Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Plan B measures to tackle coronavirus have now been lifted, but you should still get vaccinated, get tested and self-isolate if required. Further information: gov.uk.

Coronavirus Information

Business and Charity Support

We know this continues to be a very worrying time for businesses and their employees.

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

25.01.22

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

The Government announced a new scheme to support hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses in England who are liable for business rate and were trading as of 31 December 2021.

The scheme is a one-off grant called Omicron Hospitality and leisure Grants and the amount a business receives will depend on their rateable value.

The full detailed guidance provided to local authorities can be found at Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant Guidance (PDF, 276KB

Before you apply you need to gather the following information:

  • full bank statement dated within the past three months
  • utility statement for your business property dated within the last three months
  • your unique business rates reference number (located in the top right hand corner of your NNDR/business rates bill from the council and begins with a 5 or 6)
  • full details of all the business grants you have received to date alongside any other public funding or subsidies your business entity has received over the last three fiscal years
  • Your unique business reference number (either company number, charity number, unique taxpayer reference number, VAT number, national insurance number or self-assessment/partnership number)

We would ask you to click on the link below to read the eligibility details carefully and apply as soon as possible if you are eligible.  The closing date for applications for this scheme is 28 February 2022.

We are working hard to ensure that grants will be paid as soon as we can and thank you for your patience whilst we process the applications and payments.

New Omicron Additional Restrictions Grant (early 2022)

The Government have announced a third top up amount to local authorities for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), to support businesses severely impacted by the rise of the Omicron variant, whereby grants will be issued at the discretion of the local authority and will be based on local economic need.

While updated guidance has been received for this grant scheme, there is not yet an indication as to how much further funding will be made available to the council to administer this scheme.

A policy document setting out the full eligibility criteria will appear here later in January when funding allocations have been confirmed.

A link to the online application form will appear here when available.

GOV.UK have information on further financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

This is an additional discretionary relief that Local Authorities can give businesses that have suffered hardship due to Covid-19. The relief is available to reduce chargeable amounts in respect of 2021/22. Government guidance on the operation of the scheme can be found at:

COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF): local authority guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The council are now inviting applications, from businesses that may be eligible for Covid 19 Additional Relief. Applications must be submitted using the online form below before 28 February 22. Once all applications have been received the council will determine the level of relief that will be applied to each eligible businesses Business Rates account.

Please note that, in accordance with the guidance, the relief will NOT be available for ratepayers who either are or would have been eligible for the Extended Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure), or the Nursery Discount or the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS), or for a property when it is unoccupied (other than hereditaments which have become closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19).

Additional Restrictions Grant

The ARG funding scheme aims to support businesses severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions when most needed

To support local economic recovery post pandemic, some businesses may need support to enable them to re-open quickly, bring staff and customers safely back to work or to capitalise on new opportunities.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Additional Restriction Grant Programme will be split into 3 strands.

  1. Travel Agents Grant Programme
  2. Business Recovery Grant Programme
  3. Business Growth Grant Programme

Latest Grants/Reliefs

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Who is eligible

Grants are payable to hospitality, leisure and accommodation business premises.

Businesses must have been trading or engaged in business activity on 30 December 2021 to be eligible for the grant.

The business who according to the councils records is the ratepayer will receive the grant funding.

The value of the grant

  • businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667
  • businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000
  • businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000

Exclusions to the grant

  • Government guidelines state that hospitality excludes the following businesses:-
    • food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% or more of income) is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes)
  • Government guidelines state that leisure excludes the following businesses:-
    • all retail businesses, coach tour operators, and tour operators
  • Government guidelines state that accommodation excludes the following businesses:-
    • private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres and beach huts
  • businesses that are not in the rating list
  • businesses that are in Administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made
  • businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances will not be eligible to receive funding

Is the support subject to tax

Grant income received by a business is taxable. This grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Closure date for applications

The application closure date for this scheme is 28 February 2022 and final payments must be made by 31 March 2022.

COVID-19 Business Grant Subsidy Allowance:

Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance

Grants may be paid in accordance with Article 364(4) of the TCA, which enables an applicant to receive up to a maximum level of subsidy without engaging Chapter 3 of the TCA. This allowance is up to 325,000 Special Drawing Rights, to a single economic actor over a rolling period of three fiscal years (the “Relevant Period”), which is the equivalent of £335,000 as at 2 March 2021.  An applicant may elect not to receive grants under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and instead receive grants only using the below allowances available under this scheme.

COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance

Where the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance has been reached or an applicant has elected not to receive a grant under this allowance, grants may be paid in compliance with the Principles set out in Article 366 of the TCA and in compliance with Article 364(3) of the TCA under the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance (subsidies granted on a temporary basis to respond to a national or global economic emergency). For the purposes of the COVID-19 Business Grant Schemes, this allowance is  £1,900,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received under other COVID-19 Business Grant Schemes using the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance and any State aid previously received under Section 3.1 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework across any other UK scheme.

This may be combined with the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance to equal £2,235,000 (subject to the exact amount applicable under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator, and any other support an applicant has received under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance in the Relevant Period).

COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance

Where an applicant has reached its limit under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, it may be able to access a further allowance of funding under the COVID-19 Business Grant Schemes of up to £10,000,000 per single economic actor, provided the following conditions are met:

a. the Special Allowance covers only the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs incurred during the period between 1 March 2020 and the date of application, including such costs incurred in any part of that period (‘eligible period’);

b. applicants must demonstrate a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period in 2019. The calculation of losses will be based on audited accounts or official statutory accounts filed at Companies House, or approved accounts submitted to HMRC which includes information on the applicant’s profit

and loss;

c. ‘uncovered fixed costs’ means fixed costs not otherwise covered by profit, insurance or other subsidies;

d. the grant payment must not exceed 70% of the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs, except for micro and small enterprises (for the purposes of this scheme defined as less than 50 employees and less than £9,000,000 of annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet), where the grant payment must not exceed 90% of the uncovered fixed costs;

e. grant payments under this allowance must not exceed £10,000,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any subsidies previously received in accordance with Section 3.12 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework or previously received under the COVID-19 Business Grant Schemes using this COVID-19 Business

Grant Special Allowance; all figures used must be gross, that is, before any deduction of tax or other charge;

f. grants provided under this allowance shall not be cumulated with other subsidies for the same costs

How to apply for the grant:

Complete the application form below:

Apply for an Additional Restrictions Grant button

 

New Omicron Additional Restrictions Grant (early 2022)

Further details will appear here when this grant is available.

Covid-19 Addition Relief Fund (CARF)

The council are now inviting applications, from businesses that have been adversely affected by the pandemic, who may be eligible for Covid 19 Additional Relief. This relief will take the form of a reduction the rates payable by the business. Applications must be submitted using the online form below before 28 February 22. Once all applications have been received the council will determine the level of relief that will be applied to each eligible businesses Business Rates account.

Please note that, in accordance with the guidance, the relief will NOT be available for ratepayers who either are or would have been eligible for the Extended Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure), or the Nursery Discount or already receive 100% Business Rates relief, or for a property when it is unoccupied (other than hereditaments which have become closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19).

Apply for Covid-19 Additional Relief

Additional Restrictions Grant

The ARG funding scheme aims to support businesses severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions when most needed

To support local economic recovery post pandemic, some businesses may need support to enable them to re-open quickly, bring staff and customers safely back to work or to capitalise on new opportunities.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Additional Restriction Grant Programme will be split into 3 strands.

  1. Travel Agents Grant Programme
  2. Business Recovery Grant Programme
  3. Business Growth Grant Programme

Travel Agents Grant Programme of the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme

This one-off grant will be available for Travel Agents located within the Ribble Valley

Travel agents based at home- can apply using the on-line application form for a grant of £1000.

Travel agents with a business premises/ shop- can apply using the on-line application form for a grant of £5000.

Grants will be awarded to eligible businesses on a first come first served basis until the total amount of funding allocated to the Business Recovery Grant has been spent.

Eligibility

Travel agents based at home- Only travel agents based at a residential property in the Ribble Valley can apply for a grant.

Travel agents with a business premises/ shop- Only travel agents trading from a property registered for business rates and based in the Ribble Valley can apply for a grant.

An online application form must be completed to receive the one-off grant payment.

Travel Agents that are in Administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made will not be eligible.

Travel Agents that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted levels of subsidy will not be eligible to receive funding.

Only one application per business is allowed.

For the full Grant eligibility and criteria, please refer to our policy document.

Apply Here

Business Recovery Grant Programme of the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme

The grant will be made available for businesses seeking to invest in their premises and facilities that will enable them to re-open quickly and bring staff and customers safely back to work. The adaptions eligible for this grant must be a direct result of the pandemic.

Businesses which were awarded a Restart Grant are NOT eligible to apply for this grant.

