BR BID Coronavirus Update 2: Thursday 2 April 2020


Financial Support: Grants Update


Right; sorry about this morning’s “holding” update. There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes today to make sure that the information you’re sent is clear, that ADC are asking you to provide all the information they’re going to need in one go, and that all links on websites are working properly.


You will find ADC’s latest information about the support grants at this address:

https://www.arun.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-rates-information


That web page includes this statement:


“You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant".


I have been advised by ADC that the official, final letters regarding the two different grant schemes are going out today. They’ve confirmed that this will be post.


I therefore recommend that you go online, download the letter, complete it and email it back to them.


If you want to link to that letter from this update, to have a look, please go to: https://www.arun.gov.uk/download.cfm?doc=docm93jijm4n15168.docx&ver=15576


Now, this is my interpretation of the content of the letter, and I’ve added a few notes about questions that are likely to pop up. I need to be very clear: what I’m writing is not authorised by ADC - I’ve just written it to help clarify some of the information for you. You’ll still need to reply to the official ADC letter using their official form.


What are the different grant fund schemes?


In response to the Coronavirus, COVID–19, the Government has announced support for small businesses and those businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with effect from 1 April 2020.


This support takes the form of two grant funding schemes:

  1. The Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)

  2. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLG)


Scheme 1: The Small Business Grant Fund

All businesses from any sector, whose premises have a Rateable Value less than £15,000 will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000.


Scheme 2: The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

This fund is only for businesses in the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sectors.


There are two levels of grant available under this fund: £10,000 and £25,000.


You will be eligible for the £10,000 grant if your business is in retail, leisure or hospitality and your business premises has a Rateable Value less than £15,000.


You will be eligible for the £25,000 grant if your business is in retail, leisure or hospitality and your business premises has a Rateable Value between 15,000 and £51,000.


Can I apply for more than one grant?

  • You can only apply for one grant per business premises.

  • However, you can apply for one grant for each of the businesses premises you pay business rates for, as long as they meet the criteria.

For example, say your business has two separate premises: one is a shop, and the other is a café. Each premises has its own unique Business Rates Account. You are responsible for the Business Rates accounts at both premises.


Let’s say the shop has a Rateable Value of £65,000, and the café has a Rateable Value of £13,000. In this example, you would be able to claim for the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grant of £25,000 for the shop, and £10,000 for the café.


You would need to submit separate forms for each premises: one form for the shop, and another form for the café.


However, if you only have one single premises – let’s use the example of the café - with a Rateable Value of £13,000, you can only claim the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grant of £10,000. You can’t also claim from the Small Business Grant Fund.


You would only submit one form, tick one grant box and get one grant.


How do I “apply” for the grant?


Arun District Council has already identified businesses who may qualify for the grants based on records showing which businesses were liable for Non-Domestic (Business Rates) Rates on the government’s cut-off date of 11 March 2020.


You don’t need to complete any special application form for these grants, but you do need to confirm some information about your business, provide your business bank account details (so they can pay you) and confirm that you are eligible for the grant.


The grants the government are giving businesses still have to comply with EU Law on State Aid, and there’s a maximum amount that businesses can receive in state aid in a period of time. That’s why they have to ask whether you’ve already received any state aid, and why the figure is in Euros.


At the end of the letter, there’s a form for you to fill in your business details, tick which grant you’re eligible for, confirm you’re not breaking State Aid rules, and then sign and return to ADC.


As they’re encouraging you to email the forms back, the only logical assumption is that they’re accepting electronic signatures. You could do this by either typing your name, then changing the font to one of the handwriting fonts available on your computer, or by taking a photo of your actual signature on a piece of paper, then inserting that as an image in the Word doc letter. Do whatever you feel most confident with.


Please get that back to them as quickly as possible so they can make the payment you are eligible for.


How to return the form to ADC


They’re advising you to email the form to revenues.benefits@arun.gov.uk


If your only option is to post the completed form, please send it to:

Business Rates Department

Arun District Council

Arun Civic Centre

Maltravers Road

Littlehampton

West Sussex BN17 5LF


It’s a sad fact that sending things by post is going to add a time delay. If you are really stuck, please give me a call and I’ll see if I can think of any ways to get your form in an electronic format that can be emailed based on the technology you have available. Heather: 07917 692690


I have been sent a letter, but I don’t think I’m eligible for a grant


Sometimes mistakes are made, and you may have been sent a letter in error. It could be that you wrote to close a business rates account but that hasn’t been processed yet, so you got sent a letter. This happened to me in Chichester, and the temptation is extremely strong ... but they will check, and you will have to pay back any money you receive through a fraudulent claim. Check the criteria carefully, and if your business doesn’t meet any of the conditions for the grant, then tick the box saying that you don’t wish to receive it.


You should then email the form to revenues.benefits@arun.gov.uk


My personal recommendation is that you then immediately delete the letter or email they first sent you so you’re not tempted to look at it again, thinking “What if ..?”


I HAVEN’T been sent a letter, but I think I AM eligible for a grant


Sometimes mistakes are made, and you may not have been sent a letter. It could be that you took over responsibility for a business premises before the 11th March 2020, and your account details haven’t been set up yet. It could be that what you actually do in your premises is different to how it’s rated with the Valuations Office. The example ADC sent me is of a property that’s rated as a “Warehouse”, but is actually used for retail. Check the criteria carefully, and if you think your business IS eligible for a grant, but has been missed for some reason, then email: revenues.benefits@arun.gov.uk to let them know as soon as you possibly can.


When will I get the money? Is there anything I can do to speed up the process?


Unfortunately there’s nothing that you can do to speed up the process of payment. Once ADC receive the completed forms back from businesses, they will start processing the payments as quickly as they possibly can. It’s possible that they may have to contact you for further information. I can’t find any information as to how long it’s going to take between sending back the form and the money reaching your account.


However, you can make sure the information they hold for you and your business is as up to date as possible. Please register to view your online account if you haven’t already done so. This will ensure that ADC can contact you quickly should they need further information to pay any grant entitlement. You can register for the online service through the Council’s website: www.arun.gov.uk/tell-us-about-your-business-move, you’ll need your business account number to hand, the last four digits of the bank account you use to pay your business rates, and you’ll need to create a username and password.

I really hope this helps, and hope you all get any grant money your businesses are eligible for really soon.


My very best wishes to you all,


Heather Heather Allen, BR BID Co-Ordinator

Bognor Regis B.I.D

2 York Road

Bognor Regis

PO21 1LW

01243 826354

info@brbid.org

Subscribe to Bognor Regis BID news and announcements

©2019 by Bognor Regis BID. All rights reserved.