Thu 16 Apr 2020
Coronavirus Business Grants - FAQs
Here are answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions we've been asked surrounding the Small Business Grant (SBG) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG)
I haven’t received an email or letter and think I am eligible, what do I do?
Businesses that were in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate as of 11 March 2020 will be eligible for the Small Business Grants Fund.
You can find out if you receive rate relief by checking the breakdown of your bill on the back of your business rates statement.
For the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants Fund, businesses with properties that have a rateable value of under £51,000 are eligible.
Emails or letters (if we don’t have an email address for you) have been sent to those who we think may be eligible for the Small Business Grant (SBG) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHBG)
If you’re expecting an email it’s worth checking your spam folder in case an email is in there.
If you haven’t received a letter or email we ask that you check the eligibility criteria on the Government website.
If you still think that you are eligible then please email your name, business name, business address and phone number to the following email address so we can look into this for you: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please provide the following information in all correspondence: your email address along with your name, business name and address and business rates account reference and property reference. These can be found on your business rates statement.
I can’t get in my premises to get the letter because of the current coronavirus (Covid-19) situation. What shall I do?
If you have checked your eligibility and you are expecting a letter from us but cannot get into your business to pick it up, please email your name, business name, business address, phone number, email address and business rates account reference and property reference (if applicable) to email@example.com we can look into this for you.
I received my email/letter but think I may have filled out the form incorrectly - what do I do?
If you think you may have filled out the form incorrectly, please let us know by emailing any additional information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whose name shall I put in the ratepayer details section of the form?
The name of the person or company who pays the business rates for the property.
When will my grant land in my business bank account?
The payment will arrive in your company bank account a few days after we have received and processed your application.
Is the grant subject to tax?
Yes the funding is subject to tax, as are the business costs the grant is supporting
Eligibity – Businesses with rateable value of less that £51,000:
The rateable value of my property is less than £15,000, but I do not qualify for Small Business Rate Relief. Will I get a grant?
Yes, if you are in the Retail, Hospitality or Leisure sector then you will receive grant funding.
How do I know if my business is classified as retail, hospitality or leisure?
You can check the criteria on the Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-retail-hospitality-and-leisure-businesses-that-pay-business-rates
Does a beauty salon’ description fall within the retail, leisure and hospitality requirement to qualify for a cash grant?
Yes. As long as the business is in commercial premises with a rateable value is below £51,000.
I am entitled to both the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG)?
No, if you are eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund(SBGF) then who will not be also eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG)
I am in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR), but pay £0 in rates, am I eligible for the £10,000 grant?
Yes, properties with a rateable value of less than £12,000 will get the £10,000 grant where Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) has been applied. Commercial properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £15,000 who receive tapered Small Business Rate Relief are also eligible for the £10,000 grant.
I feel that I pay too much in rates and want my property re-rated. How do I do this?
You can contact The Valuation Office Agency if you dispute the rateable value of the property at www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-check-your-rateable-value-is-correct
The Valuation Office Agency is a Central Government function that local councils cannot influence.
Can East Cambs District Council use their discretion to honour a grant if a business does not fully align to the criteria?
No. Local councils cannot do that. Central government sets the criteria and requires local councils to submit detailsof all grant recipients to ensure they adhere to the thresholds.
Can I retrospectively register my business with business rates to receive a grant?
No. The cut-off date for businesses to be rates registered was 11 March 2020.
I pay the business rates to my landlord, not to East Cambs District Council, will I get a grant?
No. The grant is for the business that pays rates to the council, whose details we hold in the premises record
I am the landlord of an empty property, will I be eligible for the grant?
No. The grant is for occupied premises only.
Do businesses who do not pay business rates such as those operating out of Enterprise Zones qualify for Cash Grants?
If a business is not registered for business rates, they will not get funding through these schemes.
I run my business from home, am I eligible for the grant?
No. The grants are linked to rate-paying commercial premises only.
I am a charity that gets rate relief, am I eligible for the grant?
You will be eligible for the grant if the charity meets the expanded retail discount criteria which is retail, hospitality or leisure.
Can businesses with multiple properties claim multiple grants? (e.g. Can a barber’s with three shops, each with less than a £15k rateable value, claim three £10k grants?)
Businesses can only receive one grant under the Small Business Grant Scheme.
Businesses eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme can claim one grant per eligible property.
Other financial support:
My business premises have a rateable value of over £51,000, is there any help from Government for me?
The Small Business Grant (SBG) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHBG) scheme is limited to properties with a maximum rateable value of below £51,000.
If your business is in receipt of the Retail Rate Relief this will be increased from 50% to 100% in 2020/21 and has been expanded to include hospitality and leisure sectors.
For businesses above this limit, there are other funding options available which can be accessed on the Central Government website https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/
What help is available for the self-employed?
The Government have announced measures of support for those who are self-employed through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.
How will I cover employee wages?
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).