– The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG Closed) is to support rate paying businesses within the area that are forced to close in line with national restrictions
– The Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) is to support businesses that will continue to be severely affected during the coming months
Grants covered by this guidance will be issued in accordance with Government Guidance detailed on 3 November 2020 in respect of the Local Restriction Support Grant (LRSG Closed) and the Additional Restrictions Grant Schemes, along with guidance about the required closures. Any updated guidance or FAQs subsequently published by Government in respect of these schemes will also apply. Guidance can be accessed here and here.
For businesses that have a separate business rates account, to qualify for the Local Restrictions Support Grant, you must:
Where a hereditament has mixed premises and only part of the business is subject to national closures (e.g. locksmith/shoe repairs, restaurant/takeaway), the hereditament will be eligible to receive a LRSG grant if the business is required to close its main service. Local Authorities will be required to exercise their discretion and judge whether this is the case based on their local knowledge.
Please note, businesses that are required to close but then diversify to remain open in part e.g. restaurants/cafes that close but retain a takeaway service, or shops that close but retain a click and collect facility, will still be eligible for a grant.
For businesses that have a separate business rates account qualifying under the Local Restrictions Support Grant;
Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) funding of £2,848,480 has also been awarded to South Kesteven District Council to support businesses that will continue to be severely affected during the coming months.
The Council will be developing the guidance for expenditure of this fund in response to local business priorities and support needs but, in the meantime, we are prioritising the use of some of this funding to support non-rate paying overnight accommodation businesses forced to close during the national restriction period.
South Kesteven overnight accommodation businesses that were open as usual and providing in-person services to customers from their business premises on 4 November 2020 and then instructed to close by Government from 5 November 2020, are outside of the business rates system, can evidence rent or mortgage payments and the primary purpose of the building is for the trading of the business, will receive a payment of £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
Businesses will be required to provide information to demonstrate eligibility. This includes:
Payments to eligible businesses will be made once the application has been validated and eligibility confirmed. Upon satisfactory compliance with these conditions, payments will be made with 5 working days.
Businesses must tell the Council of any changes in circumstances that might affect eligibility for grant payments. Failure to do this could lead to grants being clawed back.
Please click here for the latest information from InvestSK on support available to businesses and local grants.
The scheme will open for applications on Friday 13 November 2020 and continue to operate until such time as closure restrictions and funding remains in place.
Notice of the scheme closure will be given via the InvestSK website www.investsk.co.uk and social media channels.
For businesses eligible under the Local Restrictions Support Grant and the ARG grant for overnight accommodation providers only.
One grant per period may be claimed for each eligible premises. This grant scheme will apply to a 28-day payment cycle.
Businesses may apply for this fund regardless of any other national or local COVID-19 grants or loans already received.
Businesses must ensure that by receiving a grant they will not be in breach of state aid thresholds. In summary, grants can be received under the existing De Minimis rules, provided doing so does not exceed the rolling three-year €200,000 threshold. Payments made where the De Minimis threshold has been reached should be paid under the Covid-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities (threshold of €1 when combined with De Minimis aid). Any business that has reached the limits of payments permissible under the De Minimis and the UK Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework will not be able to receive further grant funding. Businesses in any doubt should take their own legal advice.
Subject to state aid limits, businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible hereditament during the time national restrictions are imposed. Some businesses may receive more than one grant where they have more than one eligible hereditament.
Grants will only be payable to the liable party who, to qualify for support was, according to the Local Authority’s billing records, the ratepayer in respect of the hereditament or the liable party in respect of the lease or mortgage agreement on the date of the first full day of national restrictions.
Where the Local Authority has reason to believe that the information that they hold about the ratepayer/liable party on the first full day of the national restrictions is inaccurate, they may withhold or recover the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct party.
All businesses will need to sign a declaration form to confirm that they are the liable party and to confirm the accuracy of all information within the application form.
The Council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.
Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Local Restrictions Support Grant and Additional Restriction Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.
Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.
The Council may withhold all or part of any grant payment where there is reason to believe that the eligibility conditions have not been met.
The government and the Council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.
State Aid rules and requirements apply to this scheme.
Businesses will need to notify their Local Authority if they no longer meet the eligibility criteria for additional grants at any point in any local restrictions period. For example, if they become insolvent.
There shall be no right of appeal and the decision of the Council is final.
The Council reserves the right to vary the terms of the scheme at any time should it be necessary to do so.
Rating List Changes
Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after the first full day of restrictions and business closure regulations came into force – including changes which have been backdated to this date – should be ignored for the purposes of eligibility.
Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the rating list is subsequently amended retrospectively to the date that local restrictions began.
In cases where it was factually clear to the Local Authority on the local restriction date that the rating list was inaccurate on that date, Local Authorities may withhold the grant and/or award the grant based on their view of who would have been entitled to the grant had the list been accurate. This is entirely at the discretion of the Local Authority and only intended to prevent manifest errors.
Where the Local Authority chooses to use this discretion, then landlords and managing agents are urged to support the Local Authority in quickly identifying the correct ratepayers.
Extract from Schedule 2 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 for those businesses mandated to close: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/pdfs/uksi_20201200_en.pdf
Businesses subject to restrictions or closure;
PART 1 : Hospitality businesses
2.— (1) Cafes, including workplace canteens (subject to sub-paragraph (2)), but not including—
(a) cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home or school, or provider of post-16 education or training (as defined in paragraph 1(8) of Schedule 17 to the Coronavirus Act 2020(a));
(b) canteens at criminal justice accommodation or an establishment intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes or for the purposes of the Department of the Secretary of State responsible for defence;
(c) services providing food and drink or either to the homeless.
(2) Workplace canteens may remain open where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food.
PART 2 : Other businesses
(a) opens at night,
(b) has a dance floor or other space for dancing by members of the public (and for these purposes members of the venue in question are to be considered members of the public), and
(c) provides music, whether live or recorded, for dancing.
31.— (1) Indoor attractions at visitor attractions such as—
(a) botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses;
(b) stately or historic homes, castles or other heritage sites;
(c) landmarks, including observation wheels or viewing platforms;
(d) sculpture parks.
(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), an “indoor attraction” means those parts of a venue, including visitor centres but not including toilets for visitors, which—
(a) would be considered to be enclosed or substantially enclosed for the purposes of section 2 of the Health Act 2006 under the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006; and
(b) are, in normal times, open for members of the public to visit for the purposes of recreation, whether or not for payment.
32.— (1) Conference centres and exhibition halls, so far as they are used to host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets, other than conferences or events which are attended only by employees of the person who owns or is responsible for running the conference centre or exhibition hall.
(2) For the purposes of this paragraph, a “trade show” is an event held to bring together members of a particular industry to display, demonstrate and discuss their latest products and services with members of the public.
PART 3 : Businesses permitted to remain open
(b) building societies;
(c) credit unions;
(d) short term loan providers;
(e) savings clubs;
(f) cash points;
(g) undertakings which by way of business operate currency exchange offices, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers.
We appreciate there’s a lot of information to digest, and you might want some clarity over your individual situation. In which case, please get in touch with InvestSK – we’re here to help you.
As well as offering support for this specific funding programme, InvestSK also provides a central point of contact for all local businesses. We have a dedicated section on our website to collate the latest Government information, advice and funding to support businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, click here to visit.