Covid-19 response - Business Grants

Information about the the Government grants available to small businesses and those in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors.

Discretionary Grant Fund - scheme is now closed

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma has confirmed that an additional £617m will be made available to Local Authorities to support local businesses. This represents a 5% uplift in the funding available under the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes.

The additional funding is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs, prioritising businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and B & B's that pay Council Tax rather than Business Rates. Businesses must be small, with under 50 employees and must be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income due to the Coronavirus restriction measures.

Phase 1 - this phase closed on 19 June 2020.

In order to be eligible under this discretionary scheme, eligible businesses must:

  • be Small or Micro business (as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006).
  • have been active and trading on 11 March 2020.
  • have fixed costs, not exceeding £51,000 per year.
  • be able to show they have suffered a significant loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The following exclusions to this scheme apply:

  • Only one grant will be paid per business/organisation/trader, except where specified.
  • Companies that are, or were on 11 March 2020, in administration, dissolved, in liquidation or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible under this scheme
  • Empty properties are not eligible under this scheme.
  • Businesses operating from domestic properties (except B & B’s) are excluded from this scheme.
  • Properties used as storage facilities are not eligible under this scheme, unless where specified.
  • Businesses which are eligible for cash grants from any central government COVID-19 related scheme (apart from Self Employed Income Support Scheme - SEISS) are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grants Fund. Such grant schemes include but are not limited to the Small Business Grant Fund, The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, the Fisheries Response Fund, the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS) and the Zoos Support Project.
  • Businesses that are part of a national chain are not eligible under this scheme.
  • State Aid regulations apply to grant payments made under this scheme and grants will be paid in accordance with State Aid regulations.

Discretionary Grant payments are open to the following:

Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces. 

This category may includes business occupying units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment. This does not include hot-desk office spaces or chair rentals. 

In order to be eligible, businesses under this category must have: 
  • No individual business rates assessment, intended for businesses occupying area in a larger single assessment.
  • A contractual interest in the relevant area of the master property for a minimum of 6 months with a minimum termination notice of at least 1 month.
  • Fixed property costs not exceeding £51,000 per year, with a minimum rent of £500 per year.

The following exclusions apply: 

  • Grants are not payable to businesses/traders occupying hot desk office spaces or who rent a chair. E.g. hairdressers that rent a chair, businesses occupying start up cafes.
  • Businesses operating from domestic properties are not included in this scheme.
  • Storage facilities are not included in this scheme.

Grants of £5,000 were payable under this category.

This phase closed on 19 June 2020. No further applications can be submitted.

Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.

In order to be eligible, businesses under this category must have: 
  • No individual business rates assessment.
  • Be recorded as regular trader with MAM (or other market provider).
  • Fixed building related costs.

The following exclusions apply: 

  • Storage facilities are not included in this scheme.
  • Only one payment per trader will be made regardless of stall numbers. Please only submit one application.

The level of grant payable under this category varies depended on rent costs, as follows:

  • Less than £50 per week - £1000
  • More than £50 per week - £3,000
  • Corn exchange annual rent charge contract - £5,000

This phase closed on 19 June 2020. No further applications can be submitted.

Bed & Breakfasts who pay Council Tax instead of Business Rates

In order to be eligible, businesses under this category must: 
  • Not be entered on the Non-Domestic Rating list on 11 March 2020, and subject to Council Tax.
  • Offer accommodation on a B&B basis.
  • Be a food registered/licensed business.

Grants of £10,000 were payable under this category.

This phase closed on 19 June 2020. No further applications can be submitted.

Charity properties in receipt of charitable Business Rates Relief which would otherwise have been eligible to Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

In order to be eligible, businesses under this category must: 
  • Have a Rateable Value under £15,000.
  • Be eligible to SBR but for receiving charitable relief (MAN, TU or CASC).
  • Be in receipt of MAN, TU or CASC.
  • Not be eligible under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme.
  • Have a contractual interest in the property for a minimum of 6 months with a minimum termination notice of at least 1 month.
  • Warehouse and distribution facilities are included under this element of the scheme.

Grants of £10,000 were payable under this category.

This phase closed on 19 June 2020. No further applications can be submitted.

