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Coronavirus government grants

Financial help for your business

A guide to the grants available for small businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors

What is the coronavirus government grant? 

The coronavirus government grant comprises two funds which have been put in place to support small businesses and those operating within the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors. These grants are specifically for businesses that currently pay rates or receive rate relief on their business premises. They’re being managed by local councils and funded entirely by central government.

This guide explains the types of grant available, the eligibility criteria and how to apply if your local council hasn’t already been in touch.

The Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF)

What is it?

The SBGF is available for businesses who currently receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief. Businesses who meet the eligibility criteria will get a one-off, non-repayable grant of £10,000. 

Is my business eligible?

Your business is eligible for a grant under the SBGF if 

How do I apply for the grant?

Local councils will try to contact eligible businesses where they have accurate contact details or accessible premises, although many have decided to operate an application process. You should contact your local council if you have any enquiries about eligibility for the grants or how they’re provided. Find your local council.

Similar grants are available if your business is based in ScotlandWales or Northern Ireland.

How do I find out if I get rate or rural relief?

Check with your local authority or on your latest rates bill, or your accountant may be able to advise.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

What is it?

The RHLGF is available for businesses and charitable and community organisations whose premises are used to run a retail, hospitality and/or leisure-focused business. Eligible businesses are entitled to a one-off, non-repayable grant of either £10,000 or £25,000 per property.

  • Businesses with a rateable value of under £15,000 will get £10,000 
  • Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will get £25,000

Is my business eligible?

Your business is eligible for a grant under the RHLGF if  

  • It’s based in England, and
  • It operates in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector and occupies certain property types as defined in this guidance document.

What businesses come under the retail, hospitality and leisure sector?

Government guidance states that businesses with premises used for the following purposes will be eligible for the scheme.

  • Shops, restaurants, cafés, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues 
  • Hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation 
  • Assembly and leisure

How can I check if my business falls into these categories?

There’s a full list on pages 5 to 8 of this government guidance document, which clearly defines the sectors.

How do I apply for the grant?

Local councils will try to contact eligible businesses where they have accurate contact details or accessible premises, although many have decided to operate an application process. You should contact your local council if you have any enquiries about eligibility for the grants or how they’re provided. Find your local council.

Similar grants are available if your business is based in ScotlandWales or Northern Ireland.

How soon will I get the grant payment?

The bulk of grant payments started to be made on 6 April 2020. How long it takes from application to receiving the payment will vary between councils. If you think you’re eligible for a grant and haven’t yet received a payment, you should contact your local council directly. Find your local council

Can I apply for more than one grant?

In many cases you can, even if your properties are located within the same local council area. In England, your grant application is assessed based on the rateable position of the individual property applied for (this assessment basis varies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

If you operate from rateable properties in different local council areas and/or nations, you should consider applying to the local council at each rateable property’s location.

If I get a grant, can I still apply for other types of coronavirus-related financial support?

Yes – applying for or being given a grant doesn’t affect your ability to apply for other types of coronavirus-specific financial support.

Do I need to tell you if I get a grant?

As the grant is applied for and processed directly through your local council, you don’t need to tell us. If you’re waiting for the grant payment and need cashflow support in the meantime, you can contact us to see if we can help. As part of our commitment to support SMEs, we’re offering free everyday banking (Terms and conditions apply) and fee-free overdrafts between 13 March and 12 June 20201, which will be applied automatically to accounts with an annual turnover of under £250k.