Coronavirus (COVID-19) help for businesses

The government has announced it is introducing an additional £5bn business grant scheme for the high street - worth as much as £18,000 per firm - to support businesses as England eases lockdown.

We are still waiting for the formal Budget announcement on 3 March and the detailed policy documents to be published by government – our website will updated once more information is available.

On 5 January 2021 the government announced further one-off grants up to £9,000 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

To be eligible businesses must: occupy property on which it pays business rates; have been required to close because of national restrictions and; have been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises.

Details of the announcement can be found at Gov.uk.

Details of how to apply for the Closed Business Lockdown Payment are set out below.

The next round of grants for eligible businesses will cover the period up to 31 March.

If have successfully applied for either the Local Restrictions Support Grant or Additional Restrictions Grant you do not need to do anything.

You will automatically receive a further payment for the next round of grants, providing you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

You do not need to make a further application if you have received a payment from us.

The grant policy for the Local Restrictions Support Grant and Additional Restrictions Grant can be viewed below:

If you have not already made an application to us and you believe that you are eligible, you can use our application form. Our teams will determine which grant or grants you are eligible for based on the information you provide.

Please note, new applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant will not be accepted after 5 March.

If you are a pub you will need to make an additional application to tell us whether you were a 'wet-led' pub between 02 December 2020 to 25 December 2020.

Eligibility

Businesses that are eligible are those that have been required to close by Government and include:

  • non-essential retail
  • leisure
  • personal care
  • sports facilities
  • hospitality businesses

This could also include businesses that operate primarily as an in-person venue, but which have been forced to close those services and provide a takeaway only or click and collect service instead.

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • occupies property on which it pays business rates
  • has been required to close because of national restrictions
  • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

Exclusions

  • businesses which are able to continue to operate during the lockdown because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from their premises
  • businesses that have chosen to close, but have not been required to close by law as part of a national lockdown
  • businesses that are not the ratepayer
  • businesses that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made are not eligible for this scheme

Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after the first full day of national restrictions and business closures regulations came into force including changes which have been back dated to this date, will be ignored for the purposes of eligibility.

To apply

Local Restrictions Support Grant and Pub Christmas Support for pubs and bars from 02 December 2020

The following grant schemes are to support eligible businesses that are affected by national restrictions from 02 December 2020. Grants will be paid for every 14 day period of restriction with the amount set by Government and dependant on the rateable value as determined by the Valuation Office Agency. Businesses that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at any point in a local restriction period must notify the council.

Local Restriction Support Grant (closed) under Tier 3 & Tier 4 restrictions

Who is eligible

Pubs or bars that allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed and permit drinks to be purchased at a bar and have been required to remain closed under Government COVID restrictions.

Businesses must have been trading on 04 November to be eligible for the grant from 02 December 20.

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 and be eligible to receive grants under this scheme because their main business has to close.

The ratepayer who according to the councils records is the ratepayer will receive the grant funding.

The value of the grant

  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 local 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 local 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 local restrictions, will receive £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.

Exclusions to the grant

  • 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 in areas outside the scope of the localised restrictions as defined by the Government.
  • businesses that have been required to close since 23 March will not be eligible for this funding please see Local Restrictions Support Grant (sector).
  • businesses that have already reached their state aid limit.

Local Restriction Support Grant (open)

Who is eligible

This grant scheme is to support eligible businesses that are still open but severely impacted by Local Covid Alert Level ‘High’ (Tier 2) restrictions. Please refer to the policy for details of this grant.

The value of the grant

  • grants of up to £467 per 14 day period for businesses occupying hereditaments with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the commencement of the local restrictions.
  • grants of up to £700 per 14 day period for businesses occupying hereditaments with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date of the commencement of the local restrictions.
  • grants of up to £1,050 per 14 day period for businesses occupying hereditaments with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the date of the commencement of the local restrictions.

Exclusions to the grant

  • businesses which do not occupy property as identified on the Valuation Office Agency rating list at 14 October as hospitality, holiday accommodation and leisure business property – with the exception of bed & breakfasts.
  • businesses that are in administration, insolvent, or where a striking off notice has been made.
  • businesses that have already reached their state aid limit.

Christmas Support Grant

The Government have confirmed that the Christmas Support Grant scheme has closed for applications on 28 February 2021.  We have until 31 March 2021 to make final payments under this scheme. 

The grants are 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

Grant payments count towards the total de minimis state aid you’re allowed to get over a 3 year period. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. For further information please refer to gov.uk.

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.

To apply

Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) for businesses required to close under Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions

This grant scheme is to support eligible businesses that are affected by national restrictions and are required to close. Grants will be paid every 14 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 for the grant

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 £667 per 14 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 £1,000 per 14 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 £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.

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 support 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

Grant payments count towards the total de minimis state aid you’re allowed to get over a 3 year period. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. For further information please refer to gov.uk.

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.

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 from 14/10/2020 to 04/11/2020

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 – 04 November 2020, when national lockdown restrictions apply. Please refer to the policy for details of this grant.

