Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 13th July 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Ansell Caroline Ansell Conservative, Eastbourne

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether English language schools are eligible for support through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

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 via the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF). The Expanded Retail Discount scheme is targeted at properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues;
  • for assembly and leisure; or
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

Guidance on the Expanded Retail Discount was published on 25 March 2020. Local authorities are responsible for implementing the discount in line with the guidance.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-retail-discount-guidance

Officials are keeping in close contact with local authorities to monitor the progress of the grant scheme and regarding the operation of the business rates system. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the RHLGF should be directed to the relevant local authority.

On 1 May, the Government announced that up to £617 million has been made available to local authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants to support businesses based on local economic priorities and not directly tied to the business rate system. Clearly, this funding is under pressure and local authorities are to individually decide which businesses to support, within the eligibility criteria set by Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding

ELT businesses and individuals within this sector continue to have access to a range of additional support measures including, but not limited to:

  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small and micro enterprises
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020 – with the option for the Government to extend if needed.

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

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