The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of trouble for many small businesses in the UK. The government has launched different schemes to help small businesses cope and the Coronavirus Small Business Grant Fund is one such measure. The funding scheme could help the most vulnerable small businesses with a grant of up to £10,000. Here is all you should know about the scheme.
What is the scheme about?
The Coronavirus Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) is available for small businesses in England. It could help your small business claim up to £10,000 as a single grant that will be provided by your local authority.
The Small Business Grant Fund is only available in England but similar schemes are in place across the UK. These are:
- Scotland – COVID-19 Small Business grant
- Northern Ireland – COVID Small Business Grant
- Wales – COVID-19 Grants
The links above will direct you to information on how to claim available grants in those jurisdictions. In general, the systems in place are rather similar across the UK although there are small variations as to how the grants are paid or the eligibility of small businesses to claim.
The grant is effective from 11 March 2020. If your business was dissolved before that date then you won’t be able to receive the grant.
It’s also worth noting that the grants will be subject to tax. Tax will be applied only if your business makes an overall profit.
Who is eligible for the Coronavirus Small Business Grant Fund?
Aside from being only available to English small businesses, there are a few other conditions you must meet to be eligible. The grant is only available to businesses that are eligible for the small business rate relief scheme or rural rate relief scheme. Essentially, your business must be occupying a property with a rateable value of less than £15,000 and you could be eligible.
Keep in mind that if the premise is occupied for personal use or is used as a car park or a parking space, then those are excluded from the grant. Local authorities have the discretion to choose who gets the grants so they should be able to help you if you have any questions regarding the eligibility.
Any rate changes that were applied after 11 March 2020 will not have an impact on your eligibility. However, the local councils may use their discretion and if they feel the property valuation was incorrect on the scheme eligibility date, then they may withdraw the grant.
What if you work in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector?
SBGF is not the only available grant for small businesses. There is also a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) to help businesses in the particular sector. This grant is available to:
- Restaurants, cafes, bars or pubs
- Cinemas or live music venues
- Assemblies or leisure properties, such as sports clubs or spas
- Hospitality properties such as hotels or self-catering accommodation
These businesses will have two possible grants available:
- £10,000 for businesses operating in premises with a rateable value of up to £15,000
- £25,000 for businesses with property valuations between £15,000 and £51,000
The eligibility for these grants is the same as for SBGF. You’ll need to be based in England and eligible for the small business rate relief scheme or rural rate relief scheme.
How to apply for the grants?
Businesses don’t need to apply for the Coronavirus Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant. As mentioned, your local council will be in charge of granting and paying the grant. They will find eligible small businesses and inform your business that you are going to receive the grant.
If you don’t want to receive this extra funding, you can complete a form to confirm your decision to decline. Contact your local council for more information. You can find their detailed information here.
What else is available for small businesses?
The Coronavirus Small Business Grant Fund is just one of many different schemes available for business. In the past few weeks, we’ve written several guides regarding the different options available for small business and the self-employed. You can read more about the following government schemes, including:
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
You can also find out information regarding taxable and non-taxable expenses if you’re supporting your employees who are working from home.
It is also worth noting that businesses don’t need to pay the business rate for the tax year 2020/21. Small businesses can enjoy a rate-free 12 months, which could provide some respite at this time. If your business is not eligible for the above grants, then these other measures could provide useful for your small business.
Get help dealing with the crisis
While the coronavirus is forcing most of us to stay apart from family, friends and colleagues, it doesn’t mean that we need to deal with the crisis on our own. Your small business can find help and advice during this tough time and come out on the other side stronger than ever.
If you want to know more about the schemes available for your business, we at Devonshire Green are here to help. Our experts can provide you with help in applying for the funds and grants, as well as look into safeguarding your finances for the future. Contact us today and let’s work together to support your business!