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Grant schemes to support businesses in November 2020 national lockdown – what we know

Blog updated for guidance published on 3 November.

We now have more clarity on the grant support for businesses referred to by HM Treasury and the Chancellor at the weekend.  It would appear the grant support is to be delivered through a number of schemes (the reading of which is like trying to follow the plotline of the Matrix…).

I anticipate that we now wait for Local Authorities to post up details onto their websites as to how they will administer the various schemes and including their criteria for the discretionary scheme (the Additional Restrictions Support Grant).

Headlines

In summary the 5 areas of guidance issued to Local Authorities cover the following:

Documents Aimed at businesses
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum; Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Eligible, business rate paying business that are required to close under Local Covid Alert Level ‘Very High’ restrictions (LCAL 3) or a national lockdown.
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) Eligible, business rate paying business that are still open but severely impacted by Local Covid Alert Level ‘High’ (LCAL 2) and ‘Very High’ (LCAL 3) restrictions.
Additional Restrictions Support Grant (ARG) Businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19. Discretionary – at discretion at Local Authorities.
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) Businesses that have been required to close due to national restrictions imposed on 23 March 2020 and which have not been able to re-open as a result of regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

 Guidance at link and link.  Extracts below.

 Eligible businesses

 “Businesses that were open as usual and providing in-person services to customers from their business premises and then required to close for a consecutive period of no less than 14 days as a result of regulations…. will be eligible for funding.”

Excluded are “Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely (e.g. accountants, solicitors).”

Funding

“Local Authorities, subject to local eligibility, will receive funding to meet the cost of payments to businesses within the business rates system based on an assessment of the number of eligible business hereditaments”.

Local Authorities to make the payments to businesses in 14-day tranches (local) or 28-day tranches (national).

Rateable value Payment per qualifying restriction period (local/ national)
exactly £15,000 or under £667 / £1,334
over £15,000 and less than £51,000 £1,000 / £2,000
exactly £51,000 or above £1,500 / £3,000

 “Subject to State aid limits, businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible hereditament within the restriction area. So, some businesses may receive more than one grant where they have more than one eligible hereditament.”

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) 

This will be in operation once national lockdown comes to an end and local restrictions will apply again.

Guidance at link.  Extracts below.

Eligible businesses

“The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) is aimed at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses. Local Authorities will have discretion as to how to award grant funding to individual businesses…The list is not exhaustive but is intended as a guide to Local Authorities on the types of business that the Government considers should be a priority for the scheme”.

Funding

“Government will provide grant funding to Local Authorities to support eligible businesses that are affected by LCAL 2 and 3 restrictions. This funding will be provided on a rolling 28-day basis for as long as LCAL 2 or 3 restrictions apply”.

Rateable value Payment per 28-day period
exactly £15,000 or under Up to £934
over £15,000 and less than £51,000 Up to £1,400
exactly £51,000 or above Up to £2,100

Additional Restrictions Grant

Guidance at link.  Extracts below.

Eligible businesses

“…we encourage Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19. This could include – for example – businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.”

Local Authorities could also use the fund to:

  • help businesses outside the business rates system, which are effectively forced to close – for example market traders.
  • to provide additional support to larger local businesses which are important to the local economy, on top of the funding provided to those businesses via the LRSG (Closed) scheme.

Businesses must have been trading on the first full day of national or LCAL 3 restrictions to be eligible to receive a grant support.

Funding

“Local Authorities will receive a one-off lump sum payment amounting to £20 per head in each eligible Local Authority when LCAL 3 or widespread national restrictions are imposed. Local authorities can use this funding for business support activities”.

“Local Authorities can determine how much funding to provide to businesses from the ARG funding provided, and exactly which businesses to target.”

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)

Guidance at link.  Extracts below.

Eligible businesses and Funding

Eligible businesses are:

  1. Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  2. Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars

Businesses must have been trading on 23 March 2020 to be eligible to receive a grant payment. If new national closures of business property types are announced, then the business must have been trading on the date of the announced closure in order to be eligible.

Payments will be made for each 14-day period of closure from 1 November 2020.

Funding will be at levels Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

Interaction between schemes

Businesses will not be eligible for multiple versions of the Local Restrictions Support Grant under widespread national restrictions.

LRSG (Closed) scheme will be netted off from the funding provided by the LRSG (Open) scheme.

Local Authorities will be able to use their additional restriction grant funding to top up grant funding where they deem it necessary to support businesses essential to their local economies.

General exclusions from all schemes

Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.

More details and how to apply

We would recommend that businesses look on their local councils websites and newsfeeds etc (and if required this link may be useful) to find out the application process, once announced. We will update with the local authority information when we have it.

FEATURING: Richard Wadman
Richard qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1993. Since 2006 he has worked in Corporate Finance, firstly with the predecessor firm in Truro… read more
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