Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Lancashire – get vaccinated, get tested and #LetsKeepLancashireSafe. Further information: gov.uk. Help and advice: Ribble Valley Community Hub (01200 414597)

Coronavirus Information

Business and Charity Support

We know this is a very worrying time for businesses and their employees and we recognise the sacrifices and changes people must make in the current emergency.

However, there will be an end to coronavirus so it's important that, once we get through this period our businesses are in the best possible position to move forward.

We welcome the various government announcements of support for businesses.

If your business is struggling to pay your business rates we want you to get in touch with us as quickly as possible. We are here to listen to your individual circumstances and will consider alternative payment arrangements. Please contact us at businessrates@ribblevalley.gov.uk providing us with as much information as possible regarding your circumstances.

We are committed to keep you updated with all the latest information through our website and social media channels.

In response to the Coronavirus, the Government have announced various support measures for businesses.

For more information please visit the government's website - COVID-19: Support for Businesses

Latest update

2.7.21

Additional Restriction Grants (ARG)

The Council has now closed its ARG Scheme as the £1.758m funds available have now been fully allocated . Further Government funding is expected to be available in the future.  Once we have any more information it will be made available here.

Top-Up Grants for Strand One Restart Grants

If your business is in the non-essential retail sector and you have been paid a Restart Grant we will have contacted you for further information to automatically pay you a Top-Up Grant.

Top-Up Grants for ARG Businesses

If you have already been paid an ARG Grant we will have contacted you so that we can pay you a Top-Up Grant.

Grants Available

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) (NOW CLOSED AS FUNDING FULLY ALLOCATED) 

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

The Government recognised that some businesses that are required to close may not have rateable commercial premises (and therefore won’t be covered by the LRSG scheme), and others won’t have been forced to close, but they will be severely impacted due to Local and/or National Lockdown restrictions. As such Local Authorities have been allocated Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which will cover businesses that fall into these categories.

This grants scheme is funded by a grant allocation we have received from Central Government and the funds will be administered by the Council in accordance with the guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant

Timeline

Applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant Period 1 and Period 2 will need to be submitted using the online application form by 31 January 2021.

Applications for Period 3 and Period 4 Grants will remain open whilst Ribble Valley remains under local/national restrictions and there is also funding available from the Government.

There are 4 qualifying periods;

  • Period 1 Grants - 44 days in total from 22 September 2020 to 4 November ie the Period that Ribble Valley was in the Tier 2 followed by the Tier 3 Local restrictions.
  • Period 2 Grants - 28 days from 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020 ie the Period of National Lockdown restrictions.
  • Period 3 Grants - from 2 December 2020 until 4 January 2021
  • Period 4 Grants - from 5 January onwards

In addition there is an Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) Top-UP Grant payable to businesses who qualify for an ARG and meet the eligibility criteria.

Businesses may qualify for more than one Period of funding depending on them meeting the eligibility criteria below

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Period 1 Grants
  1. Ribble Valley businesses which are on the rating list and
    • Supply goods or services to the Hospitality, Leisure and Accommodation sectors but not been legally required to close (and therefore ineligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed schemes) and
    • Were severely impacted by the Tier 2 (22 September - 16 October) / Tier 3 (17 October - 4 November) restrictions.

OR

  1. Ribble Valley Bed and Breakfast businesses which are not on the rating list but registered for Council Tax and which were severely impacted* by the Tier 2 (22 September - 16 October) / Tier 3 (17 October - 4 November) restrictions.

To be eligible for Period 2 Grants:

  • Ribble Valley businesses which are not on the rating list (and are therefore ineligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed schemes) that occupy premises (with fixed property costs**) and have been legally required to close due the National Lockdown restrictions from 5 November to 2 December 2020,

OR

  • Ribble Valley businesses, with or without rateable premises, which are severely impacted* by business closures caused by the National Lockdown Restrictions from 5 November to 2 December 2020 but which may not be required to close themselves. These businesses will include those that provide products and services to closed businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.

To be eligible for Period 3 Grants:

  • Ribble Valley businesses which are on the rating list and
    • Supply goods or services to the Hospitality, Leisure and Accommodation sectors but not been legally required to close (and therefore ineligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed schemes) and
    • Were severely impacted by the Tier 3/Tier 4 restrictions from 2 December 2020 to 4 January 2021,

OR

  • Ribble Valley Bed and Breakfast businesses which are not on the rating list but registered for Council Tax and which were severely impacted* by the Tier 3/Tier 4 restrictions from 2 December 2020 to 4 January 2021.

To be eligible for Period 4 Grants

  • Ribble Valley businesses which are not on the rating list (and are therefore ineligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed schemes) that occupy premises (with fixed property costs**) and have been legally required to close due the National Lockdown restrictions from 5 January 2021,

    •  OR
  • Ribble Valley businesses, with or without rateable premises, which are severely impacted* by business closures caused by the National Lockdown Restrictions from 5 January 2021 but which may not be required to close themselves. These businesses will include those that provide products and services to closed businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.

Successful applicants who prevously received an Additional Restrictions Support Grant will automatically be paid for period 3/4 grants and therefore do not need to reapply.

