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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.  

Financial Help for Business during Covid-19

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

Local Restrictions Support Grant for Closed Businesses

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) is a mandatory grant, where businesses meet the criteria.  Businesses with more than one qualifying property will receive more than one grant.

These grants currently apply for Lockdown 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 and Lockdown 3.  Businesses are eligible if the law requires them to be closed.  As the restrictions have been different for each of these periods, different businesses will be eligible.  The period of payment also varies - for example payment for Lockdown 2 was for four weeks and for Lockdown 3 it is for an initial 42 days.

Payments are made on a pro-rata basis.  However, the underlying 14-day rate of payment is:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £667
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, grants to be £1,000
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over, grants to be £1,500

On 22 February 2021 the government announced a further Lockdown 3 payment for 44 days.

Eligible Businesses

  • Businesses must be ratepayers.  This means they must receive a rate demand in their name.  They can still be eligible even if 100% rate relief reduces the rate demand to zero.
  • They must have been open as usual and providing in-person services to customers from their business premises, and then required to close at the point that restrictions were introduced for their business
  • 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

Applications

Where we already have a successful application for Lockdown 2 we are contacting applicants by email regarding the later restricted periods. If this is your business - please do not complete a further application form unless we ask you to do so. With regards to the new 44 day payment we will be contacting current grant recipients.  Please do not email us separately.

Businesses that have had to close at any point from 5 November 2020 onwards, and have not yet applied for a grant should apply here.  Please complete the application form once for each property, ensuring that you tick the periods that you have been closed.

Applicants 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
  • For the 42-day payment made for the period beginning 5 January 2021, the application closure date is 31 March 2021 and final payments must be made by 30 April 2021
  • For the 44-day payment made for the period beginning 16 February 2021, the application closure date is 31 May 2021 and final payments must be made by 30 June 2021

 

Other mandatory grants for businesses

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)

Eligible businesses are:

a. Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques

b. Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars

These grants are available from 1 November, for times when the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) does not apply.  The rate of payment is the same as Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).

Applicants should have qualified for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) for Lockdown 2 and we will contact them to arrange these additional payments.

Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs

Where authorities were in Tier 2 or Tier 3 on the 2 or 16 December a one-off lump sum of £1000 is available for pubs that derive less than 50% of their income from sales of food.

We have emailed everyone that we think may be eligible to request additional information.

For the purposes of this grant, pubs should under normal circumstances (without local or national restrictions) be described as: open to the general public, allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided, allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed and permit drinks to be purchased at a bar.

For this grant, the definition of a pub excludes: restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, snack bars, guesthouses, boarding houses, sporting venues, music venues, festival sites, theatres, museums, exhibition halls, cinemas, concert halls and casinos.

Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment

A one-off payment for recipients of Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) for the period from 5 January 2021.  We are administering these payments alongside the closed grant.  Applications close on 31 March 2021 with final payments being made by 30 April 2021.

The payments are:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, £4000 
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, £6000
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over, £9000

Discretionary help for businesses

There are two sources of discretionary funding available.  For each funding pot the government provides guidance and some criteria.  Each council must set out their own local scheme, this means that each council is likely to offer a slightly different scheme.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

These grants are not available during periods of National Lockdown or when businesses are mandated to close.  Grants are currently available for the period 2 to 19 December.

The following businesses are eligible:

Recipients of Additional Restrictions Grants for the National Lockdown commencing 5 November who satisfy the following criteria:

  • 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, or cultural, arts and tourism sector
  • Businesses that share rated premises, but are not the ratepayer, where the business is in the supply chain to the hospitality and leisure sector, travel, holiday and airline sector, or cultural, arts and tourism sector
  • Council Tax payers operating a business from home that has not been mandated to close and is in the supply chain to the hospitality and leisure sector, travel, holiday and airline sector, or cultural, arts and tourism sector

Recipients of Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum for the National Lockdown commencing 5 November who satisfy the following criteria:

  • hospitality - including public houses, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • hotels and bed & breakfasts
  • leisure - including sports venues, cinemas, entertainment venues including public halls

As recipients would have been in receipt of a grant for Lockdown 2 we intend to email those who we believe are eligible as soon as is practicable. 

icon Read the full details of the scheme here [234.17KB]

Additional Restrictions Grant Fund Discretionary Help

Please note we are considering what additional help we can provide from these funds, and businesses should check this page periodically for updates, or additional schemes.

Ongoing Support

We initially published a scheme for the period of 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020.  We have now reviewed the scheme to provide ongoing support and to help additional businesses that are being run from domestic properties.  icon Read the full details of the scheme as of 12 January 2021 [245.35KB] .

Please note we are considering what additional help we can provide from these funds, and businesses should check this page periodically for updates, or additional schemes.

Applications

We will email current recipients of the discretionary grants for Lockdown 2 with details of any further information that we require for subsequent periods.

 New applications will only be accepted via an online form. 

Applicants need to provide:

  • References from their rate demand (or for businesses run from home 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

Discretionary Hardship Scheme for Business 

Guildford Borough Council Discretionary COVID Hardship Scheme for Business

The Council published details of a new scheme on the 8 February 2021. This scheme has been introduced to support businesses who have been severely impacted by Covid-19 since the Lockdown and other restrictions since 5 November 2020, but who have not been eligible for either the LRSG or ARG schemes. The scheme is now closed. We aim to make decisions on grant awards by 1 March 2021.

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.