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Business help and support during Coronavirus

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2. Local Restrictions Support Grant FAQ

Local Restrictions Support Grant FAQ

Q.1 What business can claim the LRSG grant?

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. These include:

Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services

Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery

Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes

Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges

Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open

Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes

Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect

Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, for funerals or funeral commemorative events, to broadcast an act of worship, to provide essential voluntary services or urgent public support services, for registered childcare, and to host permitted gatherings.

Q.2 What business can remain open?

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods, including:

Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences.

Petrol Stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.

Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses

Funeral directors

Laundrettes and dry cleaners

Medical and dental services

Vets and pet shops

Agricultural supplies shops

Storage and distribution facilities

Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.

Outdoor playgrounds

Public Services

The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include: the NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists. We are supporting the NHS to carry out urgent and non-urgent services safely, and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help

Jobcentre Plus sites

Courts and probation services

Civil Registrations Offices

Passport and Visa Services

Services provided to victims

Waste or Recycling Centres

Q.3 Where can we find a list of eligible businesses under national restrictions?

Please see the regulations for those businesses mandated to close: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/pdfs/uksi_20201200_en.pdf

Q4. What about retailers who have businesses that have mixed premises and only part of the business is subject to national closures (e.g. locksmith/shoe repairs, restaurant/takeaway)?

The hereditament will be eligible to receive a grant through the LRSG (Closed) Addendum scheme if the business is required to close its main service. Local Authorities will be required to exercise their discretion and judge whether this is the case based on their local knowledge.
If a Local Authority deems the closed services to be below the requirement needed for the business to receive a (Closed) Addendum grant, then the business could still receive funding through the Additional Restrictions Grant.

Q.5 What happens when national restrictions end?

When national restrictions end the Local Covid Alert Level system may be reintroduced and the schemes that apply will depend on the Alert Level in any given area . The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) will continue to provide funding to businesses that are required by law to close and the terms set out in the LRSG (Closed) guidance will apply.

The LRSG (Closed) payment thresholds are:

For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants to be £1,334 per 28 days;
For properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and below £51k, grants to be £2,000 per 28 days;
For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants to be £3,000 per 28 days.

At the end of national restrictions, payment cycles are reset and will correspond to the funding scheme applicable to the Local Covid Alert Level in that area.

Q.6 When do businesses have to have been trading in order to be eligible for the LRSG (Closed) Addendum funding?

The business must have been trading the day before restrictions came into force.

Q.7 Are payments to businesses expected to be made after the end of the initial 28-day period, or as soon as possible on the understanding they will be closed throughout?

Local Authorities will aim to provide grants to those eligible businesses as soon as possible, as businesses have been mandated to close for the full national restrictions period.

Q.8 Are these grants subject to tax?

Grant income received by a business is taxable, therefore the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) will be subject to tax. Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Q.9 How would Government define businesses that are ‘required to close’?

Guidance for local restrictions published on GOV.UK clearly sets out which businesses and venues have been required by law to close. Those eligible for grants will be businesses that have been offering direct, in-person services but are unable to continue with their main service following the commencement of local restrictions.

If a business has subsequently provided an alternative service (e.g. a restaurant/pub providing takeaway-only meals) it would still be eligible as it has been required to close the part of its business that provides its main service.

Guidance may also state which businesses must alter their services or operating hours. However, it is only those that are specifically required to close that are in the purview of this grant scheme. If a business has closed because it is no longer viable to stay open due to restrictions, it would not be eligible for a grant through the LRSG (Closed) scheme but could be considered for a discretionary grant.

For further detail see the Local Restrictions Support Grant guidance: www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-restrictions-support-grants-lrsg-and-additional-restrictions-grant-arg-guidance-for-local-authorities

Q.10 If a business closes because employees are self-isolating would it be eligible to receive grants through this scheme?

No. Local authorities could consider supporting these businesses through discretionary grants (LRSG (Open) in LCAL High and Very High areas or Additional Restrictions Grant.

Q.11 Can businesses with multiple properties claim multiple grants?

Eligible businesses that are within the relevant Local Authority area covered by localised restrictions will receive an LRSG (Closed) grant for each eligible hereditament. However, businesses must remain within the financial thresholds set by State aid law, which may be reached if businesses have previously received State aid funding. Please see the ‘State aid’ section for more information.

Q.12 If one hereditament accommodates multiple services and only some of which are required to close, will it be eligible to receive a LRSG (Closed) grant?

In this instance the hereditament will be eligible to receive a grant through the LRSG (Closed) scheme if the business is required to close its main service. Local Authorities will be required to exercise their discretion and judge whether this is the case, based on their local knowledge.

Q.13 Are pubs that provide a takeaway service eligible for a grant under the LRSG (Closed)?

Yes, any business that is required to close the part of its business that provides its main service is eligible for a Closed Grant. This is the case even if the business adapts its business model to provide a reduced service, such as takeaways. We understand that it is not always completely clear if a business has closed the part of its business that provides its main service, however we expect Local Authorities to use their discretion and make this judgement based on their local knowledge.

Q.14 Are hotels and other accommodation providers able to access the LRSG (Closed) grant if they remain open to accommodate individuals travelling for work purposes or other exempt purposes (e.g. domestic violence victims)?

Yes, if a hotel or accommodation business is required to close their main business offering they will be eligible for a grant.

Q.15 What support is provided to businesses that do not have a rateable value or are non-rate payers, e.g. market traders?

Businesses that are not part of the business rates systems will not receive funding under LRSG (Closed). However, those businesses may be eligible for support under the Additional Restrictions Grant and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) schemes.

Q.16 Are non-essential retail businesses that offer click and collect services considered closed and eligible for this scheme?

Businesses that are mandated to close under LCAL 3 restrictions that offer a click and collect service, would be eligible for LRSG (Closed) funding.

Q.17 Are business that are adversely impacted by local restrictions eligible for support under LRSG (Closed): e.g. event companies, supply chain businesses?

Businesses adversely impact by local restrictions, but not mandated to close by Government will not receive funding under LRSG (Closed). However, those businesses may be eligible for support under the Additional Restrictions Grant.

Q.18 Does a business have to be required to close to be eligible?

Yes. Please see the regulations for those businesses mandated to close: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/pdfs/uksi_20201200_en.pdf

Q.19 If only part of a business closes can it get the grant?

If a business is forced to close the part of its business that provides its main service then they will be eligible for a grant.

Q.20 Can businesses that are eligible but don’t want or need funding opt out?

Yes a business may decline the grant.

Q.21 How should grants be administered where a business is in administration or liquidation?

These grants have been created to provide support to active businesses. Businesses will need to confirm they are not in liquidation in order to receive the grant. Some businesses that fail the undertaking in difficulty test on 31 December 2019 are also ineligible for payments under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities.

Q.22 What is the appeals process for businesses under this scheme?

There is no appeals procedure. It is up to Local Authorities to apply the guidance as they see fit.