Covid -19 Updates

For information regarding the UK Government’s implementation of rates reliefs and grants in response to the Covid-19 virus, please go to:

England
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Scotland
https://www.mygov.scot/non-domestic-rates-coronavirus/ 

Wales
https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice


Grant Funding Schemes: Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance

03/04/2020

Update, at 3rd April, to guidance re. the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF). Guidance for local authorities; now includes Information about State Aid. (England).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-review-terms-of-reference/hm-treasury-fundamental-review-of-business-rates-terms-of-reference

 

Business Rates Information Letter (6/2020): Updated Guidance: Coronavirus Response. (England)

02/04/2020

BRIL 06/20 covers:

Updated guidance for the expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021: coronavirus response

Updated guidance for the nursery discount 2020 to 2021: coronavirus response

Compensation for the expanded retail discount and nursery discount

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877788/BRIL_6_2020_Coronavirus_Response_and_Guidance.pdf

 

Update Business rates: nursery (childcare) discount 2020 to 2021: coronavirus response – local authority guidance. (England).

02/04/2020

Guidance updated to confirm that the government’s assessment that the nursery discount is not a state aid, and that local authorities should therefore award relief to all eligible properties.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-nursery-childcare-discount-2020-to-2021-coronavirus-response-local-authority-guidance?utm_source=54d3ab2a-540a-4dad-a69b-66425e54ac59&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance (England)

02/04/2020

The Guidance is updated to confirm that the government’s assessment that the expanded retail discount is not a state aid, and that local authorities should therefore award relief to all eligible properties.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877758/Expanded_Retail_Discount_Guidance_02.04.20.pdf

 

Guidance for local authorities setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

1 April 2020

Update released today to version 3 of the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance. Contains updated information on: state aid; monitoring and reporting requirements; post payment checks; and eligibility of charities.

It informs local authorities about the operation and delivery of the 2 funding schemes. The guidance applies to England only.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877286/small-business-grant-fund-and-retail-guidance-v3.pdf

 

Guidance for businesses setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

1 April 2020

Guidance for businesses has been issued, setting out details and eligibility criteria for: the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF); and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) (England). It informs businesses about the operation and delivery of the 2 funding schemes.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877301/small-business-grant-and-retail-leisure-hospitality-grant-guidance-for-businesses.pdf

 

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance: Version 3

30th March 2020

Version 3 of the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance has been released. (applies England only). This iteration contains:

  • State Aid information; 
  • monitoring and reporting requirements; 
  • new annexes on state aid, Spotlight, and post payment checks; and
  • clarification on eligibility of charities. 

Supersedes the version issued on 25th March.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/876893/small-business-grant-fund-retail-guidance-vers-3.pdf

 

Fraud control in emergency management: COVID-19 UK Government guide (Published 17/03/20, updated 26/03/20)

This guidance is for leaders and fraud experts in government bodies and local authorities that are administering emergency programmes on behalf of the UK Government.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fraud-control-in-emergency-management-covid-19-uk-government-guide

 

BRIL 5/20: Coronavirus response and guidance (26/3/20)

26 March 2020

This letter applies to England and covers:

  • Extension to the expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021: coronavirus response
  • BEIS grant scheme


Go to website

 

Wales -  Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for businesses

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-support-businesses 
https://businesswales.gov.wales/sites/business-wales/files/MA-RE-0992-20%20-%20Retail%2C%20Leisure%20and%20Hospitality%20Rates%20Relief%20Scheme%202020-21%20-%20Guidance%2C%20Grant%20Acceptance%20and%20Offer%20for%20Local%20Authorities%20-%20Doc%201%20Guidance%20%28E%29_1%20%282%29.pdf.

 

Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rate (MHCLG Statement)

26 March 2020

MHCLG issued a statement 25 March 2020 entitled ‘Local Government Finance: COVID-19 Response Announcements with details correct as at 24/03/20. Applies to England.

Download Copy

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on business support grant funding (Version 2, issued 25 March 2020)

This updated guidance has an amendment at Paragraph 17: Hereditaments that were not eligible for percentage SBRR relief (including those eligible for the Small Business Rate Multiplier) are excluded. Applies to England.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding?utm_source=2a9a1b51-e733-4f91-8c5e-79efae582edd&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily.

 

Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance (revised 25 March 2020)

This Guidance was updated on 25/03/20 so that certain properties previously excluded from the relief, but that have been forced to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions, will now be eligible for the relief. [England]

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-retail-discount-guidance?utm_source=cc18650f-d97b-41cc-a6da-110dd90ee7a0&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily

 

Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rate (Valuation Tribunal Service)

Applies to England.

Message from Antonio Masella (Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer): The Valuation Tribunal Service (250320)

“Following recent Government advice, the VTS has effected a working from home plan as a consequence of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Any postal communication sent to our offices in Leman Street, London or Doncaster will not be acted upon and we would encourage any communication with us to be by email.

“Please also note that with effect Wednesday 25th March the VTS/VTE has postponed all tribunal hearings until the 30 June 2020. We continue to review the impact of coronavirus on the effective delivery of our service. Further updates will be provided when available.

Website

 

Council tax: COVID-19 hardship fund 2020 to 2021 – guidance

24 March 2020

Updated guidance is out on the £500 million Hardship Fund in England to provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by coronavirus.   This Guidance is directed to billing authorities on using their allocation from the hardship fund to deliver financial support, including reduced council tax bills, to economically vulnerable residents in their area.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/council-tax-covid-19-hardship-fund-2020-to-2021-guidance

 

The European Commission Introduces temporary increase in state aid limits to 800,000 Euros

24 March 2020

A temporary increase in state aid limits to 800,000 Euros has been announced: Grants, selective tax advantages and advance payments: Member States will be able to set up schemes to grant up to €800,000 to a company to address its urgent liquidity needs in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_496

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on business support grant funding

24 March 2020

Guidance has been released for England setting out details and eligibility criteria for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF); and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

It informs local authorities about the operation and delivery of the 2 funding schemes.

[N.B. Clarifications on this guidance are anticipated to be released shortly. The link is to the guidance as released on 24/03/20.]

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874772/small-business-grant-fund-and-retail-guidance.pdf

 

Government letter to Local Authorities

20 March 2020

Letter to Chief Executives, CFOs and Revs and Bens managers outlining housing measures in response to Coronavirus announced by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the 20th of March. 

Click here to view letter

 

VT Hearing cancellations: Covid-19 Virus 

19 March 2020

Message from Tony Masella Chief Executive & Chief Operating Officer

Over the last 24-hours we’ve had extensive dialogue with appellants and respondents who have expressed their concerns about attending tribunal hearings. This coupled with the a number of external venues cancelling pre-arranged bookings has resulted in the collapse of 17 tribunals hearings. We are reviewing matters minute by minute and trying to make sensible and calm decisions about how we move forward, whilst ensuring that everyone using our service is  appropriately protected. We now find ourselves in a position where continuing to facilitate tribunal hearings is no longer viable in the short term.  

With effect Thursday 19th March 2020, the VTS/VTE will be postponing all tribunal hearings until the 30 April 2020. This will allow us a period to reassess how best to deliver our services. We will be looking in to whether we are able to maintain business by dealing with later hearings without face to face interaction. Further updates will be provided in due course.