Assistance for businesses: Local authority and other grants available

Published by Andrew Tate  on 30 March 2020

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Last updated 30 March 2020

The Government has announced a raft of measures to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these will be administered by the local authorities, as outlined below. Other organisations are also starting to allocate funding to support local businesses and, in particular, charity and community groups. A selection of the assistance available is covered below, but please note, further funding is constantly being made available.

Business rates relief

Businesses in the retail, leisure, childcare and hospitality industries will be eligible for a business rates holiday from 1 April 2020, regardless of their rateable value. Local authorities are in the process of recalculating bills which are being sent to eligible businesses. If any businesses believe they are eligible and have not received a revised bill by 10 April 2020, they should contact their local authority.

Most local authorities have been arranging to cancel the payment due on 1 April 2020; however, if any payments are taken, then businesses should contact their local authority to arrange for a refund or for the overpayment to be offset against any other moneys owed.

Business rates relief for public houses has also been increased to £5,000 for the 2020/21 financial year.

For detailed guidance on whether your business qualifies for business rates relief, please refer to the Government’s guidance on eligibility.

Small and retail, leisure and hospitality business grants

The local authorities are also in the process of administering grants of up to £25,000 to eligible businesses who either quality for ‘Small business’ or ‘Rural rates’ relief, or for certain businesses within the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.

Small business grant funding of £10,000 will be available for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

Grant funding of £25,000 will be available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Many local authorities are now requesting that businesses who are eligible complete an online application form, which is available on their websites. If you need any assistance with this, please speak with your usual contact at Kreston Reeves.

If based in Kent, there is a Kent and Medway Business support line you can call on 03333 602 300.

Other local authorities will be writing separately to businesses they have identified as eligible in the coming weeks.

Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants

Coast to Capital have a £2 million business fund to assist businesses from all sectors with implementing specific measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants range from £5,000 to £25,000. Businesses or social enterprises can apply if they:

  • Have an annual turnover of less than £10 million
  • Have been trading for over 2 years
  • Are based in West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, or East Surrey (Epsom and Ewell, Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead, Tandridge)
  • Have a 5-50 full time equivalent workforce.

Further information is available from Coast to Capital.

Kent Community Foundation (KCF) Coronavirus Emergency Fund

Kent Community Foundation is supporting charities and community groups facing financial difficulties or closure with the KCF Coronavirus Emergency Fund. Applications are open for grants of up to £10,000 from charities with an annual income of £200,000 or less, to assist charities through the financial implications caused by the pandemic.

The KCF Coronavirus Emergency Fund will initially give priority to applications from charities supporting isolated older people. Further information, including eligibility criteria and information on the application process, is available on their website.

Sussex Community Foundation Crisis Fund

The Sussex Community Foundation has launched a similar crisis fund for charities and community groups in Sussex. Initially, grants will be made up to £5,000 to assist with needs emerging as a result of the pandemic, including organisation running costs. The fund is currently focusing on groups who are responding to the immediate crisis in the community. Further information is available on their website.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England are making £160 million of emergency funding available for organisations and individuals in the cultural sector and have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of their funding. Applications will be open soon and further information is available from Arts Council England.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook are offering £100 million in cash grants and ad credits for businesses in over 30 countries, including the UK. Applications and further detail is not yet available, but is set to become available in the coming weeks.

For further information on the grants available, please speak with your usual Kreston Reeves contact, myself, Mike Collins or Caitlin Powell.

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