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Are you one of the businesses yet to claim your (rates) grant?

Updated statistics were released earlier this week showing as of 31 May, over £10.07 billion (up from £9.9 billion on 26 May) has been paid out to over 819,000 (804,000) business properties via the SBGF and RHLGF schemes. This is over 81% (up from 75%) of the grant funding allocated to local authorities.  Details are at distributions per local authority can be found via link.

On a related matter we have blogged on details of the administration of the “top up fund” or “Local Authority Discretionary Fund”:

  • UK Government guidance to local authorities – here
  • Examples of schemes introduced by local authorities (and a guide as to how to look for details in  your local authority area – here

For now back to the existing parameters for SBGF and RHLGF.  Below is a reminder of who is eligible and how to make that application and a riposte to the Mail Online piece that accused the local authorities of “sitting on” these grant funds.

Are you eligible?

The small business grant and the retail, hospitality and leisure grants are linked to the rateable value of your premises. Our blog goes into more detail, but essentially if you are a business in England and fall into one of the categories below you may qualify for a grant.

  1. You have a a property that was eligible for small business rates relief (SBRR), including those eligible for tapered relief (as of 11 March 2020) or rural rates relief (RRR)
  2. You are eligible at 11 March, for receipt of the expanded retail discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with property/ properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Noting that if your business is eligible for this grant, it is per property so if you have 2 (or more) properties with rateable value of less than £51,000 you are entitled to 2 (or more) grants.

Claiming your grant

Initially guidance said that local authorities would be writing to all eligible business in their area.  However, that was not the case for all local authorities and some were inviting applications. Therefore if you haven’t received a letter from your local authority, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are not entitled.

If you have yet to apply / receive the grant then:

  1. Check your business post to see if you have received a letter from your local council(s) asking you to make an application.
    • If yes then follow those instructions – we have been told that the online application process is straightforward.
    • If no, then:
  2. Read the guidance and self-assess if you are eligible for a grant. If yes, then:
  3. If you know who your local authority/ authorities are then go to point 4, if not then to find your local authority, use this search tool.
  4. Visit your local authority’s (or authorities if you have multiple properties in different locations) website and see who to make contact with – we have listed below a number of South West council’s website addresses and other useful information.

Local authorities – useful information

Local authorityContact details
Torbay CouncilContact us
Somerset West and Taunton Councilbrgrants@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk

0300 304 8000

Cornwall Councilonline contact form

0300 1234 171

Plymouth City Council (and InvestPlymouth)01752 308984
Exeter City Councilbusiness.rates@exeter.gov.uk
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole CouncilOnline application form
Wiltshire Council Covid-19BusinessSupport@wiltshire.gov.uk
Bristol City Councilbusiness.rates@bristol.gov.uk

Other local authority websites can be found via the search tool and we suspect that most have business support pages that should feature ‘Business Grant Funding’ or similar – for example in three clicks we got from search tool to the section on Cornwall Council’s website and a contact number.

Information required (there may be some small variations between authorities):

  • Your Business Rates account number
  • Property address
  • Business name
  • An electronic copy or image of your most recent business account bank statement (for applications)

We hope that this helps, and again we encourage you to access the grants that are sitting waiting for you to claim.

If you have any questions on this or the other grant and business support packages, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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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