HM Government has announced a raft of new support provisions to help businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic including small business rate relief grants. The current lockdown is creating unprecedented pressure on UK businesses – with small and micro businesses especially feeling the pinch. One new announcement is support for businesses that pay little or no business rates on their premises. There are several rate-based grants available and the Government hopes the fiscal measures can help boost the economy in the longer-term.
The £10,000 Small Business Rate Relief Grant – Explained
The grant-based scheme which is being funded by national Government but distributed by local authorities will provide additional small business support. Eligibility for the £10,000 grant scheme is predicated on rate relief support provision from local authorities in England. Those businesses who already qualify for SBBR, RRL or tapered relief can get their hands on this extra grant funding during these difficult times
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has already begun working with local authorities in England to help distribute funds as quickly as possible. There will be a disparity between local authorities. Some local authorities will contact you directly whilst other local authorities want individual businesses to apply themselves. Furthermore, the scheme won’t be available until mid-April as per the guidance on the GOV.UK website.
What About The £25,000 Grant?
The Government also announced that those especially hard-hit businesses in the leisure, retail, and hospitality sector operating from small venues, with a rateable value of between £15,000 to £51,000, will be eligible for the £25,000 grant. HM Government has also stated that these very same businesses will be exempt from business rates for the 2020/21 tax year.
The Government has stated that business properties that could benefit from this relief will be buildings that are utilised as the following business ventures:
1. Shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs, nightclubs and live music venues along with cinemas and leisure businesses.
2. Guesthouses, boarding premises or self-catering bed and breakfasts along with hotels.
Like the £10,000 grant, you won’t really need to take any action as the relief will be applied to the next council tax bill in April 2020. One should note that local authorities might have to reissue your original tax bill to therein exclude the charge rates. Local Authorities will be doing this as soon as possible under the urging of HMRC.
What about the Rest of the UK?
In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland things are the same or a little different thanks to devolution settlements. Let’s find out the basics.
Wales – What Do We Know?
In Wales, the Welsh Assembly has simply copied the English model for retail, leisure, hospitality and nursery businesses for the £10,0000 and £25,000 rate relief grants. There is a slight divergence from the English model in that the £25,000 grant is now available for businesses with a rateable value of £12,001 to £51,000 compared to £15,000 in England. The Welsh Assembly also offers the £10,000 grant to those in receipt of SBBR/RRR.
Scotland – What Do We Know?
Scotland likewise copies the English model. Small business recipients of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (like England’s SBRR). The Scottish offer copies the 12-month relief in England for hospitality, leisure and retail sectors with a £10,000 and £25,000 grant dependent on their rateable value. In Scotland, those businesses below £18,000 are eligible for £10,000 in grant payments. However, for the £25,000 grant, you will need a rateable value of between £18,000 to £51,000 to be eligible. Furthermore, all Scottish properties will get a further 1.6% rate relief along with rate relief of up to £5,000 for pubs will a rateable value of less than £100,000 from the 1st of April 2020.
Northern Ireland – What Do We Know?
With the Power-sharing executive just restarting after a three-year hiatus. Northern Ireland has thus far only proposed zero rates payable for the next three months.
At Prestige Business Management we can help. Our clients understand we go that extra mile and in the current uncertain times we live in we can help by providing stability and support. Why not get in touch with Prestige Business Management today on 0203 773 2927. We can help you make sense of small business rate relief grants and how they could help your business during these uncertain times.