A Little Hospitality: New Grants Announced for Businesses Impacted by Local Lockdowns
Earlier this month, the Government announced a new COVID-19 aid measure aimed at businesses who are required to close as a result of local lockdowns.
In light of recent outbreaks of coronavirus, local lockdowns and restrictions have been introduced in high incidence areas. As a result of these new rules, some businesses (e.g. hospitality venues) will be restricted in the services that they can offer and may be required to shut their doors.
Going forward, where a business is forced to temporarily close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions, they can make a claim to receive a grant of up to £1,500 per property every three weeks. Each payment will be made for a 3-week lockdown period, with each 3-week lockdown period triggering an additional payment. As with the business grants, this grant will be treated as taxable income.
The scheme is currently being trailed in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle, and Oldham, and is expected to be rolled out to the rest of England shortly.
The amount that can be claimed is determined by the rateable value, annual rent, or mortgage payments relating to the business premises:
- Where a business occupies a premises with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, or occupies a property/part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage of £51,000 or above, then the business will receive a grant of £1,500 per property.
- If the business occupies a premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000, or occupies a property/part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage payment of less than £51,000, it will receive a grant of £1,000 per property.
It is important to note that businesses still closed at a national level, for example nightclubs and dance halls, will not be eligible.
This new support measure is in addition to other schemes of support offered to businesses over the last few months, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Government-backed loans, and business grants.