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Local Restrictions Support Grants

The Government have announced the next round of grants to support businesses affected by the current coronavirus restrictions. This is a range of Local Restrictions Support Grants (“LRSG”) to support businesses required to close during local and national lockdowns, because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
 
We will start to pay out these grants from Wednesday 18 November 2020.
 
Wherever possible, businesses whose details we had from last time will be paid directly. Those businesses will be contacted with confirmation of payment. Other businesses will need to apply before they receive payment.
 
You can get further information from the Government website.

This time Harrow has been allocated an amount significantly lower than in April and the Government has set lower grant payment amounts accordingly.

The four schemes are explained below:

  1. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)
  2. Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) also known as “National Lockdown Grant”
  3. Sector Specific Grant
  4. Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

This is for businesses subject to restrictions due to Harrow being placed in Local COVID Alert Level: High (Tier 2) from 17th October 2020 until 4th November 2020. This includes those businesses currently registered for business rates and in the hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure industry only. This is referred to on the Government website as a “Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)”.

This will be paid at the rates below. Payments depends on the rateable value of the business premises concerned for the period 5th November 2020 to 2nd December 2020.

Rateable value of premises Grant Payment
£15,000 or under £635 per 19-day qualifying restriction period
over £15,000 and less than £51,000 £950 per 19-day qualifying restriction period
exactly £51,000 or above £1,425 per 19-day qualifying restriction period

The grant amounts are being paid out in accordance with scheme guidance and in accordance with the funding allocated to the local authority.

Eligible businesses

Businesses may be eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open). Eligibility is for businesses that are not legally required to close but are severely impacted by Coronavirus restrictions where their Local Authority is in either Tier 2 (High) or Tier 3 (Very High).

To apply your business must be in hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast or leisure sectors. In addition the business must occupy a commercial property in Harrow and actively trade and pay Business Rates directly to Harrow Council.

Ineligible Businesses

  • Businesses that are not subject to restrictions or are not within the business sectors indicated above, may not be eligible under the scheme.   
  • Businesses established after the 17th October 2020 restrictions in Harrow commenced.   
  • Businesses in areas outside the scope of the localised restrictions, as defined by Government.  
  • Businesses subject to national closures (e.g. nightclubs) that will instead be potentially eligible under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector).
  • Businesses which have already received payments that equal the maximum levels of State Aid permitted under the de minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.
  • Businesses that do not pay Business Rates directly to Harrow Council.  
  • Businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made at the date of the local lockdown

Application

Businesses with multiple properties, each with a Business Rates liability, will be eligible to apply for a grant for each property. Separate applications will however be required for each business property.

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Some businesses may be eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open). Eligibility will depend on our having enough information that the business received a business grant payment under the former mandatory grant scheme, earlier this year. Those who qualify will receive a payment via the bank account they provided. We expect to make payments on Wednesday 25th November 2020. Relevant businesses will be sent a notification of award letter via the email address given previously. 

 The business concerned will still be required to submit a business grant application but will have a period of 21 days from the date of the award letter to do so. This is to ensure compliance with the grant’s governance requirements.  

All other businesses will be required to apply using the online application form. 

Apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) also known as “National Lockdown Grant”

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These grants are only available to businesses who pay business rates and meet the very specific qualifying criteria below.

This grant provides support for Businesses required to close due to national lockdown restrictions from 5th November 2020 until 2nd December 2020.  This includes for example:

  • all non-essential retail
  • hospitality venues
  • accommodation
  • leisure and sports facilities
  • entertainment venues
  • personal care facilities
  • community centres (including nightclubs, dance halls, discos, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars)

This is referred to on the Government website as a “Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)”.  Harrow is referring to these as “National Lockdown Grants”.         

This will be paid at the rates below. Payments depends on the rateable value of the business premises concerned for the period 5th November 2020 to 2nd December 2020.

Rateable Value of Premises National Lockdown Grant Payment
£15,000 or under £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period
over £15,000 and less than £51,000 £2,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period
exactly £51,000 or above £3,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period

Businesses with multiple properties, each with a business rates liability, will be awarded a grant for each property. Separate applications will be required for each business property.

Icon information white

Some businesses may be eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed). Eligibility will depend on our having enough information that the business received a business grant payment under the former mandatory grant scheme, earlier this year. Those who qualify will receive a payment via the bank account they provided. We expect to make payments on Wednesday 18 November 2020. Relevant businesses will be sent a notification of award letter via the email address they gave previously.

