Grant Funding Schemes PDF

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Grant Funding SchemesSmall Business Grant Fund and Retail,Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund:Guidance for Local AuthoritiesAugust 2020 - Version 6

Crown copyright 2020This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated.To view this licence, visit e/version/3 or write to theInformation Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:[email protected] we have identified any third-party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from thecopyright holders concerned.Any enquiries regarding this publication should be sent to us at:[email protected]

ContentsThe guidance 4Introduction 4How will the grants be provided? 4How much funding will be provided to businesses? 5Who will benefit from these schemes? 5Who will receive this funding? 7Managing the risk of fraud 7Rating List Changes 7Rating List Changes Exceptions 8Post Event Assurance 8Monitoring and Reporting Requirements 8State Aid 8Annex A - Summary of Scheme Requirements 9Annex B – Post-Payment Reporting 13Annex C – State Aid 15Sample Paragraphs that could be included in letters to grant recipients 153

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund guidanceThe guidance1.This guidance is intended to support Local Authorities in administering the businessgrant schemes announced at Budget on 11 March 2020, and the level of funding wasincreased in a statement from the Chancellor on 17 March. This guidance applies toEngland only.2.This guidance sets out the criteria which central government considers for this purposeto be eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and LeisureGrant Fund. This does not replace existing guidance.3.Local Authority enquiries on this measure should be addressed [email protected] Businesses seeking information should refer to thegovernment’s Business Support Hub.Introduction4.In response to the Coronavirus, COVID-19, the government announced there would besupport for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisuresectors.5.This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes in Financial Year 20202021, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure GrantFund.6.This document provides guidance to authorities about the operation and delivery of thepolicy.How will the grants be provided?7.The government will, in line with the eligibility criteria set out in this guidance, reimburseLocal Authorities that pay grants to eligible businesses. Central government will fullyreimburse Local Authorities, in line with the following guidance and the grant offer lettersent to LAs, for the cost of the grant (using a grant under section 31 of the Localgovernment Act 2003). Local Authorities will be responsible for delivering the funding toeligible businesses.8.We are committed to meeting the delivery costs to Local Authorities for this scheme,and will meet associated New Burdens costs. A New Burdens Assessment will becompleted and funding then provided to authorities.9.Local Authorities that will be responsible for making payments to businesses and whichwill receive funding from government are business rate billing authorities in England.10.This grant scheme will offer a lifeline to businesses who are struggling to survive due tothe corona virus shutdown. Local Authorities should make payments as quickly aspossible to support struggling businesses.4

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund guidanceHow much funding will be provided to businesses?11.Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all businesses in England in receipt ofeither Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the businessrates system will be eligible for a payment of 10,000 in line with the eligibility criteria asset out in paragraphs 16-23.12.Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG), businesses in England thatwould have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail,hospitality and leisure) on 11 March with a rateable value of less than 51,000 will beeligible for the following cash grants per property.13.Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up toand including 15,000 will receive a grant of 10,000, in line with the eligibility criteria asset out in paragraphs 24-31.14.Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over 15,000 and less than 51,000 will receive a grant of 25,000, in line with the eligibilitycriteria as set out in paragraphs 24-31.15.Businesses with a rateable value of 51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme.Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included inthis scheme.Who will benefit from these schemes?Small Business Grant Fund16.Hereditaments included in this scheme are those which on the 11 March 2020 wereeligible for relief under the business rate Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (includingthose with a Rateable Value between 12,000 and 15,000 which receive taperedrelief).17.These are hereditaments to which:a.Section 43 (4B)(a) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (small businessrate relief) applied, andb.The value of E (as defined in article 3 of the Non-Domestic Rating (Relies,thresholds and Amendment) (England) Order 2017, SI 2017/102) was greaterthan 1.18.Hereditaments that were not eligible for percentage SBRR relief (including those eligiblefor the Small Business Rate Multiplier) are excluded.19.Hereditaments which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the rural rate reliefscheme are also eligible for this scheme. These are hereditaments to which Section 43(6B) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (rural rate relief) applied.5

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund guidance20.Town and Parish councils are eligible if they meet all the scheme criteria (the preceptingauthority exclusion does not apply here as they are in theory eligible for small businessrate relief or rural rate relief.21.Eligible recipients will be entitled to receive one grant per hereditament from the earlierof the date payment of the grant by the Local Authority or 1st April 2020.Exclusions to Small Business Grant Fund22.Hereditaments occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personaluse include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.23.Car parks and parking spaces.24.For the avoidance of doubt, businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquidation orwere dissolved will not be eligible.Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant25.Hereditaments which on the 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than 51,000and would have been eligible for a discount under the business rates Expanded RetailDiscount Scheme had that scheme been in force for that date are eligible for the grant.Charities which would otherwise meet this criteria but whose bill for 11 March had beenreduced to nil by a local discretionary award should still be considered to be eligible forthe RHL grant.26.Eligible recipients will be entitled to receive one grant per hereditament from the earlierof the date of payment of the grant by the Local Authority or 1st April 2020.Exclusions to RHLG27.Recipients eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund will not be eligible for the Retail,Hospitality and Leisure Grant.28.Hereditaments occupied for personal uses. Examples of where there may be personaluse include private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.29.Town and Parish councils are not eligible for RHLG (they are excluded as a preceptingauthority, see section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988).30.Car parks and parking spaces.31.For the avoidance of doubt, businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquidation orwere dissolved will not be eligible.32.Hereditaments with a rateable value of 51,000 or over.33.Only one grant may be awarded per hereditament.6

