Lockdown grants available for businesses

Published: 08/01/2021

Another national lockdown began on the 4th January, forcing many businesses to close or adapt the way they trade again,and the government acted fast to offer additional support for businesses in the form of grants and schemes. 

In this article, we’ll cover the latest financial support on offer to businesses, as well as a couple of existing schemes you might be eligible to apply for.

£4.6 billion grant funding

Since the latest lockdown was declared, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced there’ll be an additional £4.6 billion in grant funding made available to support businesses through the period to Spring.

Under the grant, closed businesses in leisure and tourism, hospitality, and retail will be able to apply for a one-off top-up grant of up to £9,000, depending on their rateable value.

How much could I get?

  • Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less = £4,000
  • Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 = £6,000
  • Businesses with a rateable value over £51,000 = £9,000

Who’s eligible?

Any business in the hospitality, leisure, and retail sectors that is legally required to close and cannot operate ‘effectively’ remotely, is eligible to apply for this new grant.

How to apply

The government has put the onus of distributing the grant funding on local councils, but it’s expected to be a fairly straightforward process as eligibility follows the same structure as many previous schemes. Head to your council’s website to find out more.

Discretionary funding

On top of the £4.6m in grant funding, there’ll also be a discretionary fund of £594 million made available to Local Authorities to support other businesses (not eligible for the grant funding) impacted by the latest lockdown. 

Good to know: This is on top of the £1.1 billion discretionary grant fund announced previously.

How much could I get?

It’s unclear yet exactly what you might be eligible to receive, this will be a decision made by your local authority upon application for support - businesses affected by the latest restrictions will need to apply for funding via their local authority.

Good to know

As with much of the prior funding on offer, this new funding will be the responsibility of the devolved administrations to distribute.

The government has announced additional funding will be provided to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to support their COVID-19 response in the coming months as follows:

  • £375 million for the Scottish Government.
  • £227 million for the Welsh Government.
  • £127 million for the Northern Ireland Executive.

How to apply

Visit your local council’s website to find further details on how to apply.

Local Restrictions Support Grant

This one existed prior to the national lockdown but is relevant and open to any businesses who were forced to close as a result of local restrictions in tier three and four areas. 

Now we’re in a period of national restrictions, this grant is superseded by the grant funding outlined above, however, for the period between November and January 5th you can still apply. 

Who’s eligible?

If your business was open as normal but then forced to close between November 5th and December 2nd 2020 due to the restrictions imposed by the government you may be eligible for a cash grant from your local council for each 28 day period your doors were closed. 

Your business must also:

  • Be based in England,
  • Occupy a property that pays business rates,
  • Have been unable to provide your usual in-person customer service from your premises.

Good to know: eligible businesses can get one grant for each non-domestic property.

How much could I get?

Again this one’s based on your business’ rateable value.

  • You may be eligible for a cash grant of £1,334 if your business occupies a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less.
  • You may be eligible for a cash grant of £2,000 if your property’s rateable value is more than £15,000 but less than £51,000.
  • You may be eligible for a cash grant of £3,000 is your rateable value is £51,000 or more.

Remember, this cash grant is on offer for each 28-day period of qualifying restrictions. 

How to apply

Once more this one’s up to your local council, so head to their website to find further information on how to apply for the grant - you can find the website for your local council here.

Additional restrictions grant

The additional restrictions grant, or ARG, is designed to support businesses who aren’t covered under other grant schemes but nonetheless severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

So, businesses who don’t directly pay business rates and businesses who aren’t forced to close but are still affected can still receive some financial support under ARG.

Who’s eligible?

This one’s not quite as clear cut as local councils have the autonomy to determine their own eligibility criteria for the grants. That being said, the government has expressed an expectation that the money on offer will go to businesses seriously impacted, for example:

  • Businesses in the events sector
  • Businesses required to close who don’t pay rates
  • Businesses who supply to the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.

How to apply

Yep, you guessed it, head to your local council’s website to find all the details.

Further help

On top of the above schemes, remember the following support is still on offer from the government:

  • Up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will run until April.
  • The business rates 100% relief measure runs until March 31st and the Chancellor has not ruled out an extension of this.
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is available until the end of March.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme also runs until the end of March.
  • The Self Employed Income Support Scheme.

At takepayments we’re here for you during this period of instability, so to find out more about the latest government announcements relating to businesses and discover support and guidance for small businesses during COVID, head to our dedicated COVID customer hub.

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