Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

Support for businesses during national lockdown period

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

This support will take the form of a grant funding scheme in Financial Year 2020-2021, called the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).

These grants will be issued for each two-week period that a business is closed following the implementation of statutory localised restrictions and business closures.

This funding is available for businesses that were required to close because of the formal publication of local lockdown guidance that resulted in a first full day of closures on 5th November 2020. This funding is not retrospective.

On 12th November 2020, the Government published guidance for businesses on support available depending on the different restrictions that are currently in place or may be imposed in the future.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19#support-for-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-restrictions

Who will benefit from this scheme?

There are two elements of funding under this scheme:

  • Grant payments for businesses who occupy premises within the business rates system.
  • There is a small budget which can be used to support businesses which are closed but are not in the business rating system as well as businesses that may not be required to close but which are severely impacted (e.g. because of closure of their supplier or the customers that they supply to). This is known as the Additional Restrictions Grant.


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.

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 that are closed for less than two weeks 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 at the date of the local lockdown 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.


Eligibility Criteria for Additional Restrictions Grant

There will be a limited amount of funding available to help other businesses affected by closures which may not be on the business rates list. 

This funding may also be used to support businesses that are still open but severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the Spread of Covid-19.  This may include for example, businesses which supply the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.

Full details of Boston Borough Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant will be published here once the scheme has been fully considered and approved.

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.