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COVID-19: business grant funding

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund 

Please note that it may take around 21 days to process discretionary grants applications, due to a high volume of applications and a higher level of verification and assessment of applications.

The Government announced a discretionary fund to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This is for those businesses who are currently not eligible for either the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant fund

The East Suffolk discretionary grant scheme has been developed to show the levels of funding available and the criteria that needs to be met.

Businesses eligible for the East Suffolk scheme will be as defined in groups A to F:

CategoryEligible businessAvailable grantProcess
Group A Businesses in shared spaces £10,000 Application 
Group B Market traders  £2,500 Application
Group C Charity properties
Charitable childcare businesses
£1,000
£10,000
Application
Group D Bed and Breakfast businesses £5,000 Application
Group E Crucial businesses to the local and regional economy with significant premises costs £10,000 Application determined by panel
Group F Additional small and micro businesses with fixed costs Up to a maximum of £10,000, dependent on Covid-19 impact Application determined by panel
Covid-19 Discretionary Business Grant application form

COVID-19: Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

The Government is offering two types of business grant funding:

  • Small Business Grant Fund – covering all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rate Relief.
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant – covering businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of:

  • up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000, subject to eligibility criteria
  • over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000, subject to eligibility criteria

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme. Only one grant is payable for each property.

There is no fee payable to apply for or to receive these grants
Small business grant fund application form Retail, hospitality and leisure grant application form
These forms should also be used for the refusal of grant declaration

You will need your Business Rates account reference, Company Reg no (if registered), VAT number (if registered), bank account number and sort code to complete the application process.

If you are unsure whether you are in the business rates system, all National Non Domestic Rates bills have been issued in the last month and you would have received a bill from us recently if you are. There may be alternative support available to you if you are not eligible for this grant.

Who are the grants payable to?

Grants are payable to the person who according to the billing authority’s records was the ratepayer in respect of the property on the 11 March 2020.

Where we have reason to believe that the information that we hold about the ratepayer on the 11 March 2020 is inaccurate we may withhold or recover the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer.

What are the detailed eligibility criteria?

Small Business Grant Fund

Properties which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the business rate Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (including those in the £12k - £15k rateable value taper) are eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund.

These are properties to which section 43 (4B)(a) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (small business rate relief) applied, and the value of E (as defined in article 3 of the Non-Domestic Rating (Relies, thresholds and Amendment) (England) Order 2017, SI 2017 No 2) was greater than 1.

This does not include properties that were not eligible for percentage SBRR relief but were eligible for the Small Business Rate Multiplier.

Properties which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the Rural Rate Relief Scheme are also eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme. These are properties to which: Section 43 (6B) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (rural rate relief) applies.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Properties which on 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than £51,000 and would have been eligible for a discount under the Expanded Retail Discount scheme had that scheme been in force for that date are eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme.

Exclusions applying to both schemes

The following businesses are not eligible for grant assistance:

  • Properties occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personal use include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings
  • Car parks and parking spaces
  • Properties with a rateable value of over £51,000
  • Council properties
  • For the avoidance of doubt, businesses which as of the 11 March 2020 were in liquidation or were dissolved will not be eligible

Falsifying records

Any business falsifying their records to gain additional grant money or committing any other fraudulent acts will face prosecution and any funding awarded will be subject to claw back and become immediately repayable in full to Central Government.

EU state aid

The United Kingdom left the EU on 31 January 2020, nonetheless under the Withdrawal Agreement the State aid rules continue to apply during a transition period, subject to regulation by the EU Commission.

Businesses receiving Small Business Grant Fund will be required to declare that they have not received more than €200,000 in total of de minimis aid within the current financial year or the previous two financial years.

Businesses receiving Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant will be required to declare that they have not received more than €800,000 in total of de minimis aid within the current financial year or the previous two financial years. This grant is given as aid under the Temporary Framework for State Aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak published on 19 March 2020.