Local Restrictions Support Grant: Bus Services

Treasury written question – answered on 10th December 2020.

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Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure the coach industry can access the Local Restrictions Support Grant during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary

The various COVID-19 business grants have all been intended to support businesses facing high fixed property-related costs in some of the sectors hit hardest by the fall in consumer footfall caused by COVID-19, on the basis that businesses in this situation would find it particularly challenging to meet their high fixed property-related costs. This is why eligibility for both the original grant schemes and the new Local Restrictions Support Grant schemes is tied to the business rates system.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) provides businesses which are legally required to close with grants of up to £3,000 per month, depending on their rateable value. A coach company occupies a property which is legally required to close due to COVID-19 restrictions, it would be eligible for this scheme.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) (LRSG (Open)) provides local authorities in areas subject to restrictions on socialising, in particular a ban on indoor household mixing, with funding so that they can make grants to businesses in the accommodation, hospitality and leisure of up to £2,100 per month, depending on their rateable value. If a coach company in an area where indoor household mixing is banned occupies a property classified as an accommodation, hospitality or leisure property, it may also be eligible for this scheme, depending on Local Authority decisions on precise eligibility.

Coach companies could also be eligible for a grant from the Additional Restrictions Grant, through which all English local authorities have received additional funding for business support worth £20 per head of population, a total of £1.1 billion across England. It will be up to Local Authorities how to distribute this funding, but we encourage them to make grants to businesses which are seeing severe impacts on their business due to the national lockdown, but which aren’t legally closed. We also encourage them to make grants to business outside the business rates system.

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