02 May

The Government has created certain grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. The Scheme was expanded on 2nd May 2020 when the Government announced an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding originally announced, for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). The additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. 

"Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances." 

These are the Scheme details:

Grant Values

  • Property with a rateable value of up to £15,000 may be eligible for a grant of £10,000
  • Property with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000
  • Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme


You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector
  • your business has a rateable value of under £51,000
  • businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved will not be eligible

Property Types

Properties qualifying for grants must be occupied wholly or mainly as:

  • shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • assembly and leisure
  • hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Access to grants

Eligible businesses will be contacted by their local authorities.

Grants to be paid to

The person who according to the billing authority’s records was the ratepayer of the qualifying property 11th March 2020

How do Local Authorities administer the scheme (highlights from central Government guidance to local authorities)

  • Guidance supports Local Authorities in administering the business grant schemes announced at Budget on 11th March 2020, and funding as increased by the Chancellor on 17th  March
  • This grant scheme will offer a lifeline to businesses who are struggling to survive due to the corona virus shutdown
  • Deliberate manipulation and fraud - e.g. falsification of records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and grant claw
  • Any changes to rateable value or to the property after 11th March 2020 should be ignored for the purposes of eligibility
  • Grant recipients to be sent letters from their Local Authorities requiring them to confirm the grants for the purposes of EU State Aid rules 
  • Local Authorities will be required to report weekly to the Government the scheme:
    • Numbers of businesses eligible per scheme
    • Number of actual payments 
    • Implementation issues

Read the full Guidance here.

Are the grants taxable?

Yes, we understand that they are taxable in the hands of the recipients.

Businesses unable to access grants

Many small businesses are not liable for business rates because they don’t occupy a ‘hereditament’ (a property on the rating list which is liable for business rates). These businesses can’t access the new grant scheme. 

This Insight sets out the technical background to business rates and valuation, to explain why some small businesses can and can’t access the scheme. 

Coronavirus: Businesses without premises and the Small Business Grant SchemeHouse of Commons Library

By the publications team at: Contracts-Direct.com

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