Government grant for businesses

These grants are now closed to new applicants. 

In response to the Coronavirus crisis the Government announced two grant funding schemes:

1. The Small Business Grant Fund offers a grant for small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. The fund will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs. See additional information and exclusions below

2. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund offers grant funding of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses:

  • businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000
  • businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000

See additional information and exclusions below

We sent emails and letters inviting eligible businesses to apply for the grants. 

We successfully paid over £8,000,000 to 672 businesses in the first week. 

Changes to the Rating List

Eligibility for the two grants is based on the rating list as at March 2020. Any changes to the rating list that are backdated to 11 March will be ignored for the purposes of the grant, except cases where the Billing Authority knows it to be ‘factually clear’ that the rating list on 11 March 2020 was inaccurate. Payments can be made or withheld based on the authority’s view of who would have been entitled if the rating list had been accurate.

Additional information about eligibility 

1. Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)

If your business is based in England and on the 11 March 2020 was eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief or the Rural Rate Relief, you may receive a cash grant of £10,000.

Exclusions:

  • Properties used for personal use (e.g. stables, beach huts, moorings etc.)
  • Car parks and parking spaces
  • Businesses in liquidation or dissolved on 11 March 2020
  • One grant per property only

The grant is subject to State Aid up to £200,000 limit over 3 years. Upon application you will be required to sign a declaration confirming that the company will not breach this requirement by receiving the grant.

2. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant fund (RHLGF)

Properties, based in England, which on the 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than £51,000 and would have been eligible for a discount under the Business Rates Expanded Retail Discount* scheme, had the scheme been in force (including Charities which would otherwise have met the criteria, but had their bill reduced to nil for 11 March by a local discretionary award) will be eligible for this grant as follows:

  • rateable value of £15,000 and under - £10,000
  • rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 - £25,000

Exclusions:

  • Properties used for personal use (e.g. stables, beach huts, moorings etc.)
  • Car parks and parking spaces
  • Businesses in liquidation or dissolved on 11th March 2020
  • Properties with a rateable value over £51,000
  • Recipients eligible for SBGF
  • One grant allowed per property

*for eligibility criteria of the Expanded Retail Discount, please see our Discretionary Relief Policy document.

The grant is subject to State Aid up to €8000,000 limit under the UK Covid19 Temporary Framework approved scheme. Upon application you will be required to sign a declaration confirming that the company will not breach this requirement by receiving the grant.

Who receives the funding?

The person who, according to Billing Authority’s records was a ratepayer in respect of the property on the 11 March 2020. Please note that businesses that are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in these schemes.

If the Billing Authority believes the ratepayer information held is inaccurate, we can withhold or recover the grant in full and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer.

Managing risk of fraud

By accepting the grant payment the business confirms that they are eligible for the grant schemes.

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

As a business you will also want reassurance that you are protected from possible fraudulent claims for help with grants and will want to be vigilant and to make sure you are providing your sensitive financial and business information for a legitimate purpose and directly to the Billing Authority. Please read our Protect Your Business From Fraudsters webpage carefully to find out what to expect from your billing authority implementing this process and how to protect your business.

What if I don’t qualify?

If you do not fall under the eligibility criteria for the above grants, please see information on other help available for businesses through our website or on the government’s pages.

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