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EMERGENCY GRANTS - ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY APPLICATIONS



The monies from central government to support local businesses who have suffered through Covid 19, through an immediate emergency grant of £10,000 and £25,000, are now with your local authority to distribute to you.


Detailed government guidance on who is eligible for the RETAIL HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE GRANT or the SMALL BUSINESS GRANT FUND – FOR ALL SECTORS is available here.


With a severe workload now upon them in reviewing the applications and disbursing the funds, the Local Authorities Business Rates department have informed us that they will prioritise properly completed forms.


If you are struggling with any aspect of this, we are here to help you. We’ve been asked for assistance in confirming the relevant grants for clients who were unsure how to complete their application or find the data they need.


If you need our help with any of this just drop us an email to covid19@tagac.co.uk with Local Authority Grant in the subject line and we’ll sort it all out for you if we can.


HOW DO YOU GET THE MONEY?

· you should make an online application on the council website

· using the reference from the letter they have sent


WHAT IF I HAVEN’T GOT THE LETTER OR THE DATA, I NEED TO FILL IN MY ONLINE APPLICATION?

For many who have been told to close their premises, they may not have access to either the letter or the historical business rates correspondence they need to fill in the form and desperately need the funding to come through.

Don’t panic. First check if you’re on the local authorities register and therefore eligible here by entering your postcode

This will give you much of the key data you will need.


KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER

You can only get the funding from one of the two schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund, but not both.




RETAIL HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE GRANT

Many of these businesses have been told to close by the government to help stop the spread of the pandemic. In many cases it will be obvious that your business qualifies. However, for certain types of business careful consideration of the criteria is necessary.

Some businesses are expressly excluded from the reliefs.

The detailed criteria and categories for England are set out in government guidance on the expanded retail discount.


SMALL BUSINESS GRANT FUND – FOR ALL SECTORS


If you don’t qualify for the RHLG, that’s not the end of it as you may very well be able to apply for the Small Business Grant Fund, available to businesses in every sector, as long as you are already in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR)


· use the postcode checker to see if you are on the register

· if you are on the register fill out the online application.


The Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) is managed by local authorities and provides up to £10,000 as a one-off grant to help small business owners meet their operating costs. Only businesses in England are eligible for the SBGF and businesses can only claim once, even if they have multiple business premises.


Formally the criteria is that those included in this scheme are those which on the 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the business rate pre-existing Small Business Rate Relief Scheme, (including those with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 which receive tapered relief)


Or businesses which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the rural rate relief scheme are also eligible for the SBGF.


Businesses whose property includes those also utilised for personal use are excluded, along with car parks and parking spaces. Any business in liquidation or dissolved on or before 11 March 2020 is also excluded.


I’M NOT ON LIST AND I THINK I SHOULD BE- CAN I APPEAL?


If businesses think the local authority records may be incorrect, then they should inform their local authority through the authority’s website, along with their landlord or management agent.


The long and short of it is that this is an evolving process with two new schemes rushed out in an emergency, so there are of course grey areas, and these are under consideration as they come to light.

Local Authorities are therefore having regular conference calls with central government on clarifications required

Formal details on an appeal process are pending and will come through in coming weeks.


Here’s the latest on that appeals process


· Eligibility is based on rateable values recorded on the rating list at 11 March 2020.

· Subsequent changes since then to the rating list will be disregarded.

· However, where it was "factually clear" that the rating list was "inaccurate" then local authorities have the discretion to award (or withhold) the cash grant.

· This is intended to be limited to those businesses that should qualify but are currently not on the list as a result of a manifest error, rather than a dispute over the rateable value

· For multiple separate business occupying one property on the register, the current view is it is unlikely that that there will more than be one grant per (Hereditament) property,

Any questions just give us a shout at covid19@tagac.co.uk.

We are here for you and we will get through this together. Stay safe!

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