Covid-19 business support grants - frequently asked questions

Here are some of the commonly asked questions about the Covid-19 business support grants, who can apply and how much grant you might receive.

We are working tirelessly to process as many payments as possible to help all eligible businesses. Before any payment can be made we have to check each individual request and determine a business's eligibility under the scheme. We ask that you remain patient during these difficult times, as call volumes, grant requests and queries relating to these are extremely high. We hope that these frequently asked questions may help.

 

My Business hasn't been force to close, but is still adversely affected. Are other grants available?

As a result of the additional Covid-19 lock down restrictions, funding of £1.8m has been allocated to Uttlesford District Council to help put in place support for Businesses who are not on the Business rates list but who are severely affected by the latest restrictions. This will be administered under the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme (ARG)

This scheme is currently being built in consultation with other Local Authorities in Essex to provide a clear streamlined countywide support grant. More information will follow shortly

Further information and details of all the central government financial support that is available can be found on the GOV.UK website.

 

Are there any exclusion to the schemes?

The following exclusions apply:

  • business properties which are empty are excluded from this scheme.
  • takeaway businesses are considered essential retail, and are therefore not required to close under national lock down. Such businesses are not eligible to support under this scheme.
  • businesses in areas outside the scope of the restrictions, as defined by Government, are not eligible for this grant.
  • businesses that have chosen to close but not been required to are not eligible for this grant.
  • businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de-minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework are not eligible for this grant.
  • businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made at the date of the local lockdown are not eligible for this grant.

In cases where it was factually clear to us that on the local lock down date that the non-domestic rating list was inaccurate on that date, we may withhold the grant and/or award the grant based on our view of who would have been entitled to the grant had the list been accurate. The decision to award or withhold a grant payment is entirely at the discretion of Uttlesford District Council. 

Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after the first full day of localised restrictions and business closures regulations came into force including changes which have been backdated to this date, are to be ignored for the purposes of eligibility. Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the rating list is subsequently amended retrospectively to the local lock down date.

 

How much is the grant payment

Under the Local restrictions grant scheme - for businesses forced to close under Tier 3 or National lockdown measures

Under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme the following grant is available to businesses forced to closed under Tier 3 or national lock down restrictions (National lockdown applies to Uttlesford from 05/11/20):

The grant payable to an eligible business depends on the Rateable Value of the property as entered on the non-domestic rating list at the point of lockdown and the length of time the business has to remain closed. These are as follows:

 

Rateable Value (RV)

Grant payable

RV of £15,000 and under

£1,334 for 28 days

RV of £15,001, but less than £50,999

£2,000 for 28 days

RV of £51,000 and over

£1,500 for 28 days

Under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (open businesses) for period under Tier 2/3 payments will be made based on the following levels, pro-rated for the relevant period of eligibility:

 

Rateable Value (RV)

Grant payable      

RV of £15,000 and under

£934 for 28 days

RV of £15,001, but less than £50,999

£1400 for 28 days

RV of £51,000 and over

£2100 for 28 days

Under the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme

This grant scheme is currently being built and more information will follow shortly

 

When will my grant be paid?

We aim to make payment to eligible businesses within 10 working days of receiving an application.

We apologise if your grant request is taking longer to consider. This may be because we need to carry out further checks before a payment can be made. This is often as a result of a discrepancy between our business rates records and the information you have provided on your e-form. If your grant request is still outstanding, please remain patient. A member of our team will be in contact if further information is needed from you. 

 

Will you contact me when you send me a grant payment?

Yes. If you are an eligible business, once your payment has been processed we will send you an email notification, followed by a letter. The letter will include important information about state aid requirements and your eligibility to a grant payment.

 

How will the grant be paid to me?

Payments are being made by BACS payment. These can take between 3-5 days to reach bank accounts from the date of processing. Payments are being made by BACS payment. These can take between 3-5 days to reach bank accounts from the date of processing.

 

Is the grant taxable?

Yes, grant income received by a business is taxable. The Local Restrictions Support Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

 

Can I check the progress of my request?

We ask that you do not contact us to follow up on your request or payment. Doing so requires us to redirect limited resources to answer calls and individual enquiries, slowing our ability to check and process payments to everyone as quickly as possible. 

If your grant application is still outstanding, please remain patient. A member of our team will be in contact if further information is needed from you. Once your payment has been processed we will send you a letter confirming this.

We thank you for your patience at this difficult time.