The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a £4.6 billion programme of grants for the retail, hospitality and leisure sector. Since March 2020, businesses across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors have endured months closed, followed by a cycle of limited reopening and turmoil. The government has therefore provided assistance for businesses in order to survive and sustain jobs over the coming months.
Who is entitled to the grant?
The new top-up grants are open to hospitality, retail and leisure sector businesses with a physical premises who have to close until at least mid-February. The amount each business owner will be offered will be based on the level of business rates typically paid by a site; whether a shop, pub, cafe, gym or hotel.
- The smallest closed outfits (those with with a rateable value up to £15,000) will be able to claim up to £4,000.
- Medium-sized sites (rated at £15,000-£51,000) will be eligible for a £6,000 grant.
- Large businesses (with a rateable value of more than £51,000) will be eligible for the the largest package of £9,000 for that period.
How do I apply for the grant?
All businesses need to apply for a grant through their local authorities. The government is giving funds to councils to distribute to businesses large and small, as it did back in November during the second national lockdown. Follow the link to the government website to find the right local authority for application.
It should be easy for councils to determine which top-up grant each business is entitled to, as the entire process is ran through the same system implemented to give out the Local Restrictions Support Grants offered in November 2020.
I am not eligible for a top-up grant, but I still have to close for lockdown or have been impacted, and need support. How can I get help?
The Chancellor also announced a new £594 million discretionary fund. These are intended to support businesses impacted by the latest lockdown, but aren’t eligible for the retail, hospitality and leisure top-up grants.
These may be businesses, such as market traders and home-based operators, who do not pay business rates and are therefore not eligible for the top-up grants. These funds may also be available to businesses who do not have to shut down due to the lockdown, but have been severely hampered in operation. As with the top-up grant, all businesses should apply to their local authority to ask for support.
A key difference between these funds and the top-up grants is that, as suggested in the name, they are given at the discretion of councils. This means that councils get to decide which businesses are allocated grants as opposed to the government.
In order to make an application for grants, business owners will mostly need to provide information including:
- Passport or driving licence
- Business rates account number
- VAT registration number
- Company registration number
- Unique taxpayer reference (UTR)
- Copies of business account bank statements.
We hope this has outlined to you exactly what the lockdown grant for businesses in the retail, business and hospitality sector is and whether you can apply. If you require any more information on the lockdown grants or scheme, or anything accounting related for that matter, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Nordens where one of our trusted advisors would be happy talking you through your query.
Contact us on 02085300720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org