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Coronavirus/COVID-19: Update 7 April 2020

Although no new business support has been announced overnight, we are continuing to receive further clarity on existing measures.

Some positive news we have received from a number of clients is that they have applied for and already received funding via the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.  If you have not looked at this option or not made an application to your local authority, we would encourage you to do so. If you don’t quite know where to start or need assistance then please do contact us.

Also in this update, is a link to our latest article on investments and stock markets, which provides an easy to understand overview of the global stocks and shares situation and the performance of GWA portfolios.

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLG)

A reminder of the eligibility for these grants is as follows.

For all businesses in England and Scotland in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief, a one-off small business grant of £10,000 is available.

Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all eligible businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.

Within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England, grant funding of up to £25,000 per property for businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value
of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

In Scotland businesses with a rateable value between £18,000 and up to and including £51,000 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.

Access to these grants within Scotland initially excluded self-catering however, these businesses are now eligible, with a restriction of one grant per ratepayer and providing:

  • the property is each ratepayer’s primary source of earnings; and
  • the property is let for 140 days or more in the financial year 2019-20

You should apply via your local authority. The links you need to apply are:

There appears to be some anecdotal feedback that different Scottish local authorities may be asking for different evidence to be submitted for grant applications. This is probably not that surprising as the funds are not being administered centrally.

We have not yet picked up any similar feedback in relation to English authorities as yet. However, guidance indicates grants in England are per property.  Therefore, if you receive one rates bill covering multiple properties, we would suggest you contact your council to ensure you receive grants for all properties included on your rates bill.  In contrast if your properties are covered by multiple or individual rates bills, then you may have to submit a claim for each rates bill to get all the grants you are entitled too.

In all our updates we have tried to outline the eligibility criteria for the grant schemes as simply as possible, but there will be questions that are specific to your business and if you need clarification do contact us. You may also find this FAQs document quite helpful.

Charities access to SBGF and RHLG Funding

Charities which would have meet the criteria for both grant funding and rates relief but whose bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award will also be eligible for the RHLG fund.

Properties likely to qualify include charity shops, museums, galleries, historic houses, sport charity facilities, theatres, public halls, and clubhouses, clubs and institutions. More details can be found on the Charity Tax Group website.

Support for the Heritage Sector

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has announced a £50million fund to support the heritage sector in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

It will provide grants of between £3,000 and £50,000 and is available to organisations including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.

Those organisations eligible will have received funding in the past, be a current recipient of a grant from the fund or still under contract following a previous grant.

Grants will be prioritised to applications from organisations or causes where there is limited or no access to other sources of support, heritage is most at risk and where an organisation is at risk of severe financial crisis due to the COVID-19 crisis.

More details and a list of FAQs can be found on the The National Lottery Heritage Fund website.

Global Stock Markets – What’s happening

We have not referred to investments and stock markets in our updates so far.

We have posted a couple of articles on the news section of our website about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the markets. The latest one looks a bit more closely at how different regions and industries have been impacted and also provides an update on GWA’s own portfolios.

Whilst our portfolios have not been immune to the recent turbulence, we are pleased that our strategy has protected some of the downside, particularly in our more cautious funds. We would point out that this past performance is no guide to future performance and that markets can fall as well as rise.

You can read the article here and if you would like more clarification please do give our Wealth Management team a call.

If you have any concerns or queries regarding the above or any other financial issues please get in touch with the partner who looks after your business or personal affairs. They are all receiving emails at their usual GWA email address. The entire team at GWA remain fully committed to supporting the well-being of our clients at this difficult time.

Once again we would like to thank you in turn for your continued support.

Information correct as of 7 April 2020

 

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