Coronavirus/COVID-19: Update 1 April 2020

As we head into the second week of home life and travel restrictions, the number of emergency measures being announced to support our economy is definitely slowing.

We would therefore like to take this pause in activity as an opportunity to thank our remarkable clients for your patience and also your many kind words in relation to our daily communications regarding the COVID-19 business updates.

We are delighted that they are being of help and providing some clarity during a time that is simply incomparable. There have been so many new interventions, we have been trying to cut through the confusion and make the wave of information less overwhelming. If you have any questions regarding any of the announcements please do contact us via our usual email and phone numbers.

We will continue to provide daily updates as the finer details of the various measures are released by both the UK and Scottish Governments. We also want to reassure you that once things return to a more normal footing, GWA will revert to our usual newsletter and event updates and your inboxes should hopefully be a little calmer.

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)| Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLG) – England only

The UK government has published today (1 April 2020) a guidance paper on these two grant funds which are being administered by local authorities.

In summary businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief may apply for a one-off small business grant of £10,000. In addition, within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors there is also grant funding of up to £25,000 per property for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

We have previously outlined the eligibility criteria for these grants. There are some exclusions that should also be noted. Applications will not be considered for:

  • properties occupied for personal uses, such as private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings
  • car parks and parking spaces
  • businesses which as of the 11 March 2020 were in liquation or were dissolved
  • properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over (RHGL only)
  • businesses in England which are not ratepayers in the business rates system

It is also worth noting that recipients cannot receive grants from both SBGF and RHLG on the same property, only one grant per property will be approved. The full guidance paper can be found here on the GOV.UK website.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants – Self-catering Scotland only

The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) have continued discussions with the Scottish Government requesting further clarity in relation to the provision of cash grants to the self-catering sector.

The original guidance has been amended to reflect that an applicant would be considered eligible for grant funding if it could be proven that the property represents a primary source, for example, one third or more, of their earnings. The other criteria that the property must have been let for 140 days or more in the financial year 2019-20 remains.

The applications are being managed by local authorities and each authority is being given the flexibility to decide how the income criteria can be evidenced.

More details in relation to the changes can be found here on the ASSC website.

Should you need to refer back to any of our updates you will find them all in the News section of the GWA website.

We would like to remind you that you are not on your own during this crisis. Our team is continuing to provide assistance and for us it is ‘business as usual’ when it comes to client support. There is no change to our email or phone numbers so please do contact us as you would normally do. We are here to help wherever we can.

Information correct as of 1 April 2020

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