The business concerned will still be required to submit a business grant application but will have a period of 21 days from the date of the award letter to do so. This is to ensure compliance with the grant’s governance requirements.

All other eligible businesses will be required to apply using the online application form below.

Eligible businesses

The following businesses may be eligible for a National Lockdown Grant as they have been required by the government to close from 5th November 2020:

  • Non-essential retail venues
  • hospitality venues
  • accommodation
  • leisure and sports facilities
  • entertainment venues
  • personal care facilities
  • community centres and places of worship.

 

Ineligible businesses

The following businesses are not required by the government to close during the national lockdown, between 5th November until 2nd December 2020. Therefore they are not eligible for a grant payment:

  • Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences
  • Petrol Stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi and vehicle hire businesses, car parks and motorway service stations
  • Banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Medical services such as dentists, opticians and pharmacies
  • Vets, pet shops and agricultural supplies shops
  • Storage facilities, funeral directors, launderettes and dry cleaners  
  • Public toilets  
  • Outdoor playgrounds

Businesses on the above list that may have chosen to close their premises but were not required to, will not be eligible for this grant.  

Full details of Businesses that are required to close, and those that can remain open, during the National Lockdown from 5th November until 2nd December 2020 are available from www.gov.uk

Qualifying Criteria

The principle qualifying criteria are set out below:

  1. Your business must have been responsible for paying Business Rates to Harrow Council on the first full day of the national lockdown period to which the restrictions apply;
  2. Your business provides services “in person” to customers at its premises;
  3. Your business is not able to continue trading, as it depends on providing “in-person” services from premises and cannot effectively operate its services remotely;
  4. Your business was open for trading immediately prior to the national lockdown arrangements (i.e. immediately before 5th November 2020),
  5. Your business was required to close under the national lockdown arrangements;
  6. The award of the grant together with other funds received will not exceed State Aid limits of €800,000;
  7. Your business is not in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking off notice.

Apply for a National Lockdown Grant

Sector Specific Grant

This grant applies specifically to nightclubs, dance halls, discos, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars which have been required to close since 23rd March 2020. Grant payments will be effective for the period from 1st November 2020 to 4th November 2020 but will not be backdated.  This is referred to on the Government website as a “Sector Specific Grant”.  .

Grant rates would be dependent upon the rateable value of the business premises concerned:

Rateable Value of Premises Sector Specific Grant Payment
£15,000 or under £191 for the 4 day period
over £15,000 and less than £51,000 £286 for the 4 day period
exactly £51,000 or above £429 for the 4 day period

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

The Additional Restrictions Grant is a discretionary scheme to be established by each Local Authority and is referred to on the Government website as an “Additional Restrictions Grant”. Each local authority has the discretion to establish business grant schemes or other business support as best fits their area.
We are currently establishing our policy and scheme for this and where we can, we want to help businesses that do not pay business rates and those who have not been required to close but who have been severely affected.

Please keep checking our website and social media channels for further information on this.

State aid and undertaking in difficulty

Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the European Commission approved support schemes for businesses that were impacted. The shemes are based on their Temporary Framework, including the COVID-19 Temporary Framework scheme for the UK.

The maximum level of aid that a company may receive is €800,000. Exceptions include €120,000 per undertaking in the fishery and aquaculture sector, or €100,000 per undertaking in the primary production of agricultural products. This is across all UK schemes under the terms of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework.

The Euro equivalent of the Sterling aid amount is calculated using the Commission exchange rate applicable on the date the aid is offered.

Any aid provided under this scheme will be relevant if you wish to apply, or have applied, for any other aid granted based upon the European Commission’s Temporary Framework.

Aid may be granted to undertakings that were not in difficulty (within the meaning of Article 2(18) of the General Block Exemption Regulation) on 31 December 2019, but that faced difficulties or entered in difficulty thereafter as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This undertaking in difficulty test does not apply to small and micro undertakings (i.e less than 50 employees and less than EUR 10 million of annual turnover and / or annual balance sheet) unless they were already in insolvency proceedings, have received rescue aid that has not been repaid, or are subject to a restructuring plan under State aid rules.

This aid is in addition any aid that you may have received under the De Minimis regulation allowing aid of up to €200,000 to any one organisation over a three fiscal year period (i.e. the current fiscal year and previous two fiscal years), and any other approved aid you have received under other State aid rules, such as aid granted under the General Block Exemption Regulation.