Who is eligible

Businesses must have been trading on 14 October 2020 (the day the Tier 2 (High Alert) restrictions began).

Grants under this policy are only payable to hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure business properties which have a rateable value provided by the Valuation Office Agency at 14 October. The only exception to this will be bed & breakfasts that pay Council Tax instead of Business Rates.

How much is the grant

The thresholds for grants are:

  • eligible businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive £934 pro rata per 28-day period (£733.86 for the 22-day period).
  • eligible businesses occupying a property with a rateable value with a rateable value over £15,000 but less than £51,000 will receive £1,400 pro rata per 28-day period (£1,100 for the 22-day period).
  • eligible businesses occupying a property with a rateable value with a rateable value £51,000 or more will receive £2,100 pro rata per 28-day period (£1,650 for the 22-day period).
  • bed & breakfasts which do not pay business rates will receive £934 pro rata per 28-day period (£733.85 for the 22-day period).

Exclusions to the grant

  • businesses which do not occupy property as identified on the Valuation Office Agency rating list at 14 October as hospitality, holiday accommodation and leisure business property – with the exception of bed & breakfasts.
  • community centres, village halls, sports clubs and stables are not classed as leisure businesses for the purposes of this 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.

The grant is 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

Grant payments count towards the total de minimis state aid you’re allowed to get over a 3 year period. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. For further information please refer to gov.uk.

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.

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 (Sector) for nightclubs forced to close since March 2020

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 01 November 2020, the scheme will close when LRSG (closed) comes into effect.

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

Grant payments count towards the total de minimis state aid you’re allowed to get over a 3 year period. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. For further information refer to gov.uk.

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.

Additional Restrictions Grant

Please note, new applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant will not be accepted after 5 March. 

This is a discretionary grant scheme to support businesses in their local economies. 

It takes a few weeks for us to process payments for the Additional Restrictions Grant as this grant requires more verification checks and additional supporting evidence to be reviewed and considered.

We apologise the delay you experience – we have committed extra resources to process applications and issue payments faster.

Refer to the policy for details of this grant.

Who is eligible

Businesses that fall outside the eligibility criteria for LRSG (closed) & LRSG (open) ie businesses that do not pay business rates because they operate from a premises that is not separately rated or their business is mobile, such as mobile hairdressers

The business must have been trading on 5 November 2020 (the day the national lockdown began).

Businesses that are not required to close as a result of national or local restrictions but have been severely impacted by the local and national restrictions This could include businesses that

  • provide services to the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sectors such as; event hire, event management, catering, tour operators, laundry and dry cleaning, creative industries etc.
  • are manufacturing and wholesaling goods exclusively for hospitality, holiday accommodation, transport and leisure sectors
  • provide taxi and vehicle hire
  • provide dental services
  • provide childcare and early years education
  • are charities providing community services or Town and Parish Councils
  • can demonstrate they have been severely impacted by the restrictions, at the discretion of the Local Authority

How much is the grant

The thresholds for grants for the 4 week period from 05 November – 02 December 2020 are as follows:

For businesses that pay business rates:

  • 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 for the 4 week period from 05 November – 02 December 2020
  • 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 for the 4 week period from 05 November – 02 December 2020
  • 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 for the 4 week period from 05 November – 02 December 2020

For businesses that don’t pay business rates, grants will be awarded based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees:

  • businesses employing 0-9 FTEs will receive a payment of £1,334 for the 4 week period from 05 November – 02 December 2020
  • businesses employing 10-49 FTEs will receive a payment of £2,000 (for the 4 week period from 05 November – 02 December 2020
  • businesses employing 50-249 FTEs will receive a payment of £3,000 for the 4 week period from 05 November – 02 December 2020

The thresholds for grants for the 22 day period from 14 October – 04 November 2020 are as follows:

For businesses that pay business rates:

  • eligible businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive £934 pro rata per 28 day period (£733.86 for the 22 day period)
  • eligible businesses occupying a property with a rateable value with a rateable value over £15,000 but less than £51,000 will receive £1,400 pro rata per 28 day period (£1,100 for the 22 day period)
  • eligible businesses occupying a property with a rateable value with a rateable value £51,000 or more will receive £2,100 pro rata per 28 day period (£1,650 for the 22 day period)

For businesses that don’t pay business rates, grants will be awarded based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees:

  • businesses employing 0-9 FTEs will receive a payment of £934 pro rata per 28 day period (£733.86 for the 22 day period)
  • businesses employing 10-49 FTEs will receive a payment of £1,400 pro rata per 28 day period (£1,100 for the 22 day period)
  • businesses employing 50-249 FTEs will receive a payment of £2,100 pro rata per 28 day period (£1,650 for the 22 day period)

Exclusions to the grant

  • bed & breakfast businesses are not eligible for this grant as they are eligible for LRSG (Open).
  • businesses that are eligible for LRSG (closed).
  • businesses that are in administration, insolvent, or where a striking off notice has been made.
  • businesses that have already reached their state aid limit.

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

Grant payments count towards the total de minimis state aid you’re allowed to get over a 3 year period. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. See information on gov.uk.

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.

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.