Coronavirus (COVID-19) help for businesses

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

Grant approval portal

We are using the Grant approval portal for new applications. You will need to register with them. When making applications, you will need your Business Rates Property Reference Number. Instructions on how to find this number will be given to you during the application process. The Valuation Office Agency website may refer to the reference you need as the 'Local Authority Reference'.

Restart Grant update 21 April 2021

We would like to apologise if you are experiencing a delay in hearing more about your application for a Restart Grant.  We have received over 1,500 applications for the restart grants which we are working through as a priority.  To date, payment of 857 grants have been made totalling £7,027,396.  You can help us by not sending requests to ask where your application is up to, as this places additional pressure on the team and is having an impact on the speed at which we can process applications.  Please also ensure that the bank statement you submit is for the bank details that you have entered for payment of the grant.

Restart Grants

The following one off grant schemes are available from 1 April 2021 to support eligible businesses to help them reopen safely.  

 

 

 

If you proceed to make an application, we will ask you to complete a declaration confirming that you will not exceed the business grant allowance threshold.

We will be able to process your application faster if you quote your 8 digit account reference number beginning with a 9, when you apply.

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.

Who is eligible

Grants are payable to non-essential retail business premises, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises, where the main service takes place in a fixed rate paying premises, in the relevant sectors.

Businesses must have been trading or engaged in business activity on 1 April to be eligible for the grant.

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

The value of the grant

Non Essential Retail

The Restart Grant to support non-essential retail premises with one-off grants of up to £6,000 in Strand One of the Restart Grant. The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000

The Government define non-essential retail as a business that is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services by the public, where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and well-being of the public.

Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises

The Restart Grant to support hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises with one-off grants of up to £18,000 in Strand Two of the Restart Grant. The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £8,000
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £12,000
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £18,000

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

  • Government guidelines state that non-essential retail excludes the following businesses:-
    • food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, corners shops, off licences, breweries, pharmacies, chemists, newsagents,  building merchants, petrol stations, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi and vehicle hire businesses, education providers including tutoring services
    • non-food retailers
    • banks, building societies and other financial providers,
    • post offices
    • funeral directors
    • laundrettes and dry cleaners
    • medical practices
    • veterinary surgeries and pet shops, agricultural supply shops, garden centres, storage and distribution facilities, wholesalers, employment agencies and businesses, office buildings, automatic car washes and mobility support shops
  • Government guidelines state that hospitality retail excludes the following businesses:-
    • food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes)
  • Government guidelines state that accommodation business excludes the following businesses:-
    • private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres, beach huts
  • Government guidelines state that gym & sport business excludes the following businesses:-
    • home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds
  • Government guidelines state that a personal care business excludes the following businesses:-
    • businesses that only provide personal care goods, rather than services; businesses used solely as training centres for staff, apprentices and others; businesses providing dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services which incorporate personal care services, treatments required by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health
  • businesses that are not in the rating list
  • businesses that are in Administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made
  • businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances will not be eligible to receive funding

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.

Closure date for applications

The application closure date for this scheme is 30 June 2021 and final payments must be made by 31 July 2021.

COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance

Where the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance has been reached, grants may be paid in compliance with the Principles set out in Article 3.4 of the TCA and in compliance with Article 3.2(3) of the TCA under the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance (subsidies granted on a temporary basis to respond to a national or global economic emergency).

For the purposes of these scheme rules, this allowance is £1,600,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received under the COVID-19 business grant schemes and any State aid previously received under Section 3.1 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework across any other UK scheme. This may be combined with the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance to equal £1,935,000 (subject to the exact amount applicable under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator).

COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance

Where an applicant has reached its limit under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, it may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000 per single economic actor, provided the following conditions are met:

a. The Special Allowance covers only the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs incurred during the period between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2022, including such costs incurred in any part of that period (‘eligible period’);

b. Applicants must demonstrate a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period in 2019. The calculation of losses will be based on audited accounts or official statutory accounts filed at Companies House, or approved accounts submitted to HMRC which includes information on the applicant’s profit and loss;

c. ‘Uncovered fixed costs’ means fixed costs not otherwise covered by profit, insurance or other subsidies;

d. The grant payment must not exceed 70% of the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs, except for micro and small enterprises (for the purposes of this scheme defined as less than 50 employees and less than £9,000,000 of annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet), where the grant payment must not exceed 90% of the uncovered fixed costs;  

e. Grant payments under this allowance must not exceed £9,000,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received in accordance with Section 3.12 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework; all figures used must be gross, that is, before any deduction of tax or other charge;

f. Grants provided under this allowance shall not be cumulated with other subsidies for the same costs.

Government guidance on the restart grants

Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) for businesses required to close 15 February 2021 to 31 March 2021

This grant scheme is to support eligible businesses that are affected by national restrictions and are required to close. 

If you proceed to make an application, we will ask you to complete a declaration confirming that you will not exceed the business grant allowance threshold.

We will be able to process your application faster if you quote your 8 digit account reference number beginning with a 9, when you apply.

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.

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 have been trading on the day before national restrictions came into force.

Businesses must have been registered for business rates on 05 January 2021.

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.

Value of 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 £2,096 per 44-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 widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £3,143 per 44-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 widespread national restrictions, will receive £4,714 per 44-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 outside the scope of the national restrictions, as defined by Government
  • 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.

Closure date for applications

The application closure date for this scheme is 31 May 2021 and final payments must be made by 30 June 2021.

COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance

Where the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance has been reached, grants may be paid in compliance with the Principles set out in Article 3.4 of the TCA and in compliance with Article 3.2(3) of the TCA under the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance (subsidies granted on a temporary basis to respond to a national or global economic emergency).

For the purposes of these scheme rules, this allowance is £1,600,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received under the COVID-19 business grant schemes and any State aid previously received under Section 3.1 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework across any other UK scheme. This may be combined with the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance to equal £1,935,000 (subject to the exact amount applicable under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator).

COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance

Where an applicant has reached its limit under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, it may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000 per single economic actor, provided the following conditions are met:

a. The Special Allowance covers only the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs incurred during the period between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2022, including such costs incurred in any part of that period (‘eligible period’);

b. Applicants must demonstrate a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period in 2019. The calculation of losses will be based on audited accounts or official statutory accounts filed at Companies House, or approved accounts submitted to HMRC which includes information on the applicant’s profit and loss;

c. ‘Uncovered fixed costs’ means fixed costs not otherwise covered by profit, insurance or other subsidies;

d. The grant payment must not exceed 70% of the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs, except for micro and small enterprises (for the purposes of this scheme defined as less than 50 employees and less than £9,000,000 of annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet), where the grant payment must not exceed 90% of the uncovered fixed costs; 

e. Grant payments under this allowance must not exceed £9,000,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received in accordance with Section 3.12 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework; all figures used must be gross, that is, before any deduction of tax or other charge;

f. Grants provided under this allowance shall not be cumulated with other subsidies for the same costs.

Additional Restrictions Grant

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

The first phase of the Additional Restrictions Grant is closed to new applications and all funding has been allocated in line with the policy. 

The council is awaiting further support from government and will be opening a second phase of this grant with a new policy and criteria, later in 2021.

Include your outstanding Business Rates with your instalments for 2021/22

We're offering businesses who have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic the opportunity to recalculate outstanding Business Rates with your monthly instalments through to March 2022.

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, 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.