers-announce-new-grants-for-businesses-affected-by-local-lockdowns

The Government announced on Friday 9 October changes to the grants within this scheme to provide further support to businesses required to close due to local restrictions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/job-support-scheme-expanded-to-firms-required-to-close-due-to-covid-restrictions 

On Saturday 31 October 2020 the Government announced further support for businesses through Additional Restrictions Grant.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced

On Monday 23 November, the Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan was published, with changes announced to the Tier system. See announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-publishes-covid-winter-plan    

Who will benefit from this scheme?

Grant payments for businesses who occupy premises within the business rates system.

How much funding will be provided to businesses?

Eligible businesses within Boston Borough covered by localised restrictions will receive a grant of up to £1,500 for each eligible premises and for each 2 week period that the restrictions are imposed as a result of the use of powers under Part 2A of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of £15,000 or below on the date of the commencement of the local lockdown will receive a payment of £667 for each 2 week closure. (£1,334 per month).

Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of over £15,000 but less than £51,000 on the commencement date of the local lockdown, will receive £1,000 for each 2 week closure. (£2,000 per month).

Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of £51,000 or over on the commencement date of the local lockdown, will receive £1,500 for each 2 week closure. (£3,000 per month).

One payment will be made for the 4 week national lockdown period 5th November 2020 to 2nd December 2020.  We will endeavour to make payment within 10 working days of a successful application submission.

If businesses are mandated to remain closed when entering Tiers 2 or 3 and a grant has been paid for the 4 week national lockdown period, we will continue to make recurring payments to your business or organisation.  Emails will be issued to those individual businesses we have identified with further information and conditions of payment.

Eligibility Criteria for Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) – business rate paying businesses

Businesses that were open as usual and providing in-person services to customers from their business premises and then required to close for a consecutive period of no less than two weeks as a result of regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 will be eligible for this funding.

This could include, for example, non-essential retail, personal services or cafes/restaurants that operate primarily as an in-person venue but have been forced to close these services and instead provide takeaway-only services.

This funding is only available for business closures caused by restrictions that had their first full day on or after the 5th November 2020. It is not retrospective.

Further information on which types of businesses are required to close can be found by using the following links: –

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae#businesses-and-venues

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england

Subject to State aid limits, businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible hereditament within the lockdown zone. So, some businesses may receive more than one grant where they have more than one eligible premise.

Businesses still subject to national closures (e.g. nightclubs) will also be eligible.

 Exclusions to Local Restrictions Support Grant – business rate payers

  • Businesses subject to local restrictions that are implemented for less than 14 days and businesses that are closed for less than 14 days are not eligible for grant funding.
  • Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely (e.g. accountants, solicitors).
  • Businesses in areas outside the scope of the localised restrictions, as defined by Government, are also excluded.
  • Businesses that have chosen to close but not been required to will not be eligible for this grant.
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.
  • Businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.


Who will receive this funding? – Business rate paying businesses

The person who according to the Council’s records was the ratepayer in respect of the premises on the date of the first full day of local lockdown is eligible for the grant. This grant is available to the ratepayer only and may be liable for recovery if the recipient was not the ratepayer on the eligible day.

The precise set of businesses eligible for the scheme may vary based on the Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions that are established in recognition of the specific evidence and conditions for each area. To find out what additional measures apply in our area, see link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/full-list-of-local-covid-alert-levels-by-area 

Is grant income taxable?

Grant income received by a business is taxable, therefore the Local Restrictions Support Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.

Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.


Fraud

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud – and any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.


Appeals

There is no right to appeal and the decision of the Council is final.

Privacy Information

The information that you provide will be removed from the council’s webserver within 48 hours Mon-Friday and 72 hours Sat-Sun.  Copies of the information will then be stored in line with the council’s retention and disposal policy

Boston Borough Council will retain some of your business contact details to document its role in processing Business Support Grant Applications.  We will retain the business contact details (which may contain personal contact details) for 2 years.  We will retain any details relating to all applications for up to 10 years. 

Boston Borough may also use your business contact details to make contact in respect of its role in the economic wellbeing of the local area.  This information may also be shared with Central Government’s BEIS who may wish to contact you as they are the agency that has provided the funding support to local authorities.

Boston Borough Council has a statutory duty in delivery of support via the Business Support Grant Process.

To find out more about why we need your information, what we will do with it and how to contact us if you have any concerns or questions please read our Privacy Notice at https://www.mybostonuk.com/privacy-notice/