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund guidanceWho will receive this funding?34.The person who according to the billing authority’s records was the ratepayer in respectof the hereditament on the 11 March 2020.35.Where the Local Authority has reason to believe that the information that they holdabout the ratepayer on the 11 March 2020 is inaccurate they may withhold or recoverthe grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer. Local Authoritiesshould make clear to recipients that the grant is for the ratepayer and may be liable forrecovery if the recipient was not the ratepayer on the eligible day.36.The Local Authority must call or write to the business, stating that by accepting the grantpayment, the business confirms that they are eligible for the grant schemes. Thisincludes where Local Authorities already have bank details for businesses, and are in aposition to send out funding immediately, or where the Local Authority is sending acheque to a business.37.Landlords and management agents are urged to support local government in quicklyidentifying the correct ratepayer.Will these grant schemes be subject to tax?38.Grant income received by a business is taxable therefore the Small Business Grants,and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants will be subject to tax.39.Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will besubject to tax.Managing the risk of fraud40.The government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud - and any businesscaught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution andany funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error41.The government Grants Management Function and Counter Fraud Function will maketheir digital assurance tool, Spotlight, available to Local Authorities, and will offersupport in using the tool and interpreting results. Alongside other checks conducted bylocal authorities, the tool can help with pre-payment and post payment assurance. Wealso want local authorities to work with us and each other in identifying and sharinggood practice, including protecting eligible businesses which may be targeted byfraudsters pretending to be central or local government or acting on their behalf.Rating List Changes42.Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after the 11 March2020 including changes which have been backdated to this date should be ignored forthe purposes of eligibility.7

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund guidance43.Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the rating list issubsequently amended retrospectively to the 11 March 2020.Rating List Changes Exceptions44.In cases where it was factually clear to the Local Authority on the 11 March 2020 thatthe rating list was inaccurate on that date, Local Authorities may withhold the grantand/or award the grant based on their view of who would have been entitled to the granthad the list been accurate.45.This is entirely at the discretion of the Local Authority and only intended to preventmanifest errors.46.Where the Local Authority chooses to use this discretion then landlords and managingagents are urged to support the Local Authority in identifying quickly the correctratepayers.Post Event Assurance47.Post payment, the Government Grants Management Function and Counter FraudFunction will support local authorities to carry out post-event assurance work to identifyhigh risk payments.Monitoring and Reporting Requirements48.There will not be a mandatory application process for this scheme. However, LocalAuthorities must retain necessary data provided and BEIS will undertake regular datacollection exercises. Further guidance will be forthcoming to support this process. Thedata will include:a) numbers of businesses eligible per scheme,b) number of payments being processed per scheme, andc) number of actual payments per scheme.49.Annex B contains information on Post Payment Monitoring requirements.State Aid50.The United Kingdom left the EU on 31 January 2020, nonetheless under the WithdrawalAgreement the State aid rules continue to apply during a transition period, subject toregulation by the EU Commission. The Local Authority must be satisfied that all Stateaid requirements have been fully met and complied with when making grant payments,including, where required, compliance with all relevant conditions of the EU State aidDe-Minimis Regulation, the EU Commission Temporary Framework for State aidmeasures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak, the approved8

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund guidanceCOVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities, and any relevant reportingrequirements to the EU Commission.51.Payments made under SBGF can be provided under the existing De Minimis rules,provided doing so does not exceed the 200,000 threshold. Payments made under theRHLGF (or SBGF where the De Minimis threshold has been reached) should be paidunder the COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities.52.Annex C of this guidance contains two sample declarations which local authorities maywish to use with either payments under the De Minimis rules or under the COVID-19Temporary Framework for UK Authorities. Where Local Authorities have furtherquestions about De Minimis or other aspects of State aid law, they should seek advicefrom their legal department in the first instance.Annex A - Summary of SchemeRequirementsSCHEME 1 (BUSINESSSUPPORT GRANTSFUND)SCHEME 2 (RETAIL, HOSPITALITY ANDLEISURE BUSINESS GRANTS FUND)2A (RATEABLEVALUE up to andincluding 15,000)2B (RATEABLEVALUE 15,000.01 –50,999) 10,000 25,000PERBUSINESSGRANT 10,000FUNDINGGEOGRAPHYENGLAND ONLYBUSINESS RATE BILLING AUTHORITIESSTATE AIDState aid applies SBGF can be paid as De Minimis aid 200,000 limit over3 years (or under the Temporary Framework where De Minimis thresholdexceeded).RHLGF can be paid under the UK COVID-19 Temporary Framework forUK Authorities subject to:

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund guidance 4 . The guidance 1. This guidance is intended to support Local Authorities in administering the business grant schemes announced at Budget on 11 March 2020, and the level of funding was increased in a statement from the Chancellor on 17 March. This guidance applies to England only. 2. This guidance sets out the ...