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Coronavirus in Leicester

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Local restrictions support grant (for businesses closed due to the four week national lockdown in November)

If your business was required to close due to the national restrictions between 5 November and 2 December, you can apply for this grant. Your business must be registered for business rates. You will not need to apply for a further grant to cover the tier 4 and national lockdown periods from 31 December. We will make grant payments automatically to businesses which have applied for and received the November grant. Businesses required to close for the first time in January should also apply for this grant.

This grant is to support businesses that were trading and providing direct, in-person services from their premises but were required to close for 28 days between 5 November and 2 December 2020, due to the national restrictions imposed by the government.

Businesses providing direct in-person services from their premises that have been required to close by the government:

  • non-essential retail
  • hospitality venues
  • accommodation venues
  • leisure and sport facilities
  • entertainment venues
  • personal care facilities
  • community centres and halls.

This includes businesses closed nationally since March 2020, principally nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.

The full list of eligible businesses is set out in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020.

Additional conditions:

  • Businesses must be the ratepayer on the council’s records at 5 November, and at the start of any subsequent grant period.
  • Businesses must have been trading the day before the restrictions came into force, meaning on 4 November for the closure period 5 November – 2 December.
  • Businesses must not be in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking-off notice at the time of applying for or receiving a grant.

All these conditions are fixed by the government and we cannot vary them.

The first payment will cover 28 days from 5 November to 2 December. Further payments will be made on a 14-day basis to cover the closure period from 31 December onwards.

  1. Businesses cannot get funding if they can legally continue to operate because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from their premises (for example, accountants); or if a business has chosen to close but has not been legally required to do so.
  2. If the business was not trading the day before the restrictions came into force, ie. on 4 November for the closure period 5 November – 2 December.
  3. Businesses that are not the ratepayer (for example, their landlord pays the rates to the council). The council will consider including such businesses in its additional restrictions grant discretionary scheme.
  4. Business that operate from home.
  5. Businesses where their main purpose is a takeaway service.
  6. Businesses that operate as an Airbnb.

A grant can be paid if the main service is required to close. We will apply our local knowledge and discretion in such cases.

The grant levels set by the government are:

For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less

  • Grants of £1,334 per 28-day period

For properties with a rateable value above £15,000 and less than £51,000

  • grants of £2,000 per 28-day period.

For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or above

  • grants of £3,000 per 28-day period.

If this happens, grants will be paid pro-rata unless we are otherwise instructed or advised by government.

Businesses can choose to spend the grants as they wish. The government expects that businesses will use the grants to cover high fixed property-related costs.

Grant income received by a business is taxable. Therefore, funding paid under this scheme will be subject to tax.

Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

The EU state aid regulations have been replaced by new rules on subsidy control from 1 January 2021.  However, the Government has told councils that the former state aid regulations should continue to be used for the current business grant schemes.

Business grants can therefore be paid under three exemptions:

  • De Minimis rules – a rolling three-year €200,000 threshold for state aid from whatever source.
  • Section 3.1 of the Temporary Framework – should usually be used for payments where the De Minimis threshold has been reached. The threshold is €800,000.
  • Section 3.12 of the Temporary Framework announced on 8 December 2020, where a business has reached its limit for aid under De Minimis and Section 3.1.  In summary, Section 3.12 relates to uncovered fixed costs between March 2020 and December 2020, coupled with a decline in turnover of at least 30% compared to the same period in 2019. The overall aid under this measure must not exceed €3 million.

Additional rules apply to Sections 3.1 and 3.12 for businesses that are 'an undertaking in difficulty'. The government provides more detailed information and links at GOV.UK. Businesses in any doubt should take their own legal advice.

Businesses must ensure that by receiving a grant they will not breach the applicable thresholds. Businesses will be asked to self-certify this is the case when applying for a grant. An additional written statement from the finance director or other senior postholder will be required from a business claiming exemption under Section 3.12.  The Council may at its discretion request further evidence from any business.

When you apply, you will need to show:

  • applicant's ID
  • eligibility
  • business bank account details
  • state aid compliance
  • the sector in which your business operates and the number of employees
  • your VAT registration number, if registered for VAT
  • your company registration number, if you are a limited company, or
  • your self-assessment/partnership number, national insurance number, unique taxpayer reference or registered charity number.

Please apply online as soon as possible.

The grant to cover the 28-day period from 5 November will be paid as soon as possible after we receive your application.

We will make payments automatically every 14 days while local restrictions require you to be closed. You will not need to apply again.

There is no right to appeal and the council's decision is final.

We use 'Spotlight', the government’s tool to manage grants and counter fraud. This helps us to check the process both before and after payments, and to identify high-risk payments. We also work jointly with other councils and government departments in preventing fraud.

Any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution. Any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

We also reserve the right to use any details submitted by businesses to check against national records and databases, to highlight any potentially fraudulent activity.