What grants are available for my business during coronavirus?

The government has announced two grants schemes to support businesses struggling with the effects of coronavirus. In this article, we unpack them both.

27 April 2020

Currently, there are two grants schemes available to small business owners in the UK – a grant of up to £25,000 for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure that have been forced to close as a result of lockdown, and the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF), which provides a grant of £10,000 for businesses eligible for pre-existing business rates relief schemes.

Cash grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries

Depending on the rateable value of your commercial premises, you could either receive a cash grant of £10,000 or £25,000. Eligibility for each amount are as follows:

  • If you operate from commercial premises with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, then you could be eligible for a grant of £10,000.
  • If your premises are valued at between £15,000 and £51,000 then you could receive a grant of £25,000.

If you’re unsure of the value of your premises, you check it here.

Is my business eligible?

There are some eligibility criteria for this grant. To qualify, your business must:

  • be based in England
  • be in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector (pubs, shops, restaurants, live music venues etc.)
  • have a rateable value of less than £51,000

Any enquiries about your business’ eligibility for these grants should be made directly to your local authority.

How do I apply?

If you’re eligible for this cash grant, your local authority should contact you. However, each local council operates differently and some have decided to run an application process. It’s worth checking how your local authority is processing these grants to avoid any delay in receiving your money. It’s also worth checking that they have your business’ most up to date bank and business details.

If you’re unsure of who your local authority is, you can check here.

Cash grants for businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Grant amount and application processes may vary depending on whether your business is based in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Scotland – in order to receive the £25,000 cash grant, Scottish businesses in retail, hospitality or leisure will need to operate out of commercial premises with a rateable value of between £18,000 and £51,000

Wales – for businesses in Wales, commercial properties must have a value between £12,001 and £51,000 to receive a cash grant.

Northern Ireland – so far, there have been no grants announced for businesses in these three key sectors, but business rates payments have been deferred for the next three months.

Coronavirus updates for SMEs

Coronavirus: stay updated

Our coronavirus bulletin covers all the key developments and delivers a digested summary straight to your inbox. We’ll send these out whenever there are key updates we think will help your business.

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) – £10,000 grants for businesses eligible for business rates relief

Businesses based in England may also be eligible for a further £10,000 grant depending on whether they are eligible for pre-existing business rates relief schemes. The two schemes that businesses will need to be eligible for are the Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) scheme, and the Rural Rates Relief (RRR) scheme. Businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may also be eligible for this grant but the eligibility criteria may vary (click here). Eligibility for these schemes are as follows:

SBRR – if your business has one property with a rateable value of less than £12,000 then you could apply for a business rates exemption through SBRR. If its value lies between £12,000 and £15,000, the rate of relief will gradually decrease from 100% to 0%.

RRR – the rules of exemption are different for rural properties applying for exemption through RRR. If you live in an area with a population of less than 3,000 people then you could apply for this. You'll also need to check you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are the only village shop or post office, with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • You are the only public house or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500

Check the rateable value of your property here.

To summarise, in order to receive the £10,000 SBGF grant your business will need:

  • To be based in England
  • To occupy a commercial property
  • To already be eligible for either SBRR or RRR

How do I apply for SBGF?

If you meet the eligibility criteria for SBGF, contact your local authority in order to find out how they are distributing these grants. Once again, check that they also have your most up to date bank account and contact details.

SBGF for businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Eligibility for the SBGF varies depending on which country your business is based in.

Scotland – if your business is already eligible for Small Business Bonus Scheme Relief, Rural Rates Relief, Nursery Relief, Growth Accelerator Relief or Disabled Relief then you could receive a one-off £10,000 grant from your local authority. You’ll only be able to receive this payment once and should apply through online forms available on local authority websites.

Wales – if your business already qualifies for SBRR and has a rateable value of £12,000 or less then you could receive a £10,000 grant. You’ll be able to claim for two properties in each local authority area and should check your local authority’s website to apply.

Northern Ireland – businesses that are already eligible for the SBRR and have a Net Annual Value of £15,000 or less may be eligible for the SBGF. In order to apply, you’ll need to fill out this form. For more information on this scheme, check out the NI Business Info website.

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Dan is part of the content team at iwoca. He writes for both the insights and finance explained pages, and produces the 9 to when? podcast.

Article updated on: 27 April 2020

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Coronavirus updates for SMEs

Our coronavirus bulletin covers all the key developments and delivers a digested summary straight to your inbox. We’ll send these out whenever there are key updates we think will help your business.