Grants will be made available for eligible expenditure in excess of £5,000. Grants will be made available from £2,500 up to a maximum of £25,000 per business towards 50% of eligible expenditure.

Grants will be awarded as follows:

  • Amount of Eligible Expenditure Intervention Rate: 50% up to a maximum grant of £25,000

Eligibility

Only businesses/ organisations trading from a property registered for business rates and based in the Ribble Valley can apply for a grant.

Businesses must apply to the Council via an online form in order to be considered for a grant payment.

Businesses that are in Administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made will not be eligible.

Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted levels of subsidy will not be eligible to receive funding.

Examples of eligible items include, but are not limited to:

  • Furniture, fittings and equipment to create outside business spaces or to adapt internal workspaces;
  • Access improvements / amendments (i.e. motion sensor doors, queueing adaptations, one-way set-ups, improvised waiting areas etc)
  • Internal adaptations (i.e. relocation of existing fixtures / fittings / services etc. potentially to support revised utilisation of space to ensure social distancing or diversified uses of premises)

The grant cannot be used for the following:

  • Salaries or wage subsidies.
  • Acquisition of land / buildings either directly or indirectly
  • Consultancy, design and statutory application fees
  • Professional fees (e.g. solicitor / surveyor / architect)
  • Personal Protective Equipment, consumable items such as masks/gloves/sanitiser refill etc.
  • Servicing existing business debt
  • Marketing campaigns

Application

The on-line application form for the Business Recovery Grant shall be supported by the submission of the following information:

  • Details of the measures subject to the grant application including their requirement as a direct result of the pandemic.
  • Photographic evidence of the adaptions which have occurred within the business premises subject to the grant application.
  • Invoices for the work undertaken.
  • Bank statements/ receipts for the adaptions undertaken.

Grants will be awarded to eligible businesses on a first come first served basis until the total amount of funding allocated to the Business Recovery Grant has been spent.

Only one application per business is allowed.

For the full Grant eligibility and criteria, please refer to our policy document.

Apply Here

Business Growth Grant Programmes of the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme

This Business Growth Grant Programme is to support economic recovery and assist businesses that are seeking to grow, adapt, diversify, and expand their current operation to support long-term sustainability.

Grants will be made available for eligible expenditure in excess of £5,000. Grants will be made available from £2,500 up to a maximum of £25,000 per business towards 50% of eligible expenditure.

Grants will be awarded as follows:

  • Amount of Eligible Expenditure Intervention Rate: 50% up to a maximum grant of £25,000

Eligibility

Only businesses/ organisations trading from a property registered for business rates and based in the Ribble Valley can apply for a grant.

Businesses must apply to the Council via an online form in order to be considered for a grant payment.

Businesses that are in Administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made will not be eligible.

Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted levels of subsidy will not be eligible to receive funding.

Grants will be awarded as follows:

  • Amount of Eligible Expenditure Intervention Rate: 50% up to a maximum grant of £25,000

Examples of eligible items include, but are not limited to:

  • Improved building ventilation/ air exchange or low carbon heating and green energy solutions.
  • Installation of charging points for business use.
  • Digital hardware and software to enable the adoption of new digital business practices including setting up a new e-commerce or e-POS systems, payment systems or to enable flexible/ remote working etc.
  • Purchase of equipment or machinery to capitalise on new and emerging business opportunities.

The grant cannot be used for the following:

  • Salaries or wage subsidies.
  • Acquisition of land / buildings either directly or indirectly
  • Consultancy, design and statutory application fees
  • Professional fees (e.g. solicitor / surveyor / architect)
  • Personal Protective Equipment, consumable items such as masks/gloves/sanitiser refill etc.
  • Servicing existing business debt
  • Marketing campaigns

Application

The on-line application form for the Business Growth Grant shall be supported by the submission of the following information:

  • Photographic evidence (where applicable) of the measures implemented (charging points/ new equipment etc) at business premises subject to the grant application.
  • Details of the new business practices implemented and why these measures are required for the business sustainability/ growth
  • What emerging business opportunities are being explored.
  • Invoices for the work undertaken.
  • Bank statements/ receipts for the adaptions/ changes undertaken.

Grants will be awarded to eligible businesses on a first come first served basis. Applications will close when the ARG funding has been fully allocated or the 15 March 2022, whichever is the earliest.

Only one application per business is allowed.

For the full Grant eligibility and criteria, please refer to our policy document.

Apply Here

 

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.

Previous Business Support Grants

These grant schemes closed on 28 August 2020

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.

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.

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