New support grants for businesses in local lockdown
Oct 08, 2020
Although Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds have so far escaped the alarming rise of coronavirus cases seen in some other parts of the country, it pays to be aware of further government help available should a local lockdown affect our county businesses.
In addition to the other existing loans, grants and tax breaks, the government has announced that businesses which have been required to close due to temporary Covid-19 local lockdown restrictions will be able to claim a Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG).
The Local Restrictions Support Grant is aimed at helping you if your business was open as usual, but has then been required to close for at least three weeks due to local lockdown or targeted restrictions imposed by government.
The grant is worth up to £1,500 every three weeks, and is available if you pay business rates on your premises. If your business has a property with a rateable value of less than £51,000, you will receive a cash grant of £1,000 for each three week period your business is closed. If your business has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you will receive a cash grant of £1,500 for each three week period your business is closed.
The grant will be extended to cover each additional three week period. So if your business is closed for six weeks it will receive £2,000 or £3,000, depending on the rateable value of the property.
Eligibility for local lockdown grants
Your business may be eligible if it:
- occupies property on which it pays business rates.
- is in a local lockdown area and has been required to close because of the formal publication of local restrictions guidance that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September. This funding is not retrospective
- has been required to close for at least three weeks because of the lockdown
- has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises
An in-person customer service could include non-essential retail, personal services or cafes/restaurants which have been forced to close their eat-in facilities and provide a takeaway-only service instead. Any businesses still closed at a national level (e.g. nightclubs) will not be eligible.
If your business is required to close but you don’t pay business rates, you may still be eligible for funding at the discretion of your local council. Local authorities will receive an additional 5% top up of business support funding, in order to help those firms which aren’t on the business rates list but which have been affected by closures. Payments made to businesses from this discretionary fund can be any amount up to £1,500, although they may be less than £1,000 in some cases.
Grants will be based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of local lockdown restrictions. And as with other Covid-19 business grants, local grants to closed businesses will be treated as taxable income.
If you have any questions about your eligibility for a Local Restriction Support Grant, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.