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All the information that we currently have is below and we will keep this page updated. If you think you qualify for any of the help listed here, please follow the guidance but do not telephone us.  

Business rate payers - help

The government announced a range of help for businesses to be delivered by us.

National lockdown from 5 November - help for businesses

We are publishing information here as it becomes available. Please do not email the Business Rate team about the grants. 

Local Restrictions Support Grant for Closed Businesses

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) is a mandatory grant, where businesses meet the criteria. A single grant will be paid to cover the four week period to each eligible business.  Businesses with more than one qualifying property will receive more than one grant.

The rate of payment will be:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per four weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, grants to be £2,000 per four weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over, grants to be £3,000 per four weeks.

Eligible Businesses

  • Businesses must be ratepayers
  • They must have been open as usual and providing in-person services to customers from their business premises, and then required to close from 5 November 2020 due to the national lockdown.
  • If they chose to operate as a takeaway, click and collect or online with delivery services they will be counted as closed because their substantive business has to close.

Excluded

  • Businesses that have chosen to close, but not been required to, will not be eligible for this grant.
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.
  • Businesses that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made

We expect an application process due to the state aid requirements.  Applicants will need to give:

  • references from their rate demand,
  • an image of their bank account, showing account name, number and sort code
  • their company number, charity number and VAT registration number if they apply
  • information on any funds received through state aid or a declaration that the level of funds received does not exceed the limits.

Other points to note:

  • Grant income received by a business is taxable, and will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.  Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.
  • The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud - and any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

Additional Restrictions Grant Fund Discretionary Help

We have been given a fund to provide discretionary help to businesses.  We are required to create and publish a scheme. icon Read the full details of the scheme [143.06KB] .

The following types of businesses will be eligible for discretionary grants during the national lockdown 5 November to 2 December 2020.

1. Ratepayers with a business that has not been mandated to close which are in the supply chain to the:

  • hospitality and leisure sector
  • travel, holiday and airline sector
  • cultural, arts and tourism sector

2. Businesses that share rated premises, but are not the ratepayer, where the business has been mandated to close or the business is in the supply chain to the:

  • hospitality and leisure sector
  • travel, holiday and airline sector
  • cultural, arts and tourism sector

3. Bed and Breakfast businesses where Council Tax is paid by the proprietor.

4. Businesses that do not have a rateable value, but have been mandated to close and have high business related property costs (eg rent or service charges).

Eligibility

In addition to meeting one of the above criteria

  • The Additional Restrictions Grants Fund is for businesses that are not eligible for other support schemes.
  • Businesses need to have been trading on 5 November 2020.
  • Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.
  • Businesses that have not been mandated to close, or cannot demonstrate that they are part of a relevant supply chain will not be eligible for this scheme.
  • Apart from Bed and Breakfast premises or businesses mandated to close with high business related property costs, businesses operating from premises without a rateable value or with a zero rateable value will not be eligible for this scheme.  The rateable value used will be the one on the Local Rating List at 5 November 2020.

Rate of payment:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under (and for Bed and Breakfast premises paying Council Tax), £1,334 per four weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, £2,000 per four weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over, £3,000 per four weeks;
  • For shared properties where the applicant is not the ratepayer the award will be determined taking account of the rateable value of the premises and the proportion occupied by the applicant;
  • For businesses without a rateable value that have been mandated to close, the award will be determined taking account of the value of the rent and service charges.  The award will be either £1,334, £2,000 or £3,000 per four weeks.

Applying

Applications will only be accepted via an online form. 

Applicants need to provide:

  • References from their rate demand (or for Bed and Breakfast their Council Tax bill), or details of the ratepayer (where premises are shared)
  • Confirmation of the proportion of a shared property that is occupied by the business
  • Proof of rent and service charges where a property is shared, or there is no rateable value
  • Where the business is part of a supply chain an explanation of which supply chain and how his affects the business 
  • An image of their bank account, showing account name, number and sort code
  • Their company number, charity number and VAT registration number if they apply
  • Information on any funds received through state aid or a declaration that the level of funds received does not exceed the limits

Expanded Retail Discount (holiday)

We have applied this to all the accounts that we can identify and have issued revised bills.  If you have not received a revised bill but believe that your business meets the criteria, please email us with details at BRates@guildford.gov.uk.

To be eligible for the expanded retail discount, the premises should be occupied and wholly or mainly being used:

  1. a. as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
  2. b. for assembly and leisure; or
  3. c. as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

The Gov.UK business rates retail discount guidance sets out more details, including exclusions, but the underlying factor is that the property wholly or mainly provides goods or services to visiting members of the public.

Rate holiday for non local authority childcare providers

We have rebilled all the nurseries that qualify.

Other difficulties

We are dealing with other difficulties experienced by ratepayers on a case-by-case basis as the impact is not uniform.  Please email BRates@guildford.gov.uk, putting DIFFICULTIES and your payer reference in the subject line.  Please explain your specific difficulties, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you

We have received an extraordinary number of enquiries in recent months.  As a result, we have not always been able to respond as quickly as we would like.  We would like to thank you for your patience during this time.