* Severely Impacted – A statement will be required from the company showing that at least 50% of their revenue comes from businesses required to close within the defined sectors, and that this will have an impact on their income of at least 30%.

** Fixed Costs – any costs relating to the operation of the business that cannot be cancelled during this period. These could include property costs such as rent for non-rateable commercial premises, utilities, etc. Fixed costs do not include employee costs.

Exclusions to the Additional Restrictions Grant

  1. Businesses whose main business is outside the Ribble Valley.
  2. Businesses that are eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grants
  3. Businesses that are able to continue to trade and have suffered a drop in income of less than 30%
  4. Businesses that have chosen to close but not been required to will not be eligible for this grant, unless they can demonstrate Severe Impact** through cancelled orders for products and services to closed businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure or events sectors.
  5. Where a number of businesses share premises with a common ownership, then if approved only one grant (LRSG or ARG) will be awarded.
  6. Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.
  7. The ARG scheme is not intended to act as a wage support measure for individuals/self-employed.
  8. For the avoidance of doubt, businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Grant Levels

Grants will be awarded on the following basis:

Period 1

Rateable Value

28 Days

22 September 2020 to 19 October 2020

16 Days

20 October 2020 to 4 November 2020

Less than or equal to £15,000

£934

£534

Greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000

£1,400

£800

Greater than or equal to £51,000

£2,100

£1,200

For businesses not required to close

Period 2

28 Days National Lockdown Restrictions Applied

Rateable Value or equivalent (see below)

5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020

No rateable value and low fixed costs

£500

Less than or equal to £15,000

£934

Greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000

£1,400

Greater than or equal to £51,000

£2,100

For businesses legally required to close

Period 2

28 Days National Lockdown Restrictions Applied

Rateable Value or equivalent (see below

5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020

No rateable value and low fixed costs

£500

Less than or equal to £15,000

£1,334

Greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000

£2,000

Greater than or equal to £51,000

£3,000

For businesses not legally required to close

Period 3

Rateable Value or equivalent (see below)

Each 14 day period Tier 3 local restrictions applied from 2 December - 30 December 2020

Less than or equal to £15,000

£467

Greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000

£700

Greater than or equal to £51,000

£1,050

For businesses legally required to close

Period 3

Rateable Value or equivalent (see below)

Each 14 day period Tier 3 local restrictions applied from 2 December - 30 December 2020

Less than or equal to £15,000

£667

Greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000

£1,000

Greater than or equal to £51,000

£1,500

Payment will be made pro rata for the 30 December 2020.

For businesses not legally required to close Period 3
Rateable Value or equivalent (see below) The 5 day period Tier 4 local restrictions applied from 31 December 2020 – 4 January 2021
Less than or eqal to £15,000 £167
Greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000 £250
Greater than or equal to £51,000 £375
For businesses legally required to close Period 3
Rateable Value or equivalent (see below) The 5 day period Tier 4 local restrictions applied from 31 December 2020 – 4 January 2021
No Rateable Value £89
Less than or equal to £15,000 £238
Greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000 £357
Greater than or equal to £51,000 £535
For businesses not legally required to close Period 4
Rateable Value or equivalent (see below) 42 day period from 5 January to 15 February 2021 when National Lockdown restrictions apply 44 day period from 16 February to 31 March 2021 when National Lockdown restrictions apply
No Rateable Value £750 £750
Less than or equal to £15,000 £1,401 £1,468
Greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000 £2,100 £2,200
Greater than or equal to £51,000 £3,150 £3,300
For businesses legally required to close Period 4
Rateable Value or equivalent (see below) 42 day period from 5 January to 15 February 2021 when National Lockdown restrictions apply 44 day period from 16 February to 31 March 2021 when National Lockdown restrictions apply
No Rateable Value £750 £750
Less than or equal to £15,000 £2,001 £2,096
Greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000 £3,000 £3,143
Greater than or equal to £51,000 £4,500 £4,714

For Period 2 and 4 (i.e during National Lockdown Restrictions) where a property does not have a rateable value or is part of a larger rateable value, rents paid and the size of the business will be used to provide a professional judgement by officers on the level of grant that should be applied. For most businesses without a rateable value it is likely the maximum award will be £500.

Evidence

Closed businesses applying for ARG funding will be required to make a statement that confirms their eligibility. The council places responsibility on the applicant to agree that their statement is correct to the best of their knowledge. In addition, businesses that are required to close will need to provide evidence of their trading status. This will be in the form of a bank statement (showing business/applicant’s name, registered address with income within the last 3 months).

Open businesses that are applying for ARG funding will be required to make a statement that confirms their eligibility. The council places responsibility on the applicant to agree that their statement is correct to the best of their knowledge. In addition, businesses that are not required to close will need to provide evidence to demonstrate they supply companies that are required to close and an impact on income. This will be in the form of a bank statement (showing the business name or applicant’s name, registered address with income within the last 3 months) and an invoice (showing the business name, client name and registered address dated within the last 3 months).

