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Hospitality Industry: Small Businesses

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he has taken to support small and medium-sized businesses operating in the wedding industry sector 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 cash-flow through this period.

This support has taken the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

All businesses with a property that on 11 March 2020 were eligible for Small Business Rate Relief Scheme or those which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the Rural Rates Relief Scheme will be eligible for a payment of £10,000 under the SBGF.

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.

In addition, on 1 May, the Business Secretary announced that up to £617 million is being made available to Local Authorities in England under the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF). This is up to an additional 5 per cent uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the SBGF and the RHLGF.

The LADGF is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs but not liable for business rates or rates reliefs. Businesses already in receipt of the Small Business grant, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant or Self-employed Income Support Scheme payment are not eligible.

We are asking local authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants from within this funding pot:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Local authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for this fund and may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need, subject to those businesses meeting the specific eligibility criteria.

Guidance, intended to support local authorities in administering the Discretionary Grants Fund, was published 13 May.

Guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding.

This will not replace existing guidance for the SBGF or the RHLGF.

Guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-support-grant-funding-guidance-for-businesses

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