On 11 March 2020 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a new scheme which would offer one-off grant payments to the smallest business and this scheme would be administered by local Councils. On 17 March 2020 this scheme was extended to include new business sectors and the value of the grant increased significantly.
Since this date the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had been working on eligibility criteria, and the final version (V4) was released to local Councils on 3 April 2020, and is summarised below.
Small Business Grant Fund
All ratepayers who receive small business rate relief will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000 so long as they do not fall within the list of exceptions below.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
Ratepayers who receive relief for being in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be eligible for a grant payment so long as they do not fall within the list of exceptions below.
Ratepayers will receive a payment of £10,000 or £25,000 based on their rateable value (shown on your bill) as follows:
- Rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive a grant payment of £10,000
- Rateable value or more than £15,000 but less than £51,000 will receive a grant payment of £25,000
- Rateable value exceeds £51,000 will not receive a grant payment
Rateable value checker
You can check your rateable value online on the following link.
The following group are excluded from receiving any grant payments:
- Empty properties
- Premises used for personal uses, such as private stables, loose boxes, beach huts, moorings and premises used to store personal items
- Car parks and rateable car parking spaces
- Any business which is in liquidation or are dissolved
In order to receive the grant payment you must have been liable to pay Business Rates at your property on 11 March 2020.
Ratepayers will only be entitled to one payment per premises and details of payments will be shared with the government grant management function and counter fraud function for future checks with personal or business tax records.
I think I am eligible, what do I need to do?
We will only make payments by bank transfer, so if you do not currently pay your Business Rates by Direct Debit then we will not hold any bank details for you and we will be unable to pay this direct to your bank account.
To allow for payment by bank transfer (BACS) then we will need you to confirm your business bank details. Please provide your bank details on the below secure link.
Before you complete this form you will need to find your account number which is shown on your annual bill which was issued at the beginning of March.
To safeguard public finances against potential fraud we will not be able to confirm your account number over the telephone or by email.
If you cannot find your account number then we can send you a copy of your bill to the postal address we hold on our Business Rate systems but due to exceptional demand and limited resources this may take some time. If you require a copy of your bill posting then please email our Business Rates team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been made aware that a few of our ratepayers are receiving telephone calls from individuals purporting to be from Blackpool Council or another government department asking for your bank details to enable payment.
Please note: Blackpool Council will not telephone you and ask for your bank details to be given over the phone.
Discretionary grant payments
On 1 May 2020 the Government announced a new discretionary grant fund (DGF) for businesses who have "...fallen through the cracks" of the original SBGF and RHLGF schemes (as above).
This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs, including businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But the allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.
Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.
We await the guidance from Government but in the meantime applicants are encouraged to register their interest via the Blackpool Unlimited website.