Angus Brewer Business & Tax Consultant

In the Budget on 11 March 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out details of a £7bn fiscal stimulus to support British businesses and households through the crisis.  

A key part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 2020 budget announcements was a commitment to offering some UK small businesses £3,000 grants to help mitigate the impact of coronavirus. As the scale of the crisis’s economic impact became clear, this was subsequently increased to £10,000.

The government will provide £2.2bn funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR). 

Which small businesses are eligible for a coronavirus grant?Unfortunately, not all UK small businesses will be eligible for this grant, there are a few boxes that your business must tick.
The official grant guidance is that:

Approximately 700,000 small businesses are expected to be eligible.

How to apply for a coronavirus small business grantThe scheme will be rolled out through local authorities – with the government stating that eligible businesses will be contacted by their local authority in due course.  The government said businesses do not need to apply for the grants.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy will be writing to local authorities this week to outline the scheme, and encourage local authorities to prepare.  
Local authorities will get funding for the scheme in early April so it is likely that it will take at least 3-4 weeks for businesses to receive money through the scheme.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the business rates reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. 

What small business coronavirus grants are available in other parts of the UK?The coronavirus grant only applies to small business in England. Business rates in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set by their devolved administrations.

Scotland

The Scottish government has announced an £80 million fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of COVID-19.  The £80m grant fund is part of a £320m package of measures announced to help small businesses weather the coronavirus crisis.
Scottish Enterprise says that how it will be administered and what it will look like has not been decided yet.  Announcements will be made over the next few days.  

Wales

The Welsh Government has announced a package of support worth more than £200m for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.
One of these measures includes £100m that will be available for a new grant scheme for small businesses.  Further details on this new grant scheme will be confirmed as soon as possible

Northern Ireland

Currently the only official support that has been announced for small businesses in Northern Ireland is a three-month business rates “holiday” for all businesses in Northern Ireland. Further announcements are expected in the coming days.

Summary

  • Eligible businesses must have a business premises in England and claim business rates relief
  • Eligible businesses will be contacted by their local authority
  • Local authorities will receive funding in early April and they will distribute grants to small businesses that have applied for them (after being contacted by their local authority)

Last updated: 18/03/2020
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