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Local restrictions support grant (for businesses closed due to the national lockdowns)

If your business was required to close due to the national restrictions and has not already received lockdown grants, a grant may be payable from 16 February 2021 to 31 March 2021. Applications must be received by 31 May 2021.

Non-essential retail businesses and hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses that were the ratepayer at 1 April 2021 may be eligible for the restart grant. See the restart grants section for eligibility details. If your business is eligible and has not already received a restart grant, an application may be made. Applications must be received by 30 June 2021.

Please make only one application, we will pay both grants if applicable.

This grant is to support businesses that were trading and providing direct, in-person services from their premises but were required to close during the November lockdown or from 31 December onwards, 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 may be eligible for a closed business grant from 16 February – 31 March 2021:

  • 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 January 2021, and at 16 February 2021.
  • Businesses must have been trading the day before the restrictions came into force, meaning 4 November 2020.
  • Businesses must not be in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking-off notice at the time of applying for or receiving a grant.

Eligibility criteria for the restart grant are set out in the restart grant section; businesses must be the ratepayer at 1 April 2021.

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

Applications for the closed business grant must be made by 31 May 2021, and for the restart grant by 30 June 2021.

  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. For the closed business grant, if the business was not trading the day before the restrictions came into force, i.e.. on 4 November, and was not the ratepayer on 5 January 2021 and 16 February 2021. For the restart grant, if the business was not the ratepayer on 1 April 2021.
  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 new domestic subsidy allowance for the COVID-19 business support grants took effect on 4 March 2021. This scheme is now covered by three subsidy allowances:

  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any period of 3 years
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – you’re allowed up to £1,600,000
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000, provided certain conditions are met

Grants under these 3 allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £10,935,000 (subject to exchange rates).

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 the COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance.  The Council may at its discretion request further evidence from any business.

Applications made before 4 March 2021 remain subject to the previous rules based on EU state aid. Please also note that the new domestic subsidy allowances apply only to grant periods from 5 January 2021 onwards.

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.

Once approved, grants will be paid as soon as possible.

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.