Q. What is the purpose of this funding?
This funding is being made available to support businesses that pay business rates who have been required to close or who have adapted their business due to local or national restrictions.
Q. How much funding will be provided?
Funding will be dependent on when the business began trading, what business rates are paid and how the business status was affected during the national and local restrictions.
Q. Are these grants subject to tax?
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.
Q. Are there any conditions attached to this grant funding?
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.
Q. Is there a date when businesses need to have started trading by to receive an LRSG Continuous Payment Grant?
The business must have been trading the day before restrictions came into force.
National Lockdown 16 February to 31 March 2021 - this date is 15 February 2021.
Q. If a business closes because employees are self-isolating, would it be eligible to receive grants through this scheme?
Q. How long can businesses expect to wait for payment if they are eligible?
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.
Q. Will parish councils be eligible for this fund?
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.
Q. Are pubs that provide a takeaway service eligible for a grant under the LRSG Continuous Payment?
Yes, any business that has been required to close the part of its business that provides its main service is eligible for an LRSG CP 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, local authorities are expected to use their discretion and make this judgement based on their local knowledge. In those cases, we may ask for additional evidence to allow us to process your application.
Q. Are non-essential retail businesses that offer click and collect services considered closed and eligible for this scheme?
Businesses that are mandated to close under LCAL 3 restrictions that offer a click and collect service, would be eligible for LRSG Continuous Payment Grant.
Q. Are businesses that are adversely impacted by local restrictions eligible for support under LRSG Continuous Payment e.g. event companies, supply chain businesses?
Some businesses adversely impacted by local restrictions, but not mandated to close by government, will not receive funding under LRSG CP. However, those businesses may be eligible for support under the Additional Restrictions Grant Extension.
Further information regarding the different grants covered by the LRSG Continuous Payment scheme can be found on our COVID Business Grants page.
Q. Can businesses with multiple properties claim multiple grants?
Eligible businesses that are within the relevant local authority area covered by localised restrictions can receive a LRSG CP 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.
Q. If one hereditament accommodates multiple services and only some of which are required to close, will it be eligible to receive a LRSG continuous payment grant?
In this instance, the hereditament will be eligible to receive a grant if the business is subject to national or local restrictions which resulted in the business closing or being severely impacted by their tier restrictions. Local authorities will be required to exercise their discretion and judge whether this is the case, based on their local knowledge.
Q. Is there any limit on the number of different hereditaments a business can claim a grant for?
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.
Q. If only part of a business closes, can it get the grant?
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. In those cases, we may ask for additional evidence to allow us to process your application.
Q. Can businesses that are eligible but don’t want or need funding opt out?
A business may decline the grant.
Q. What discretion do local authorities have regarding rating list details?
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.
Q. What happens where there is more than one liable party per property? Do they get a grant each, or are they expected to share?
Each hereditament will only have one registered ratepayer. They will take receipt of the grant.
Q. How should grants be administered where a business is in administration or liquidation?
These grants have been created to provide support to active businesses. Businesses will need to confirm they are not in liquidation 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.
Q. How can I check updates to my application?
Log in to your MyHuntingdonshire account.
Once signed in, click on 'Track my requests'
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.
This will then open as below - click on the 'Notes' tab to view any updates.
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.
Please be aware that an eligible, complete, and correct application takes up to 15 working days to process to payment. Payment instructions can take an additional 3-5 working days for banks to process.
Example Application Timeline:
Application form and correct documents submitted on 1 March
Initial processing and identity validation - up to 5 working days
Third party fraud checks – up to 9 working days
Payment processing – 1 working day
Payment to arrive within bank account 3-5 working days
Payment likely to be received by 26 March
Q. What is the appeals process for businesses under this scheme?
There is no appeals procedure. It is up to local authorities to apply the guidance as they see fit.
Q. What should a local authority do if it detects or suspects fraud through this scheme?
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.
We recommend local authorities report it simultaneously to the dedicated inboxes at the National Anti-Fraud Network and the National Investigation Service. Local authorities may be contacted for further information to assist with lines of enquiry being pursued.
Q. Do State aid rules apply to business grants provided under this scheme?
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 – EUR 200,000 over three years under the De Minimis Regulation, or EUR 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 EUR 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 Authorities1 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.