General Conditions

  1. Any canvassing of officers or members would result in an application being refused.
  2. The business will need to be trading*** within the Ribble Valley.
  3. The business must have been actively trading on and before the day the restrictions commenced.
  4. A business that has more than one property will be eligible to submit an application for each actively trading property.
  5. Additional Restrictions Grants will be paid subject to State Aid regulations, meaning the business needs to check that they comply with State Aid rules and inform the Local Authority accordingly prior to payment being made. If State Aid rules are breached the responsibility lies with the applicant and, in line with the legislations, the Council can take action to recover the funding.
  6. We reserve the right to close the scheme at short notice – potential applicants should apply without delay
  7. Unsuccessful applicants will be advised of the outcome of an application by email. There is no right to appeal a decision
  8. Payment will be made by BACS into the business bank account using the information provided in the application form.
  9. Dependent on demand, we reserve the right to amend the level of grants as necessary. We also reserve the right to change the qualifying criteria at short notice if it feels it is appropriate to do so, reflecting changing circumstances and demand on funds.

***Trading – a business that even if not registered within the borough on Companies House, has a presence in the area and is clearly trading from an address within the borough.

Managing the risk of fraud

Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud and any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any issued funding will be subject to claw back, as may grants paid in error.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about grants please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Previous Business Support Grants

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) (Closed)

These Government Grants were payable to businesses who were legally required to close during local restrictions.  

Applications for this grant closed on 31 March 2021.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) (Open)

This was a discretionary grant for businesses not legally required to close but severely impacted on or after the date Lancashire entered local restrictions on 22 September 2020. 

Applications for this grant closed on 31 March 2021.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) (Closed) Addendum

A mandatory grant for businesses legally required to close during lockdown.  

Applications for this grant closed on 31 March 2021 and 31 May 2021 (for the period 16 February - 31 March 2021)

Closed Business Lockdown Payment

A one-off grant for businesses legally required to close from 5 January 2021.  

Applications for this grant closed on 31 March 2021.

Christmas Support Payment for Wet-Led Pubs

A £1,000 grant payable to wet-led pubs where local restrictions apply.

Applications for this grant closed on 31 March 2021.

Restart Grants

A one-off grant for businesses legally required to close during the lockdown - liable for business rates and trading on 1 April 2021.

Applications for this grant closed on 30 June 2021.

Small Business and Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants

Through the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, Ribble Valley Borough Council were able to support 1,544 businesses in the Ribble Valley with grants totalling £17.26m.

These grants have been vital to our local economy – helping ensure the survival of shops, cafes, hotels, restaurants and many other companies.

This grant scheme closed on 28 August 2020.

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

The Government allocated an additional £867,750 to help us deliver the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund to help those businesses who have been affected by the pandemic but were outside the scope of the existing Small Business Grants scheme and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme.

Through the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, Ribble Valley Borough Council were able to support an additional 135 businesses in Ribble Valley.

This grant scheme closed on 28 August 2020.

Expanded Retail Discount

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic the Government introduced a 100% Business Rates discount, for 2020/21, for hereditaments that met the criteria for the expanded retail discount. At Budget 2021, the Government announced an extension of the 100% discount for 3 months until 30 June 2021 for eligible businesses. A further 66% discount will apply for the period 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 for eligible businesses subject to a cap of £2 million for businesses that were required to close on 5 January 2021 and £105,000 for other eligible businesses. This discount will be applied to the bill after the application of any reliefs, excluding any local discounts. Ratepayers do not need to take any action as the relief will be automatically granted where possible.

If you have not been awarded this relief and believe that you are eligible please email businessrates@ribblevalley.gov.uk detailing why you believe that you meet the criteria.

Detailed guidance relating to this discount and the cap can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-expanded-retail-discount-2021-to-2022-local-authority-guidance/business-rates-expanded-retail-discount-2021-to-2022-local-authority-guidance.

Nursery Discount

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic the Government introduced a 100% Business Rates discount, for 2020/21, for hereditaments occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register that are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage. At the 2021 budget the Chancellor announced that he would extend this 100% discount for a further 3 months to 30 June 2021. A further 66% discount will apply for the period 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 for eligible businesses up to a cap of £105,000 per business i.e. no business can in any circumstances exceed the £105,000 cap across all their hereditaments. This means that businesses that have more than one premises will only be able to receive a total of £105,000 for all of them combined. Ratepayers do not need to take any action as the relief will be automatically granted where possible.

If you have not been awarded this relief and believe that you are eligible please email businessrates@ribblevalley.gov.uk detailing why you believe that you meet the criteria.

Detailed guidance relating to this discount and the cap can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-nursery-childcare-discount-2021-to-2022-local-authority-guidance.

Charities and Community Groups

Locality is providing information on funding available to charities and community groups. For more information see https://locality.org.uk/services-tools/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-support/covid-19-funding/

As a result of the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak the Community Foundation for Lancashire has launched the Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund for community and voluntary organisations on the frontline. For more information see https://lancsfoundation.org.uk/funds/lancashire-covid-19-community-support-fund

Social distancing posters/notices

Download posters for businesses who can remain open to use on their premises to help enforce social distancing: Download Covid-19 Social Distancing Pub Posters.

Health and Safety Advice

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