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Business: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 4th May 2020.

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Photo of Selaine Saxby Selaine Saxby Conservative, North Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to support (a) small businesses and (b) the high street to recover from the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Selaine Saxby Selaine Saxby Conservative, North Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to provide support to local authorities to support SMEs during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Simon Clarke Simon Clarke Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government has announced a package of support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. In particular, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been working across Government to provide £12.33 billion of grant funding to help small and rural businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors manage their cashflow through this period. This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF):

  • All businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.
  • This is estimated to apply to around 730,000 businesses across England.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF):

  • Businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property:
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Through Section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Government has also made provision for a three-month moratorium on the ability of landlords of commercial properties to exercise any right of forfeiture that they may have due to the non-payment of rent by tenants. The provision delays the right to forfeiture; it does not otherwise impinge on a landlord’s right to claim forfeiture at the end of that period. The objective of the clause is to provide much-needed certainty to those businesses hit hard by the Coronavirus and worried about security of tenure during this difficult period. The moratorium is in effect until 30 June, a period that can be extended by Government if necessary.

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