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As of today, the new national lockdown rules become law. From now, we’re being asked to stay at home and only venture out when absolutely necessary. While essential retailers such as supermarkets, food shops, petrol stations and pharmacies can remain open, huge numbers of businesses must close. It’s going to be a tough time for firms like these, especially as we don’t know for sure when the lockdown will end. To help businesses in these sectors, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a new coronavirus business grant package for the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.
What is the new coronavirus business grant package?
There are two main strands to the new coronavirus business grants which, together, are worth £4.6 billion.
The first strand is a one-off, top-up grant scheme for closed retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. These are worth up to £9,000 per business and are intended to ‘help them through to Spring’.
How much your business can claim depends on the rateable value of your business properties. You can make a claim for each property. For example, if you own a hairdressing company which has three salons, you can make a claim for each one.
The value of the top-up grants is as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value over £51,000
To qualify, your business must have been legally required to close and not be able to operate effectively remotely. Please note that this scheme applies to England only. Devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been allocated additional funding for their own schemes.
How to apply for the top-up grant
You need to apply to your local council for this grant. You can find the website for your local council by entering your postcode on this page. If your business operates branches in different local authority areas, you will have to make separate applications to the relevant councils.
If your business is not eligible for the top-up grant, but you have had to close or have been negatively affected by the lockdown, you may be able to apply for a discretionary grant. When he announced the top-up scheme, the Chancellor also unveiled a £594 million discretionary fund. This is in addition to £1.1 billion of discretionary grant funding already given to local authorities.
As with the top-up grant, you’ll need to apply to the relevant local authority or authorities for a discretionary grant.
What information do I need to apply for a coronavirus business grant?
Your local council will tell you what information you need to apply for either grant. However, you will need ID such as a passport or driving licence, your business rates account number and your VAT registration number. You’ll also need your company registration details and your business bank statements.
What other help is out there?
There are still many business support schemes still running, notably the CJRS (‘Furlough’) scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. You can find more details of support schemes here.
As always, if you are a THP client, feel free to contact your account manager for advice. They’d be very happy to help you.
About Jon Pryse-Jones
Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.
An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”
Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board. “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says. He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.