Coronavirus (COVID-19) help for businesses 

On the 31 October 2020 the Government announced further national restrictions starting on 5 November 2020. The Government have put grant schemes in place to support businesses.

We have a single application form for all business grants we administer that are available due to COVID-19 restrictions from November 2020.

Local Restrictions Support Grant for businesses required to close from 5 November 2020

This grant scheme is to support eligible businesses that are affected by national restrictions and are required to close from 5 November 2020.  Grants will be paid every 28 day period of restriction with the amount set by Government and dependant on the rateable value as determined by the Valuation Office Agency.

Who is eligible

Businesses that were open and providing in person services to customers from their business premises and have been mandated to close by Government. This includes non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.

Businesses must be closed for the whole of the lockdown period.

If a business has adapted their business to operate as a takeaway, click and collect or online with delivery services they will be counted as closed because their substantive business has to close, for example a restaurant who has moved to providing takeaway food collection or deliveries.

How much is the Grant

The thresholds for grants are:

  1. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
  1. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £2,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
  2. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the commencement date of the widespread national restrictions, will receive £3,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.

The council has no discretion on the amounts of the grants and is required to make payment in line with government guidance.

Exclusions to the Grant

  • Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from their premises and can operate their business remotely (eg accountants, solicitors).
  • Businesses that have chosen to close but are not required to.
  • Businesses that are in Administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made.
  • Businesses that have already reached their state aid limit.

Is the grant subject to tax

Grant income received by a business is taxable. This grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.  Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

State Aid

Payments count towards the total de minimis State aid you’re allowed to get over a 3-year period - €200,000. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. The limit for the framework is €800,000.

If you proceed to make an application we will ask you to complete a declaration confirming that you will not exceed the relevant State aid threshold.

How to apply

We have a single application form for all business grants we administer that are available due to COVID-19 restrictions from November 2020.

You must notify the Council if you are no longer eligible to receive a grant payment.  Any grant payments made in error will be reclaimed.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) for businesses impacted by Tier 2 restrictions

This grant scheme is to support eligible businesses that are still open but severely impacted by Local Covid Alert Level ‘High’ (Tier 2) and ‘Very High’ (Tier 3) restrictions.  It is a one off grant payment for every four week period of restriction.

Government expect this funding to be targeted at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.  Cheshire East Council entered Tier 2 restrictions on 14 October 2020.

The council is required to establish a grant scheme to determine exactly which businesses to support.

The policy for this scheme is currently being drafted and will be published on the website when available.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)

This grant scheme is to support eligible businesses that have been required to close and have been unable to reopen since 23 March 2020. Businesses must have been trading prior to 23 March 2020 to be eligible.

Grant funding for eligible businesses will be payable by Local Authorities in 14-day payment cycles with eligibility starting on 1 November 2020, the scheme will close when LRSG (closed) comes into effect on 5 November 2020.

Who is eligible

Eligible businesses are:

a. Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques

b. Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars

How much is the Grant

The thresholds for grants are as follows:

  1. Businesses occupying properties appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the commencement of the national restrictions will receive a payment of £667 per 14-day qualifying restriction period.
  2. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date of the commencement of the national restrictions will receive a payment of £1,000 per 14-day qualifying restriction period.
  3. Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the commencement date of the national restrictions will receive a payment of £1,500 per 14-day qualifying restriction period.

The council has no discretion on the amounts of the grants and is required to make payment in line with government guidance.

This scheme ends when national restrictions are imposed by Government, pro rata payments will be made to eligible businesses.

Exclusions to the Grant

  • Businesses that are in Administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made.
  • Businesses that have already reached their state aid limit.

Is the grant subject to tax

Grant income received by a business is taxable. This grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.  Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

State Aid

Payments count towards the total de minimis State aid you’re allowed to get over a 3-year period - €200,000. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. The limit for the framework is €800,000.

If you proceed to make an application we will ask you to complete a declaration confirming that you will not exceed the relevant State aid threshold. 

How to apply for discount

We have a single application form for all business grants we administer that are available due to COVID-19 restrictions from November 2020.

Additional Restrictions Grant

This is a discretionary grant scheme to support businesses in their local economies.  Local Authorities will receive a one-off lump sum payment amounting to £20 per head.

Eligible businesses must have been trading on the first full day of national or Tier 3 restrictions to be eligible to receive grant support.  

We have set out which businesses we can support in our

State aid limits apply to all grant schemes.  Payments made can be provided under the existing De Minimis rules, to any one organisation over a three fiscal year period, provided doing so does not exceed the €800,000 threshold.

We have a single application form for all business grants we administer that are available due to COVID-19 restrictions from November 2020.

The Government have confirmed that the following COVID-19 Business Grant schemes have officially ended on 28 August 2020.  No further grant payments will be made under these schemes.

  • Local Discretionary Grant Scheme
  • Small Business Grant
  • Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant

We have paid out over £91m in business support grants to support businesses in Cheshire East. 

We're offering businesses who have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic the opportunity to delay payment of Business Rates. There are 3 options available;

  1. delay my Business Rates payments to start now and continue each month through to March 2021
  2. delay my Business Rates payments to start now and continue each month through to June 2021
  3. delay my Business Rates payments to start now and continue each month through to September 2021

Use our contact us form to apply.

The Chancellor announced new measures in the budget to help businesses minimise the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). See our Cheshire East business page for further information on business support.

Business Rates holiday

Retail discount will be increased to 100% and expanded to cover all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England.

Nurseries that are on  OFSTED's Early Years Register and used for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are included. 

If you meet the criteria for eligibility for the 100% expanded retail discount your business rates bill for 2020/21 will be reduced to NIL. You will not be expected to repay the amount of discount awarded at a later date.

If your business does not meet the criteria you should expect to pay in accordance with the bill recently issued to you for 2020/21.

If you still have an outstanding balance to pay from last year (arrears) and are in financial difficulty, please use our contact us form to request revised monthly instalments.

If you have temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) you do not need to inform Business Rates of the temporary closure. Only advise us if the premises has been permanently vacated and is empty. Do not cancel your Direct Debit. 


Find coronavirus financial support for your business

The Government has launched an online tool so you can find out what support is available to you and your business.

Business support through COVID-19

See our business support page for details of other schemes available to businesses.