Two government grants of up to £3000 are still available to businesses affected by November’s four-week national lockdown.

Businesses are invited to apply to us for the grants as we continue to support our local economy during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Full details can be read at https://www.guildford.gov.uk/article/23827/Business-rate-payers-help.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) is available to rate-paying businesses which were trading as normal before Thursday 5 November, but had to close until Wednesday 2 December. Alternatively, the Additional Restrictions Grants Fund is available for rate-paying companies either in or who supply the hospitality, leisure, travel, culture, arts, holiday and tourism sectors which have not been eligible for other support schemes.

Applications for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) can be made here, and for the Additional Restrictions Grants Fund here.

Grants are based on the rateable value of a business’s premises, to cover the four-week period until Wednesday 2 December:

Rateable value up to £15,000 – a grant of £1,334
Rateable value of £15,001 to £50,999 – a grant of £2,000
Rateable value of £51,000 and over – a grant of £3,000

Businesses which continued to offer takeaway, click-and-collect or delivery services despite closure are eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed). Businesses can apply for one grant for each of their qualifying premises. Companies which chose to close, but were not required to, will not be eligible, along with those which are in administration, insolvent or have received a striking-off notice. Businesses which have already received grant payments equal to the maximum levels of State aid allowed under the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework will also not be eligible.

For the Additional Restrictions Grants Fund, businesses which share rated premises are also able to apply if they supply the hospitality, leisure, travel, culture, arts, holiday and tourism sectors or the rate-paying business had to close on 5 November. In addition, bed and breakfast businesses which pay Council Tax, and businesses which do not have a rateable value but have high business-related property costs, such as rent or service charges, are also able to apply for support. For shared properties where the applicant is not the ratepayer, the grant will be based on the rateable value of the premises and the proportion occupied by the applicant. For businesses without a rateable value that had to close, the grant will be based on the value of the rent and service charges.

Businesses which are not the ratepayer at their premises should supply details of the ratepayer, proof of rent and service charges, and the proportion of the shared premises that they occupy. If a premises has no rateable value, businesses should also provide proof of rent and service charges. Bed and Breakfast owners need to provide their Council Tax bill. Where the business is part of a supply chain, an explanation of this supply chain and how the business has been affected is required.

Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made are not eligible for funding.

Applicants will need to supply their ratepayers reference, bank account details, company or charity number, VAT registration number, and information on funds received through state aid. Grant income is taxable and will need to be included in the business’s tax return.

Lead Councillor for Economy, Cllr John Redpath says:

“We understand that many local businesses are facing ongoing and new financial difficulty due to the impact of the global pandemic. As a Local Authority, we are here to support all of our local businesses and provide as much help as we can. We have already distributed over £23 million in government grants and provided business rate relief to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

“New grants to help businesses are being introduced regularly. All new schemes are published on our website at www.guildford.gov.uk/article/23827/Business-rate-payers-help. We would recommend that businesses bookmark this page.”

Cllr Redpath continued: “We invite all businesses to get in touch as we may be able to help in other ways, including through our assistance to help businesses follow new licensing guidelines. We have also been working with the Community Foundation for Surrey’s Coronavirus Response Fund, as the Mayor of Guildford’s chosen charity for 2020, to match fund any donations to support local charities and voluntary organisations helping vulnerable, elderly and isolated members of the community. Businesses can also get information and support through the Enterprise M3 Growth Hub, at www.enterprisem3growthhub.co.uk/.

“Additional help may be available through the government’s Kickstart Scheme and new investment in ‘green’ jobs. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has also this week published information on additional resources available to employers and employees, including support offered by the National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses, at www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-support-for-business-from-outside-government.”