Intending to bolster small enterprises, the British government is offering a COVID-19 business support plan with three types of grants for small enterprises. The first two i.e. the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants were introduced in March. Later in May a Top-Up Grant Fund at the discretion of the Local Authority was proposed. The Chancellor proclaimed these with an objective to help with cash flow and fixed expenses during the lockdown with most businesses having to shutter down.
Small Business Grant Fund – £10,000 Grant (rateable value of less than £15,000):
All those enterprises qualifying for the Small Business Rates Relief on 11 March 2020 can avail for a grant of £10,000. Those under the Rural Rates Scheme are also eligible. Your local council should get in touch if your business qualifies.
Leisure Grant and Retail, Hospitality Funds (£25,000):
These are for those businesses with rated values of £15,000 – £51,000. The business must come under retail, hospitality and leisure criteria since 11, March 2020 and also on the rating list. You should be informed by the local authorities about your eligibility. If you feel that you are eligible but overlooked get in touch with your local authorities. Those qualifying get one grant per eligible property.
Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund/Top-up Grant:
At the discretion of local authorities for businesses not falling under the Small Business Grant in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant or Dairy Hardship Fund according to government criteria. Those businesses paying business rates do not qualify. Also, businesses that come under the purview of the Self-employed Income Support Scheme do qualify. There is a £25,000 capping limit with the next levels of grants at £10,000. The latter amount can be disbursed by local authorities that have the authority. Primarily for small businesses that have fixed property costs.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme:
Those that are self-employed and affected by COVID-19 can apply for direct financial support. The first phase is an 80% grant of average monthly profits for 3 months, with the maximum sum fixed at £7,500. The first stage is for affected individuals on or before 13 July 2020 by which it must be claimed.
The second stage covers individuals affected on and after 14 July 2020. The 70% grant includes three months of profits with the maximum amount payable being £6,570. It is claimable even for those that did not claim the first phase grant i.e. not adversely affected before 14 July 2020 but impacted during the August harvest. Claims can be made on 17 August 2020 and must be made on or before 19 October 2020.
The grants only apply for self-employed individuals with earnings less than £50,000 that account for more than half their total income.