This grant relates to the national lockdown that was announced by the government to run between 5 November and 2 December 2020. The funding stream is called the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG Closed).

This funding is being made available to support businesses that have been required to close.

The LRSG (Closed) Scheme payment thresholds are:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants to be £1,334 per 28 days

  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and below £51,000, grants to be £2,000 per 28 days

  • For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants to be £3,000 per 28 days.

Grant income received by a business is taxable, therefore the Support Grant will be subject to tax. Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Recipients of grant funding must comply with all the scheme conditions, including eligibility, State aid requirements, and the provision of information to the local authority to support monitoring and assurance. By accepting the grant each recipient confirms that they are eligible for the scheme.

If a local authority subsequently finds that this self-declaration is incorrect it will be able to take action and the business would be liable for clawback.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme will only apply for the current financial year. Funds should be paid out to businesses by local authorities as soon as possible.

The scheme will close on 31 January 2021.

The business must have been trading the day before restrictions came into force – to clarify, this date is 4 November 2020.

Guidance for local restrictions published on GOV.UK clearly sets out which businesses and venues have been required by law to close. Those eligible for grants will be businesses that have been offering direct, in-person services but are unable to continue with their main service following the commencement of local restrictions.

If a business has subsequently provided an alternative service (for example a restaurant/pub providing takeaway-only meals) it would still be eligible as it has been required to close the part of its business that provides its main service.

Guidance may also state which businesses must alter their services or operating hours. However, it is only those that are specifically required to close that are in the purview of this grant scheme.

For further detail see the Local Restrictions Support Grant guidance.

The hereditament will be eligible to receive a grant through the LRSG scheme if the business is required to close its main service. Local authorities will be required to exercise their discretion and judge whether this is the case based on their local knowledge.

Yes, they could fall under non-essential retail and can apply if they have a Business Rates number. Please note when applying you will need to upload evidence of your charity commission number.

The business must have been trading the day before restrictions came into force – 4 November 2020.

We anticipate that the process will take up to 15 working days from receipt of valid application, to sending a payment via the BACS banking system. This may seem a long time, but we are required to carry out several checks prior to payment, to ensure each business is eligible for the Support Grant, and to prevent fraud.

When national restrictions end the Local Covid Alert Level system may be reintroduced and the schemes that apply will depend on the alert level in any given area. The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) will continue to provide funding to businesses that are required by law to close and the terms set out in the LRSG (Closed) guidance will apply.

The LRSG (Closed) payment thresholds are:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants to be £1,334 per 28 days

  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and below £51,000, grants to be £2,000 per 28 days

  • For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants to be £3,000 per 28 days.

At the end of national restrictions, payment cycles are reset and will correspond to the funding scheme applicable to the Local Covid Alert Level in that area.

Eligible businesses that are within the relevant local authority area required to close will receive an LRSG (Closed) grant for each eligible hereditament. However, businesses must remain within the financial thresholds set by State aid law, which may be reached if businesses have previously received State aid funding. Please see the ‘State aid’ section for more information.

In this instance the hereditament will be eligible to receive a grant through the LRSG (Closed) if the business is required to close its main service. Local authorities will be required to exercise their discretion and judge whether this is the case, based on their local knowledge.

Yes, town and parish councils are eligible if they meet all the scheme criteria (the precepting authority exclusion does not apply to this fund). Each application must be assessed on its individual facts.

Businesses will be able to claim for any eligible hereditaments within the area established by local restrictions that were on the rating list on the first full day of local restrictions. However, businesses must remain within the financial thresholds set by State aid law, which may be reached if businesses have previously received State aid funding. Please see the ‘State aid’ section on the LRSG webpage for more information.

Yes, any business that is required to close the part of its business that provides its main service is eligible for a LRSG Grant. This is the case even if the business adapts its business model to provide a reduced service, such as takeaways.

We understand that it is not always completely clear if a business has closed the part of its business that provides its main service, however we expect local authorities to use their discretion and make this judgement based on their local knowledge.

Businesses that are ordered to close that offer a click and collect service would be eligible for LRSG (Closed) funding.

No, there are no previous grants that prevent a business being eligible for a LRSG (Closed) grant. However, State aid thresholds will need to be considered by the business.

If a business is forced to close the part of its business that provides its main service then they will be eligible for a grant.

Any changes to the rating list – both to the rateable value and the details – made after the first full day of localised restrictions, including changes that have been backdated to this date, should be ignored for the purposes of eligibility.

Only in cases where it was factually clear to the local authority on the first day of restrictions that the rating list was inaccurate on that date, local authorities may withhold the grant and/or award the grant based on their view of who would have been entitled to the grant had the list been accurate. This is entirely at the discretion of the local authority and only intended to prevent manifest errors.

Each hereditament will only have one registered ratepayer. They will take receipt of the grant.

These grants have been created to provide support to active businesses. Businesses will need to confirm they are not in liquidation in order to receive the grant. Some businesses that fail the undertaking in difficulty test on 31 December 2019 are also ineligible for payments under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities.

For national restrictions from 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020 a 28-day payment cycle will be applied. Grant funding will be provided to Local Authorities for the full 28-day payment cycle. This funding will be provided on a rolling 28-day basis for as long as national restrictions apply.

There is no appeals procedure. It is up to local authorities to apply the guidance as they see fit.

If local authorities detect fraud (successful, rather than attempted) or if they suspect fraud (attempted, as well as actual) that is organised, large scale systematic, or which crosses local authority boundaries, they must report it in real time.

Yes. State aid applies to these schemes, and all recipients are required to comply with the maximum permitted funding under the relevant State aid rules – €200,000 over three years under the De Minimis Regulation, or €800,000 under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities (lower thresholds apply to agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture business). The De Minimis aid and the Temporary Framework can be combined to bring the aid per company to up to €1 million. Any business that has reached the limits of payments permissible under the De Minimis and the UK Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework will not be able to receive further grant funding.

Excluding small and micro undertakings (fewer than 50 employees and less than €10 million of annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet), a business receiving grant paid under the Temporary Framework must also confirm that they were not an undertaking in difficulty on 31 December 2019. This exemption for small and micro undertakings does not apply if the undertaking is subject to collective insolvency proceedings under national law, has received rescue aid that has not been repaid, or is subject to a restructuring plan under State aid rules.

Grants provided under the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme can be made under either the De Minimis Regulation (where the relevant conditions are met), or under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities where for example, the De Minimis threshold has been reached. Local Authorities must ensure all relevant State aid law requirements are complied with including any relevant reporting requirements to the EU Commission under State aid rules.

Businesses will be required to confirm that they comply with the scheme conditions, for example that they did not fall within the definition of an undertaking in difficulty on 31 December 2019 (excluding small and micro businesses) and have not received more than the maximum permitted funding for State aid. Local authorities will write to businesses to ask for confirmation of this.

How can I check updates to my application?

Log in to your MyHuntingdonshire account.

Once signed in, click on 'Track my requests'

Click on Track my requests on the navigation bar

Click on the 'Complete' tab and then click on the arrow for the relevant application. You can find the application reference number (which is a string of 8 capital letters) on the email that was sent to you when you submitted your application for a grant. It can also be found under the Documents tab, where you application has been uploaded.

Click on Complete and then the go button

This will then open as below - click on the 'Notes' tab to view any updates.

Click on Notes

Please note that a Note will be added here when your application has undergone its initial validation check. We will notify you here if it has passed and moved on to mandatory pre-payment and anti-fraud checks or if it has failed, stating the reasons why.

If there are no Notes here your application is still in the queue for review by the team, which we aim to complete within 3-5 working days of submission.