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Support for businesses placed into lockdown

21 October 2020
Gavin Hooker
COVID-19

Local Restrictions Support Grant

Published on 24 September, the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses that were open as usual, providing services in person to customers from their business premises, but which were then required to close for at least 3 weeks due to local lockdown restrictions imposed by government.

It is for businesses that pay business rates on their premises. Local councils may at their discretion also provide funding for businesses that don’t pay business rates.

Eligibility

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • Occupies property on which it pays business rates
  • Is in a local lockdown area and has been required to close because of the formal publication of local restrictions guidance that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September. This funding is not retrospective
  • Has been required to close for at least 3 weeks because of the lockdown
  • Has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

For example this could include non-essential retail, personal services or cafes/restaurants that operate primarily as an in-person venue, but which have been forced to close those services and provide a takeaway-only service instead.

Eligible businesses will get one grant for each property liable for business rates within the lockdown zone.

Businesses that are required to close but do not pay business rates may be eligible for funding at the discretion of the local council, as may businesses not required to close but which are severely impacted.

If your business is eligible and has a property with a rateable value of less than £51,000, you will receive a cash grant of £1,000 for each 3-week period your business is closed.

If your business is eligible and has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you will receive a cash grant of £1,500 for each 3-week period your business is closed.

The grant will be extended to cover each additional 3-week period, so if your business is closed for 6 weeks it will receive £2,000 or £3,000, depending on the rateable value of the property.

Grants will be based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of local lockdown restrictions.

Discretionary funding by local councils

You may receive a grant of up to £1,500 at the discretion of your local council if:

  • Your business is required to close but you do not pay business rates
  • If your business is not required to close, but has been severely affected, for example as a result of customer businesses being closed

Your local council will publish details of discretionary funding on their website.

Exclusions

  • Businesses which are able to continue to operate during the lockdown because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from their premises
  • Businesses that have chosen to close, but have not been required to close as part of a local lockdown
  • Businesses that are still subject to national closures such as nightclubs
  • Businesses that have reached the state aid limit

If you already get state aid

The Local Restrictions Support Grant counts towards state aid.

Payments count towards the total de minimis State aid you’re allowed to get over a 3-year period – €200,000. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. The limit for the framework is €800,000.

Your local council will ask you to complete a declaration confirming that:

  • You will not exceed the relevant State aid threshold
  • You were not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019. This applies only to the COVID-19 Temporary Framework

The undertaking in difficulty test does not apply to small and micro undertakings (less than 50 employees and less than EUR 10 million of annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet) unless they were already in insolvency proceedings, have received rescue aid that has not been repaid, or are subject to a restructuring plan under State aid rules.

How to apply

Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

We are here to support your business, if you have any concerns please call us or email Mark or Andrew.

The content in this blog is correct as at 21/10/2020. See terms and conditions.

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