Government Assistance: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 2nd June 2020.

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Photo of Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Labour/Co-operative, Walthamstow

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether businesses that operate from a business unit with a rateable value of up to £51,000 are eligible for the (a) Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant and (b) discretionary fund.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, businesses can receive:

· A £10,000 cash grant per property, for each property used for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes with a rateable value of £15,000 or below which is not in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief;

· A £25,000 cash grant per property, for each property used for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

The Government is aware that some small businesses have found themselves excluded from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and the Small Business Grant Fund because of the way they interact with the business rates system. That is why the Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to Local Authorities to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation. The Government’s intention is for Local Authorities to prioritise the following types of business when making discretionary grants:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces for example, industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc, which do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B&Bs 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 may choose to focus payments on those priority groups which are most relevant to their local areas. Local Authorities may also choose to pay grants to businesses outside of these priority groups, according to local economic need, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other cash grant funded by central Government. Grants should also primarily and predominantly be aimed at businesses which occupy property with a rateable value below £51,000.

Small businesses which are not eligible for business grants should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including:

  • An option to defer VAT payments by up to twelve months;
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme, which will ensure that small and micro businesses can quickly access loans of up to £50,000 which are 100 per cent guaranteed by the Government;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, now extended to cover all businesses including those which would be able to access commercial credit;
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses with their wage bills; and
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to provide support to the self-employed.

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