FAQs - Grants for businesses required to temporarily close
To reduce social contact, the government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services from Thursday 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020.
Businesses forced to temporarily close to the public - such as non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses - that were open until the widespread national restrictions began can claim a fixed grant (formally known as the local restrictions support grant (closed) of £1,334, £2,000 or £3,000 for the four week national lockdown period, with the grant amount depending on the rateable value of the premises.
You can look up the rateable value of your business (GOV.UK)
How do I claim?
Harborough District Council is distributing the grant according to a strict national eligibility criteria, and is encouraging all eligible businesses to apply online as soon as possible.
Which businesses are required to close?
These include non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
- Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs: with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.
- Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites: except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
- Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges
- Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks, theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
- Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons: tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes
- Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect
- Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals
Who will receive the funding?
The person who, according to Harborough District Council's records, was the ratepayer for that premises on the 5 November 2020. Where the council has reason to believe that the information they hold about the ratepayer on the first full day of the local restrictions is inaccurate, they may withhold or recover the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer. The grant is for the ratepayer and recovery action may be taken if the recipient of the grant was not the ratepayer on the eligible day.
If I have to close how much grant will I receive?
Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the 5 November 2020 will receive a payment of £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period. Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the 5 November 2020 will receive a payment of £2,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period. Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the 5 November 2020 will receive £3,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
What about retailers who have businesses that have mixed premises and only part of the business is subject to national closures (e.g. locksmith/shoe repairs, restaurant/takeaway)?
It has been agreed that business who have adapted their business to offer Takeaways and 'Click and Collect' products will still be eligible for this scheme. This is because their substantive business had to close. This will include, for example, a restaurant who can no longer receive seated guests but has instead moved towards providing takeaway food collection or deliveries.
How quickly will I receive my grant?
Subject to Harborough District Council having all the required information/evidence we will aim to pay grants as soon as possible.
When do businesses have to have been trading from in order to be eligible for the grant?
The business must have been trading the day before restrictions came into force.
Where can we find a list of eligible businesses that are under national restrictions?
Please see the regulations for those businesses that are required to close and those that are allowed to remain open: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 (legislation.gov.uk)
Are there any conditions attached to this grant funding?
Recipients of grant funding must comply with all the scheme conditions, including state aid requirements and by providing information to Harborough District Council to support monitoring and assurance. By accepting the grant each recipient confirms that they comply with the conditions for the scheme. Businesses must notify Harborough District Council if they no longer meet the eligibility criteria for additional grants at any point in any local restrictions period, for example, if they become insolvent. If Harborough District Council subsequently finds that this self-declaration is incorrect, it will be able to take action and the business would be liable to pay the money back.
Are grants made under the scheme subject to tax?
Grant income received by a business is taxable, therefore the support grant will be subject to tax. Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.
Do I have a right of appeal if my grant claim is refused?
What other financial support is available to help my business?
There are a range of loans, grants and other support you may be eligible for alongside this grant. You can read more about these here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for businesses
My business doesn’t have a rateable value but I’ve been forced to close, am I eligible for a grant?
For affected businesses without a rateable value or businesses that are severely impacted rather than closed, a separate discretionary grant scheme, known as the additional restrictions grant will also be launched shortly. The Council is reviewing national guidance and urgently developing this discretionary scheme which will be published online along with details on eligibility and the application process as soon as possible.
You can read more about the additional restrictions grant below.
Additional restrictions grant (ARG) FAQs
A separate discretionary scheme has been introduced to support those businesses which are closed but are not in the business rating system as well as businesses that may not be required to close but which are severely impacted (e.g. because of closure of their suppliers or the customers they supply to).
Which businesses are eligible for grants through the additional restrictions grant?
Local authorities have discretion to determine which businesses to support and how much funding to provide. However, local authorities are encouraged to support businesses that have been severely impacted by the restrictions but may not qualify under the local restrictions support grant scheme (Closed).
How much is the grant under this scheme?
The amount and frequency of payments is set locally for this scheme. In taking decisions on the appropriate level of grant, local authorities may want to take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business in question, the number of employees, whether they are unable to trade online and the consequent scale of coronavirus losses.
If a business does not resume trading after the restriction period is it still eligible for a cash grant?
Yes, so long as the business is not in liquidation or dissolved or is subject to a striking off notice when the grant is awarded.
Will parish councils be eligible for this fund?
Yes, town and parish councils are eligible if they meet all the scheme criteria (the precepting authority exclusion does not apply to this fund). Each application must be assessed on its individual facts.
Can non-rated businesses receive support under this scheme?
Yes, Local Authorities can use this scheme to support businesses outside of the business rating system.
Are self-employed businesses eligible to receive funding under the ARG scheme?
Yes, at their discretion, Local Authorities can provide grants to self-employed businesses.
Are there any conditions attached to the discretionary grant funding?
Recipients of grant funding must comply with all the scheme conditions, including State Aid requirements and by providing information to the Local Authority to support monitoring and assurance. By accepting the grant each recipient confirms that they comply with the conditions for the scheme. If a Local Authority subsequently finds that this self-declaration is incorrect, it will be able to take action and the business would be liable to pay the money back.
Do I have a right of appeal if my grant claim is refused?
The Council is reviewing national guidance and urgently developing this discretionary scheme which will be published online along with details on eligibility and the application process as soon as possible.