New grants for businesses in England hit by local lockdowns
Posted: Wed 30th Sep 2020
Businesses in England required to due to coronavirus local lockdown measures will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses which are required to close for at least three weeks due to local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.
The grant is currently only available in Bolton, the only location in England where businesses have been forced to close due to local lockdown measures. Details are on how to apply are here.
Eligibility for the Local Restrictions Support Grant
A business may be eligible if it:
occupies property on which it pays business rates
is in a local lockdown area and has been required to close due to official local restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September
has been required to close for at least three weeks because of the lockdown
has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises
Cafes, pubs and restaurants that operate primarily as an in-person venue, but have been forced to provide a takeaway-only service are eligible for the grant.
Businesses that don't pay business rates may be able to access funding at the discretion of the local council.
Businesses still closed at a national level, such as nightclubs, are not eligible.
As with other COVID-19 business grants, local lockdown grants will be treated as taxable income
The value of the local lockdown grants
Eligible businesses with a property than has a rateable value of less than £51,000 will receive a £1,000 grant for each three week period the business is closed.
Eligible businesses with a property than has a rateable value of £51,000 or above, will receive a £1,500 grant for each three week period the business is closed.
The grant will be extended to cover each additional three week period so businesses closed for six weeks will receive £2,000 or £3,000 depending on the rateable value.
Grants are based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of local lockdown restrictions.
Local lockdown grants for businesses not paying business rates
Local councils will receive an additional 5% of top-funding to provide a grant of up to £1,500 to businesses required to close that don't pay business rates and businesses not required to close but are severely affected by, for example, a customer or supplier business being closed.
Local councils will publish details of discretionary funding on their website.
The 5% top-up funding will be renewed for each three-week closure period. Local authorities can choose whether to help the same businesses with the discretionary funding in each period, or help a wider range of businesses.
In guidance issued to local authorities, the government says councils may choose to adapt the approach to local circumstances "such as providing support for micro-businesses with fixed costs or support for businesses that are crucial for their local economies".
The guidance adds: "In taking decisions on the appropriate level of grant, local authorities may want to take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business in question, the number of employees, whether businesses have had to close completely and are unable to trade online, and the consequent scale of COVID-19 losses."
How to apply for local lockdown grants
Applications will be via local council websites. Find the website for your local council here.
The latest coronavirus support information
We are keeping you updated on the latest information COVID-19 business support, funding and advice in Enterprise Nation's coronavirus business advice hub. Follow Enterprise Nation on Twitter too for updates.