At the start of the second English lockdown (Thursday 5 November 2020), local businesses who have been ordered to close for four weeks may be eligible for a government grant of up to £3,000.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant, which helped businesses ordered to close in local tier three lockdowns, is now available for businesses required to close in national measures.
The grants are based on business rates, similar to the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) available for the first lockdown this spring.
The value of these grants has been set by central Government. Businesses that pay business rates on their premises are eligible for the below:
- for properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 – every 4 weeks
- for properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k, grants to be £2,000 – every 4 weeks
- for properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 – every 4 weeks
Businesses that have had to be closed since March 2020, such as nightclubs, will also be eligible for for a ‘Sector’ Grant from 1 November.
Eligible businesses will get one grant for each property liable for business rates and grants will be based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of lockdown restrictions.
Initial guidance from the Government was issued on Wednesday 4 November and further detailed guidance will follow. We are busy working through this to finalise the eligibility criteria and make the necessary changes to our IT systems to enable the grants to be administered.
Information about eligibility and how to apply, will be published shortly on thanet.gov.uk/business-advice. If you’re a business that is still unsure if you qualify, please contact the Business Rates Team directly at email@example.com.
The council is also looking to support the local Thanet business community via a dedicated Facebook group. As a member of this group, businesses will be able to access up-to-date guidance from the council, as well as advice from its Business Support consultant whom some local businesses will have already met, as she is working to support local businesses and high street retailers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cllr Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet District Council said:
“We know a second lockdown is going to hit local businesses hard and we hope that these one-off payments will go some way to help those in need.
“Thanet is, however, home to a lot of small businesses so we are currently reviewing final guidance from the Government about discretionary ‘Additional Restrictions Grants. Where we can, we want to help businesses that don’t pay business rates and those not required to close but who have been severely affected.
“This is an extremely stressful and difficult time for businesses and we will work hard to deliver this financial support as quickly as possible. Please keep checking our website and social media channels for further information on qualification and how to apply.”
The dedicated business section of the council’s website has details of further government schemes and initiatives that organisations may be able to access and what support is available.
The council has already removed business rates from over a thousand retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for this financial year. It also has a Business Support consultant, Sharon Davies, who is on hand to give advice and support to Thanet’s high street businesses, large and small. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org. Work continues with key partners including the Town and Parish Councils, to stay connected with local businesses during this second lockdown.
Kent County Council, in collaboration with all the local authorities in Kent, has a business support line (03333 602300) for coronavirus-related issues, delivered by the Kent & Medway Growth Hub. The line is now open and taking calls five days a week from Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 6pm.
- This second lockdown funding has been provided by Central Government and will be administered by Thanet District Council in line with guidance set out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
- The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough Scheme – will remain open until March 2021 with staff receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
- The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.
- People may also be able to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance with, or instead of Universal Credit, depending on your National Insurance record.
- The role of the Business Support consultant is funded by the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund which is providing £50 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to councils across England.