Registered children's nurseries who are not eligible for Small Business Rates relief

In order to be eligible, businesses under this category must: 
  • A Rateable Value under £51,000.
  • Be listed provider on Ofsted's Early Years Register and for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • Have a contractual interest in the property for a minimum of 6 months with a minimum termination notice of at least 1 month.
  • One grant is payable per property.
The following exclusions apply: 
  • Storage facilities are not included in this scheme.
  • Businesses run from domestic addresses are not included in this scheme.

Grants of £10,000 were payable under this category.

This phase closed on 19 June 2020. No further applications can be submitted.

Supply chain businesses with a rateable value under £51,000 who are carrying out substantial business to business trading activities, relating to the the production and supply to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

In order to be eligible, businesses under this category must: 
  • Have a Rateable Value under £51,000.
  • Be carrying out substantial business to business trading activities, relating to production and supply to the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors.
  • Not be open to direct trade with the public.
  • Have a contractual interest in the property for a minimum of 6 months with a minimum termination notice of at least 1 month.

The following exclusions apply:

  • Office facilities are not included in this scheme.
  • Professional services including the following are not included in this scheme:Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers), Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors), Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers), Post office sorting offices.
  • Premises for the production and/or supply of products or items exclusively to that businesses own retail premises /operations (Such cases have already been supported by the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure grants for associated retail outlets).

Grants of £10,000 were payable under this category.

This phase closed on 19 June 2020. No further applications can be submitted.

Funding for the discretionary scheme is limited and we are sorry we have not been able to offer financial assistance to all business types. If you do not fall within the categories above, please do not apply speculatively. Doing so will delay our ability to pay eligible businesses as soon as possible. All grant payments under this scheme are subject to eligibility criteria and application form. The decision to pay or withhold grant payments are made at the discretion of Doncaster Council.

Sorry, applications for the phase 1 of the discretionary grant scheme closed at 17:00 on 19 June 2020.

No further applications can be submitted under the above criteria.

Phase 2 - this phase closed on 28 August 2020

Due to funds remaining after phase 1 of our discretionary grant scheme we are pleased to be able to expand the categories of businesses we are now able to offer assistance under this scheme.

In order to be eligible under this discretionary scheme, eligible businesses must:

  • be Small or Micro business (as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006).
  • have been active and trading on 11 March 2020.
  • have fixed costs, not exceeding £51,000 per year.
  • be able to show they have suffered a significant loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • not be eligible to, or received cash grants from any central government COVID-19 related scheme (apart from Self Employed Income Support Scheme - SEISS).

The scheme has been extended to include:

Businesses which would have qualified for a Small Business Rates Relief or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant, but did not, due to their property not being in the non-domestic rating list on 11 March 2020.

Businesses which would have qualified for a Small Business and Retail, or Hospitality and Leisure Grant but were not eligible because their property was not in the non-domestic rating list on 11 March 2020, may be eligible for a grant payment under the discretionary scheme. Such properties will have now been reported to the Valuation Office Agency for rating.

A grant of £5,000 will be paid to eligible businesses.

We have already identified eligible businesses through the previous schemes and will be actively contacting them to award payments as soon as possible. No further application is required.

However, if you have been refused either the Small Business Rates Relief or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants because your business property was not in the list on 11 March 2020, and have not heard from us by 14 August 2020, please contact us.

We are sorry but this extension to the scheme does not include mobile businesses or those operating from or within domestic properties.

This phase closed on 28 August 2020.

 Local businesses which have a single business premises with a rateable value of over £15,000 and below £51,000. 

Local businesses which have a single buisness premises, which is in Doncaster, with a rateable value of over £15,000 and under £51,000 may be eligible to a grant payment. In order to be eligible the business must:

  • have only one business premises/outlet, which is in the Doncaster Council area, with a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000 (the rateable value can be found on your business rates bill), and was in occupation of that premises on 11 March 2020,
  • not be a national, multi-national company or have other locations in the UK, and
  • not be in liquidation, dissolved, in administration or subject to a strike off notice.
  • not have been empty on 11 March 2020.
  • not be a public body or school.

Grants of £5,000 will be paid to eligible businesses.

We have already identified eligible businesses and will be contacting them directly with details of how to apply. 

This phase closed on 28 August 2020.

Parish and Town Council's who have one or more business rates assessments, which are not eligible to either the Small Business and Retail, or Hospitality and Leisure Grants.

