Business Rates support during Covid-19

Covid-19 Guidance for Businesses 
 
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced extra help for some businesses in the 2020 Budget and in a statement on Tuesday 17 March 2020.
 
Please see “Business Coronavirus Support Finder” in the Related Content section to see what support is available for you and your business.
 
Business Rate Relief

Further advice is set out below and this page will be updated with any more information as it becomes available.

 

Grants for Businesses

Closed Business Lockdown Payment

The Chancellor has announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. Eligibility is the same as the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) which is detailed below.

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

This scheme will close on 30 April 2021. 

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

This is for businesses forced to close during the period of restrictions.

Funding for the period 5 November to 1 December is:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000; and
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000.

Funding for the period 16 December to 19 December is:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £191;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £286; and
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £429.

Funding for the period 20 December to 4 January is:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £763;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £1,143; and
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £1,715.

Funding for the period 5 January to 15 February:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £2,001;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £3,000; and
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £4,500.

Funding for the period 16 February to 31 March:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £2,096;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £3,143; and
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £4,714.

Those businesses that have already registered for Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) need take no further action. We will be making payments automatically.

Further information and our policy can be found in related content.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

This scheme is aimed at supporting businesses that provide hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure who remained open during the periods in question but were severely affected by the restrictions.

Funding for the period 17 October to 4 November is:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £634;
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, grants to be £950; and
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £1,425

Funding for the period 2 December to 15 December is:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £467;
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, grants to be £700; and
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £1,050

Funding for the period 16 December to 19 December is:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £134;
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, grants to be £200; and
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £300

Both these grants are only for ratepayers with premises that appear in the Non Domestic Rating List.

Further information and our policy can be found in related content.

To apply for either of the above two schemes please click here

 

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Second Round

The Council has now launched a second round of ARG funding following a successful first round in December 2020. The eligibility criteria have been broadened to allow a wider range of businesses to receive funding, including certain home businesses and self-employed individuals. The intention of the ARG Second Round is to primarily support businesses that are not eligible for other grants but who are likely to have been seriously affected by national restrictions. Businesses are encouraged to check their eligibility against our policy (available in Related Content).

The ARG Second Round will be kept open until such time as funding is exhausted or new grants are introduced that require the withdrawal of the ARG. In any event, the Council expects the ARG Second Round to close no later than 5pm on 31 March 2021, however businesses are encouraged to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Subject to eligibility, businesses which are not shown in the Non Domestic Rating List can apply for this grant.

Further information and our policy can be found in Related Content.

Apply for Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Second Round
 

Essex Business Adaptations Fund (EBAF)

The EBAF is now closed for new applications. Applications received before the deadline are in the process of being assessed. Any further funding rounds will be announced on this page in due course should sufficient funds remain

Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs

On 1 December 2020, the government announced the introduction of additional support over the festive period of a £1,000 flat-rate grant for wet-led pubs in areas under Tier 2 or 3 restrictions. For the purposes of this grant, a wet-led pub is defined as a pub that derives less than 50% of its income from sales of food. We are in the process of contacting those businesses who meet the description of a Public House, however an application form can also be found in related content. This scheme closed on 29 December 2020 and final applications must have been received by 28 February 2021.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)

Businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions introduced in March 2020, and which have not been able to re-open, may be eligible for LSRG (Sector). This funding is available from 1 November 2020 and is not retrospective.

Eligible businesses include:

  • nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  • adult entertainment venues and hostess bars

This grant is only for premises that appear in the Non Domestic Rating List.

Further information and our policy can be found in related content.

The Council will be contacting eligible businesses directly.

Grant schemes which are now closed:

Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant

Rochford District council awarded £17,680,000 in Small Business and Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grants to 1,522 businesses.

This scheme closed on Friday 28th August and is no longer open to applications.

Additional Restrictions Grant

The Council has been allocated £1,747,360 (based on £20 per head of population). The Council’s ARG scheme will primarily be supporting businesses that are not eligible for other grants but who are likely to have been seriously affected by national restrictions, in addition to business sectors that have been less able to adapt their service models during periods of national restrictions.

To be eligible for the ARG, you must meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Council’s policy.

The ARG is now closed for new applications. The Council is considering how to best use remaining ARG funding and details of any further grants will be published here as soon as available.

When the scheme is open, businesses which are not shown in the Non Domestic Rating List can apply for this grant.

 

Rochford Discretionary Business Grants Scheme

Rochford District Council awarded £902,500 to 149 businesses in total across all rounds of the Discretionary Business Grants Scheme.

This scheme closed on 10th July 2020 and all funds have been awarded.

Expanded Retail Discount - Leisure, Hospitality and Retail Business 

The Chancellor said that no business in the retail, leisure or hospitality sector will pay rates this year regardless of their rateable value. 
 
Retail properties are already defined within the ‘Retail Properties’ document that can be found in the related content, but 'leisure and hospitality' is a new category. This has now been defined as properties used for the provision of sport and leisure facilities, assembly of visiting members of the public and, the provision of living accommodation as a business. This includes:
 
  • sports grounds and clubs
  • museums and art galleries
  • nightclubs
  • sport and leisure facilities
  • stately homes and historic houses
  • theatres
  • tourist attractions
  • gyms
  • public halls
  • Wellness centres, spas, massage parlours
  • Casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls
  • clubhouse, clubs and institutions
  • hotels, guest and boarding houses
  • holiday homes
  • caravan parks and sites
 
Properties must be occupied and not empty. Properties which are temporarily closed due to Government advice on COVID-19 will be treated as occupied for the purposes of this help.
 
To clarify, government has provided a list of properties that do not qualify for the relief these are:
  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors) 
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers)
  • Post office sorting offices 
  • Properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

Private nurseries

The Education Secretary announced on Wednesday 18th March that properties occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage would pay no Business Rates in 2020/21.  

We have applied this relief to qualifying Business Rates accounts. You do not have to do anything, an amended bill has been issued.