We understand that our clients may be overwhelmed with information concerning COVID-19 at the moment. Our rating experts have updated a summary and a chart to highlight all measures currently available to date to assist with minimising rates at this time.
Like many government responses to the Coronavirus, the rates relief and grant support packages have had to be continually monitored and reviewed.
Ryden has kept a firm eye on developments from both the UK and Scottish Government and is pleased to see an extension to the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) funding now available.
In Scotland, eligibility for accessibility to the fund has been extended from 8th June 2020 as follows:
- Tenants and Occupiers of shared space (including but not limited to office space, incubators and industrial units), who are not named ratepayers, but can prove they contribute towards non-domestic rates for the property are now eligible to make a claim subject to meeting criteria and providing required evidence. Previously, only businesses which were directly liable for non-domestic rates were able to make a claim.
- Cumulative Rateable Value criteria will be amended from £35,001-£51,000 to £35,001-£500,000 for those ratepayers who hold one or more properties in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RLH) sector (cumulative totals include all RLH and non-RLH properties) where the individual rateable value of the qualifying RHL property for which the grant is being sought does not exceed £18,000.
Meanwhile in England, a Discretionary Grant Scheme is now available for those small and micro businesses who have suffered a significant fall in income and are not eligible for SBGF or RHLF but have fixed property related costs and with an rv or mortgage/rent payments below £51,000.
Councils will exercise discretion but prioritise small businesses in shared offices, industrial parks or incubators, regular market traders, b&b’s paying Council Tax and charitable properties getting charitable business rates relief, which are not eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief.
It has also been confirmed that the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes in Scotland will close for new applications on 10th July as the number of new applications have slowed down. We would therefore urge all ratepayers who are eligible for the schemes in Scotland to apply before the deadline on 10th July 2020.
You can download our chart here.
For further information on the latest Business Rates announcements in England and Scotland or any of our Business Rates services, don't hesitate to contact one of Ryden's experts: