As coronavirus cases rise across the UK, local lockdowns are becoming more prevalent in England. Whilst many large businesses can shoulder the financial burden of local lockdowns, small businesses affected by these new measures may find themselves significantly out-of-pocket.
However, despite changing circumstances for businesses, there is help on offer to those that may require it. The government has recently announced a new small business grant that can be claimed by any small business in England that’s been affected by local lockdown measures.
Designed to provide a safety net to further protect jobs and businesses affected by coronavirus measures, the announcement of new lockdown grants by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury aims to prevent further financial distress for small business owners.
Who’s eligible for the grant?
Businesses in England that have been forced to close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions will now be able to receive grants worth up to £1,500 every three weeks.
To be eligible for the grant, businesses must have been required to close due to local Covid-19 restrictions.
Touted as a way for local economies to protect jobs and thrive in future months, these small business grants aim to reward businesses for ‘doing the right thing’ in times of uncertainty. Viewed by the government as a financial lifeline for small businesses, the £1,500 available to larger small businesses and the £1,000 available to smaller businesses has the potential to ward off any imminent financial disaster. This targeted support for small businesses is set to run in addition to various business schemes currently running (which includes the Furlough scheme).
Though the grants aim to support those struggling during local lockdowns, there are some businesses that will not be eligible which we will briefly outline below:
- It’s worth noting that any businesses still closed on a national level will not be eligible for support (such as nightclubs)
- As an expansion on the amounts mentioned earlier, if a business occupies a site with a rateable value less than £51,000 or occupies a property or part of a property subject to an annual payment of more than £51,000 it will receive £1,000
- If a business has a rateable value of more than £51,000 or part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage payment of more than £51,000, it will receive £1,500
- Local authorities will receive an additional 5% top up of business support that will enable them to help other small businesses affected by local lockdown. These will be of any amount up to £1,500
How can I access my grant?
Local authorities will be responsible for distributing the grants to businesses, and further eligibility criteria may be in place across these authorities. It’s important to note that as with any other Covid-19 related business grant, any funds given will be treated as taxable income.
To access grant funding, please get in touch with your local authority who will provide further information on eligibility (here’s a helpful list to get you started).
If you’re still unsure about any information released by the government with regards to this new scheme, try the gov.uk Coronavirus Business Support Finder, or get in touch with Warr & Co. We are currently offering free initial consultations for small businesses.