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Businesses and employers

Grants and Business Rates questions

The Government has announced several measures to support businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

Further information on additional support measures and guidance from the government will be updated on these pages as it’s announced.

The Valuation Office Agency can be contacted on 03000 501 501 or via email. You can also query your rateable value.

Grants

The government approved funding for Business Grants in March to provide financial support to eligible business ratepayers from the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and to businesses claiming small business rate relief.

We contacted all eligible businesses to invite them to complete a submission for the grant online. We have already paid out most of this fund but if you received a letter there is still time to apply.

The Government has confirmed additional COVID-19 emergency funding of £612,750 to Crawley Borough Council for a Discretionary Business Grants programme. Grant applications start on 1 June. Full details on the Discretionary Business Grants page.

If you have any questions about the Business Grants, please email the Economic Development Team.

We've been made aware of a business grants scam being sent. If you receive an email from rating@lpsni.gov.uk about a problem with your rate account details delete it.

Discretionary Business Grants

The Government has confirmed additional COVID-19 emergency funding of £612,750 to Crawley Borough Council for a Discretionary Business Grants programme. The funding is aimed at supporting small and micro-businesses in Crawley. The Council, like local authorities across the country, has discretion to set the evaluation criteria used to assess applications for a grant from this fund and to decide which business applicants are awarded grants.

Eligible small and micro-businesses in Crawley can apply online for a Discretionary Business Grant from Monday 1 June until Sunday 14 June.

Full details on criteria and how to apply are on the Discretionary Business Grants page.

Small Business Grant Funding

The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

To find out more read the Government's Grant Funding Schemes for small businesses document.

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

  • Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 may be eligible for a grant of £10,000.
  • Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.

The Government has also published guidance on the application of business rates relief for the hospitality and leisure sector.

For more information, visit www.businesssupport.gov.uk/cash-grant-for-retail-hospitality-and-leisure.

Support for creative organisations

Arts Council England has made an emergency response fund available for businesses in the creative industry, affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Support for heritage organisations

Historic England is offering support to heritage organisations in the form of its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund:

  • Open to third sector, and voluntary groups, heritage organisations and self-employed contractors
  • Grants of up to £25k (grants of £50k also available subject to criteria)
  • Covers (1) Emergency revenue and (2) Projects and activities
  • Will support local or national heritage organisations including privately-owned heritage attractions and heritage businesses.

Does not fund costs that are eligible for other Government and/or Lottery channels of support.

Business Rates questions

Here are some answers to questions about Business Rates during the coronavirus outbreak. 

I believe I don’t have to pay Business Rates next year, should I cancel my Direct Debit?

No. We are working to identify all the accounts which will receive 100 per cent Business Rate relief. For these cases we will not claim an April Direct Debit. We may need your bank account details if we have to pay you a grant (see below).

What ratepayers will receive 100 per cent Rate Relief in 2020?

Ratepayers in receipt of small business rate relief, occupying a property with a Rateable Value of £12,000 or below. Also, ratepayers who qualify for retail rate discount. 

The scheme has now been widened to include:

  • Cinemas and live music venues 
  • Properties used for sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public 
  • Hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

See information on the qualifiers and non-qualifiers.

Please be aware that a property must be wholly or mainly occupied for a qualifying purpose and to be accessible to visiting members of the public. The only exception to this is where a property that would have qualified under the scheme is temporarily closed due to government advice on Covid-19.

Why have you sent me an annual bill when the Chancellor said that I do not have to pay any Business Rates next year?

We issued the annual bills before the Budget so everyone had sufficient notice of their April instalment. The annual bills were issued on the basis Retail Rate Discount was 50 per cent. The Chancellor has subsequently set the discount at 100 per cent and widened the scheme.

Do State Aid Limits still apply to the retail rate discount scheme?

The government is seeking clearance from the European Union to bring forward an immediate change to the UK’s tax treatment of non-domestic property. If approved, this will remove the need for state aid declarations and for recipients of retail rate discount to comply with the de-minimise state aid regulations from April 2020. We await further information on this issue.

I run a children’s nursery and understand that the Secretary of State for Education announced a business rates holiday for non-local authority child care providers in 2020/21.

This applies to non-local authority child care providers. We are awaiting further guidance on how this will work, and when this is received and will issue amended bills as soon as we can. We will not collect the Direct Debit in April.

When will I receive a revised bill confirming that you have awarded the 100 per cent relief to me?

We are working hard to identify who we believe will qualify under the new retail rate discount scheme and will send out revised bills as quickly as possible.