Updated: Jan 19
All rateable businesses forced to close under the national lockdown in England will now receive two, lump sum, grant payments, with the strong possibility of a third payment in mid-February.
In aggregate that will add up to between £8,000 and £18,000 each of guaranteed support, if the national lockdown extends beyond February 16.
The automatic distribution of a Closed Business Lockdown Payment of £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000 will come alongside an upfront and automatically recurring, six week payment of the Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed Addendum payment of £2,000, £3,000 or £4,500.
Businesses will automatically receive both elements together, with in some instances, a third small payment of a balancing pro-rata payment for the days between December 31 and January 4.
I understand these payments are likely to begin to be paid from around about January 21 for those businesses that are already active on the Local Authority database, from any successful LRSGCA applications made during the November lockdown.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET?
RATEABLE VALUE CBLP LRSG CA TOTAL
Less than £15,000 £4,000 £2,000 £ 6,000
£15,000 - £51,000 £6,000 £3,000 £ 9,000
Above £51,000 £9,000 £4,500 £13,500
Today's new guidance states that Local Authorities must pay the grant upfront at the beginning of payment cycles, and therefore if England is still under national restrictions on February 15th, a second six-week payment of the LRSGCA amount, of £2,000, £3,000 or £4,500 based on your rateable value, will be paid out to all eligible businesses in the week of February 16th to take them through to March 31.
A closure date of March 31 will apply to applications nationally. Both grants are taxable and contingent on having a business rate listing and being forced to close by law.
Businesses that are eligible are those that have been mandated to close by Government and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.
Hospitality, Leisure and Accommodation businesses that had to close under local tier restrictions, before the 6th January and are already in receipt of a recurring Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed Addendum (LRSGCA) payment, will now automatically receive a six week upfront payment for the period to February 15, rather than the previous fortnightly payment and this will be automatically paid alongside a Closed Business Lockdown Payment, a one-off grant of £4,000, £6,000, or £9,000 as soon as possible.
Non-essential retail businesses, personal care business and others, who were closed under law and successfully applied for a grant in the November national lockdown, but then re-opened before Christmas and saw those grants cease, will now also be automatically paid a six week block payment for the period January 5th to February 15th. This will be paid along with the relevant lump sum payment of CBLP, according to their business rates listing.
I understand certain local councils may now consider simply posting an enquiry form for any other eligible, rateable business that is not already on their database from the November lockdown grants and which was forced to close from January 5.
This will negate the need to start a full additional application process.
NON-RATES LISTED BUSINESSES OR THOSE STILL OPEN
Whilst the support is consistent for those business forced to close, for those who aren't the person listed as the ratepayer on their premises, those who don't have a rates listing, or those who fall outside of the sectors told to close, but who have seen their trade fall off a cliff, the proposed road to any support at all is far less certain.
For all those non-rateable businesses, or those still open but seeing a severe drop in demand, there will be a separate application process under the Additional Restrictions Grant.
Each council has been given the opportunity to make it's own decision on eligibility priorities locally, but this along with the rush to pay the businesses already on the LRSGCA database means they must define, document and post their own policy and it's unlikely those applications will go live before February.
The exception to this is if the Local Authority chooses to simply replicate the policy for the previous Additional Restrictions Grant in November and December last year, which under government guidance limited applicants to those supplying the Hospitality, Leisure and Accommodation sectors, or non-rateable businesses in those sectors who had seen a severe drop in demand.
However, that policy ruled out home-based businesses, applicants suffering in other sectors and eligibility was determined by fixed business costs, rather than those that had suffered the greatest overall % loss of net income.
One change being considered could see larger businesses, now compensated with substantially larger, discretionary amounts that more accurately reflect their ongoing costs.
In November and December they were pegged under government guidance to the maximum equivalent payout on the LRSG Open of £2,100 per month.
That eligibility criteria for the A.R.G. when defined and the applications forms needed will appear on the relevant pages below.