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How to get a government grant when you’re a small business

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Updated: 16th April 2020

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced government grant funding for small businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure industry – many of whom were first to be affected by the anti-coronavirus measures – and also to small businesses that pay little or no business rates.

These grants help small businesses deal with the sudden and severe impact on their ability to trade, and in conjunction with other support, will hopefully see them through the crisis without having to declare insolvency.

So how can you get a government grant if you’re a small business? 

The Small Business Grant Scheme (SBGS)

The Small Business Grant Scheme is intended to help small businesses that operate from rateable premises in England, that were eligible for small business rate relief or rural rate relief on 11th March 2020.

If you’re not sure whether your business receives this type of relief, you can check by looking at your latest business rates bills. Originally the maximum amount available through this grant was £3,000, but this has now been increased to £10,000.

You can only claim once for a grant of this type, however, even if you operate from more than one business premises.

How to get a small business grant under SBGS

The Small Business Grant Scheme is set up to be administered by local authorities, so eligible small businesses in England don’t need to proactively make an application. Your local authority will know that you’re eligible, and will contact you when the money is available.

You can stay updated on availability by checking your local authority’s website and/or the government website, or by phoning your local council. If you’re a retail, hospitality, or leisure business, you may also be able to claim a second grant of between £10,000 and £25,000 under the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme, although the ability to claim both grants is yet to be confirmed by the government.

So what is the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme, and how do you access this funding if you’re eligible?

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme is available for businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure industry in England. It offers grants of £10,000 and £25,000, depending on the rateable value of your business property.

  • Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less can claim £10,000
  • Businesses with a rateable value of £15,001 and more can claim £25,000

The businesses covered by this grant funding are those with properties that are wholly or mainly used for the purposes stated – retail, hospitality, or leisure - and there’s a detailed list on the government website of those included in this description.

How to claim cash under the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme

Again, you don’t need to do anything to claim the grant. Your local authority is receiving funding from central government to provide these grants to businesses locally, and will let you know when the money is available.

As with the Small Business Grant Scheme, updated information regarding availability of the grants should appear on the government website or that of your local authority, but the money may be available from early April 2020.

Professional advice and guidance during these uncertain times is crucial when your business is at risk of closure, and we can provide the reliable independent support you need. Real Business Rescue are insolvency specialists and can provide further advice to small businesses wishing access to grant funding during the coronavirus crisis. We’re a major part of Begbies Traynor, the UK’s largest professional services consultancy - please contact one of the team to arrange a free same-day consultation.

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