Parish or Town Council's which have one or more business rates assessments, but who were not eligible to either a Small Business Rates Relief or Retail, Hospitality or Leisure Grant, will be eligible to a discretionary payment.

Eligible Parish or Town Council's will receive a grant payment of £10,000 to help ensure they can continue to provide local support and facilities.

We will be actively contacting eligible parish and town councils to arrange payment.  

This phase closed on 28 August 2020.

If you think that your business meets the above criteria, but you have not received any contact, please contact us to discuss your eligibility.

All grant payments under this scheme are subject to eligibility criteria, applications and declarations. The decision to pay or withhold grant payments are made at the discretion of Doncaster Council.

Whilst we would have liked to be able to offer financial assistance to all local businesses, operating in all circumstances, due to the limited funding available this has not been possible. We are sorry we have not been able to offer financial assistance to all business types.

The Discretionary Top Up Grant scheme closed on 28 August 2020. No further applications can be made for payment under this scheme.

Any application received by us before the closing date will still be considered for payment in accordance with the Discretionary Top Up grant scheme.

 

Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Discount Grant fund - Scheme now closed 

In response to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, the Chancellor announced the following measures to help support businesses. These include:

  • A 100% Business Rates discount for most businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors for the tax year 2020 to 2021. This is irrespective of the rateable value of the property.

  • A cash grant of £10,000 to small businesses who are currently eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

  • A £10,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of   £15,000 or under, which qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount, and are not in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief.

  • A £25,000 grant will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000, who qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount.

  • A 100% Business Rates discount for the tax year 2020 to 2021 for all properties occupied by providers on the Ofsted Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is irrespective of the rateable value of the property.

Businesses should be aware that grant payments are currently subject to state aid limits. This limit has recently increased to £800,000 in order to take into account the additional support needed due to COVID-19. If you believe that by receiving this grant payment that you will exceed state aid limits, please contact us.

Business Rates bills for 2020/21 have already been sent to Doncaster businesses. As a result these bills will only show entitlement to any relevant relief at the levels before these announcements were made. New bills showing your correct entitlement to relief will be issued shortly.

The Small Business Rate Relief Grant scheme and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes closed on 28 August 2020. No further requests for a grant payment can be made under these schemes. Our e-form has now been removed.

Any request received by us before the closing date will still be considered in accordance with the relevant grant scheme.

 

Frequently asked questions

We are pleased to tell you that Revenues staff are continuing to work tirelessly to process as many payments as possible to 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 remain extremely high. We hope that the frequently asked questions below may help.

How much is the grant payment?

a. Small Business and Retail, hospitality and leisure grants

A cash grant of £10,000 to small businesses who are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

A £10,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of less than £15,000, which qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount, and are not in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief

A £25,000 grant will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000, who qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount.

b. Discretionary grants

Cash grants of up to £10,000 will be paid, depending on the category of business and eligibility criteria.

How long do I have to request a grant payment for my business? When does the scheme close?

a. Small Business and Retail, hospitality and leisure grants

These schemes closed on Friday 28 August 2020. No further requests can be made under these schemes. 

b. Discretionary grants

Phase 1 - Applications for phase 1 of the scheme closed at 17:00 on 19 June 2020. No further applications can be made under this phase of the scheme.

Phase 2 - Applications for phase 2 of the scheme closed at 23:59 on 28 August 2020. No further applications can be made under this phase of the scheme.

When will my grant be paid?

The Small Business Rate Relief grant scheme, Retail Hospitality and Leisure grant scheme and Discretionary Top Up grant scheme all closed on Friday 28 August 2020. No further requests or applications can be made under any of these schemes. However, any request or application received by us before the closing date will still be considered in accordance with the relevant grant schemes.

We apologise if your grant request is taking longer to consider. This may be because they need 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 we will send you a letter once your grant payment has been processed. This 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.

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. 

We have processed the majority of payments to eligible businesses. Those still outstanding may need further checks before a payment can be made. 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. If checking the status of your request on MyDoncaster, this may show as 'closed' or ‘pending’. We apologise for this. This does not mean that your request has been dealt with, and it may still be outstanding. We are looking to resolve this error and will deal with all requests as soon as possible. Once your payment has been processed we will send you a letter confirming this.

We thank you for your patience at this difficult time.

Further information about COVID - 19 and the support available to businesses is also available on the .Gov.uk website .

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Last updated: 11 September 2020 11:48:08