There are two major handouts that are being given to eligible businesses just now, and if you haven’t yet applied, it may be worth a second look. Those two cash grants are;

-if you are in Retail, Hospitality or Leisure – £25k

-if you pay little or no rates – £10k

Whilst the second appears relatively straight forward, the first category leaves the door open for some interpretation of the terms.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund HMRC Guidance

The reason I think this is worth a second look is because there may been Businesses that are eligible that have been overlooked and it may be the case, as my father used to say, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’. We have seen some grants come through where we have been a little, shall we say, surprised. The possibility of the grant for these businesses wouldn’t immediately have come up on our radar, so I thought I would share some more details with you in case you qualify.

The basic details;

Eligibility (the loose definition of retail, leisure and hospitality)
-shop, restaurant, cafe, bar or pub,
-cinema or live music venue
-sports clubs, gyms and spa’s (nail spa’s?)
-hospitality property – hotel, guest house, self-catering accommodation

 

It may be an automatic payment
-but if you have not received a grant and you think you should – then you can contact your local authority – they may require more details

 

The rateable value of your building is less than £51k
-£15k – £51k – £25k grant per eligible property
-Under £15k – £10k grants – per eligible property

Retail

What is the definition of ‘Retail’? When we discussed this in our meeting this morning, we came up with some questions and ideas (we have no idea whether they are right or not, but if it looks as if you fit the definition then an application may be appropriate). If anyone has seen a strict definition, I would be very grateful if they could share it.

Does it mean any business (subject to the point below) that is involved with B to C (business to consumer)?

Does it mean you have to trade from a ’shop’? – the grant is linked to a ‘property’, although it is not clear if that means a shop or similar establishment. That’s understandable (to a degree) for all the while we are in ‘lock-down’ customers are prevented from visiting physical shops, yet if you run a B to C online business, is the idea then you will not suffer the same loss (and not be eligible for the grant?)

What percentage of sales have to take place in the ‘shop’? – I’ve no idea, but we have seen a grant come through for the full amount (£25k) even though the ’shop’ sales are less than 10% of total turnover.

So, we think that if you sell to the public (no minimum percentage of sales to this source stated) from a rateable premises (within the criteria above) then there is a possibility that you could be in line for the grant of either £25k or £10k. Or at the very least, it’s worth a check.

Self- catering accommodation

Once again, this is linked to a ‘rateable property’ within rateable values highlighted above. The key here is that you must be listed as paying ‘business rates’ to be eligible for the grant. If you haven’t received the grant, and you feel you qualify, then you need to apply to your Local Authority

Rates Holiday

In the event that you qualify for the Retail, Leisure, Hospitality Grant Fund, then you automatically qualify for a 12 month rates holiday (in the current financial year). The eligibility criteria appear to be the same and if you are able to trigger one, then you automatically trigger the other and it’s a double bonus. This clearly will make a difference to many hard pressed businesses.

If you have not received your amended Rates bill for the current year, you can apply to do so.

Finally, and this applies to all businesses. Here’s a useful link from HMRC that asks a series of questions to help determine what relief is available through grants, loans and tax payment holidays specifically for your business.

If, as always, you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch

  • Landline – 01326 660022
  • Mobile/WhatsApp/Text – 07779799995 – Mike Hutchinson
  • Zoom ID – 205 677 7765 – Mike Hutchinson