News: Covid-19 Business Grants & Expanded Retail Discount

Posted on 5th November 2020

This article is a summary of two email updates received from MSDC on Thursday 5th November.

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1. Covid-19 Business Grants

The Government has announced further COVID19 business grants to help businesses during this second national lockdown with guidance provided to local authorities. There are 3 main schemes for these new grants in terms of relevance to Mid Sussex are:

National Grant Scheme – The National Grant Scheme is intended to help cover property costs. If you pay business rates you can get a mandatory grant for every 4 weeks based on your rateable value if you are closed by prescription of the Government. The rate of grant payment for eligible businesses will be:

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15k or under – grants to be £1,334 per four weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k – grants to be £2,000 per four weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over – grants to be £3,000 per four weeks.

Please note that businesses and organisations who may qualify for this mandatory grant, can apply online at www.grantapproval.co.uk from Monday 9 November 2020.  If the lockdown goes beyond 4 weeks businesses and organisations will receive further payments every 2 weeks.

Additional Restrictions Grant – This is a new discretionary grant fund comprising a single allocation based on £20 per head of population. It is for each local authority to use as a discretionary grant scheme, for example to benefit closed businesses that do not have a rateable value or have costs that are significantly higher. Discretionary grants can also be paid to businesses that are severely impacted rather than closed.

The allocation can be used for direct business support at the discretion of the local authority e.g. support for businesses from Growth Hubs. Mid Sussex DC has received just over £3m for this grant fund which is a one off payment to cover the remainder of FY2020/21 and FY2021/22.  There is no decision as yet if we will pay the discretionary grant over several different rounds.

Mid Sussex DC hopes to give more details of this discretionary scheme within the next couple of weeks – pending approval by elected members. Again, once we open up the discretionary grant scheme, claims will be accepted online at www.grantapproval.co.uk.

Closed premises grant – This third scheme relates to specific properties that have been closed throughout the last few months. For example these are nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques or somewhat similar. If anyone has rates payable for such businesses please contact the Council via the email address given below.

Please note that I would be delighted to attend any webinars over coming weeks to update your members if you feel this would be useful.  In the coming days we will be updating our Council website. If anyone needs to contact the Council regarding grants please do so via email to Businesssupport@midsussex.gov.uk. We will reply quickly as we can emails.

As we continue to receive guidance on these new COVID19 business grants we will keep you updated. In the meantime, do let me know if you need any additional information or clarification.

2. Expanded Retail Discount

Please note that businesses and organisations can still apply for the Expanded Retail Discount. This is for any business paying business rates from the leisure, hospitality and retail sector. If you qualify you will get a business rates payment holiday for 2020-21. Guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-retail-discount-guidance/expanded-retail-discount-2020-to-2021-coronavirus-response-local-authority-guidance

If in doubt please do contact us at revenue@midsussex.gov.uk. We would rather you contacted us than any business miss out on any financial help they are entitled to.

Please do let me know if you need any additional information or clarification.

From: Kevin Stewart, FIRRV, MAAT, MCMI, Business Unit Leader Revenues and Benefits

Mid Sussex District Council

Tel: 01444 477229

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