COVID-19 (Coronavirus) : Support for Employers and Employees

COVID-19 Business Grants

Small Business and Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Funds Update 21 July 2020

We will continue to pay grants to those businesses whose hereditaments were rated prior to 11 March 2020, they are liable for the business rates and the business meets the criteria.

However, in accordance with guidance provided by central government, discretion was given to Local authorities in cases where it was factually clear on the 11 March 2020 that the rating list was inaccurate on that date. Local Authorities have the discretion to withhold or award the grant based on their view on who would have been entitled to the grant had the list been accurate. This is entirely at the discretion of the Local Authority and only intended to prevent manifest errors.

The FAQs for previous schemes stated: To avoid widespread requests/abuse, the guidance says that any change would need to have been factually clear to the Local Authorities on 11 March… An example would be that the Local Authority has inspected, the error was clear and it has lodged a report with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and knows it is going to be actioned.

What timescales will there be for the Valuation Office Agency referrals where the applicant has been identified through the scheme and should be eligible under one of the prior schemes?
To be eligible for the Small Business Grants Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund a hereditament is required to have been on the ratings list and eligible for the respective business rate relief schemes on the 11 March 2020. Discretion was given to Local Authorities in cases where it was factually clear on 1 March 2020 that the rating list was inaccurate on that date. Local Authorities have the discretion to withhold or award the grant based on their view of who would have been entitled to the grant had the list been accurate. This is entirely at the discretion of the Local Authority and only Intended to prevent manifest errors.

The FAQs for the previous schemes stated: 'To avoid widespread requests/abuse the guidance says that any change would need to have been factually clear to Local Authorities on 11 March... An example would be that the Local Authority has inspected, the error was clear and it has lodged a report with the VOA and knows it is going to be actioned. This is to avoid truly hard cases and is entirely at the Local Authority's discretion.

Businesses can be considered for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund if they are ineligible for the two prior grant schemes.

The full guidance can be found on the gov.uk website.