Coronavirus Business Support Fund – Urgent Update

A ratepayer can apply online for a £10,000 Small Business Support Grant or the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Support Grant.

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 10 July 2020.

The original scheme has now been extended and now also covers additional categories: I outline the various changes below;

  • Ratepayers with multiple business properties meeting the qualifying criteria are eligible to receive a one-off grant of £10,000 or £25,000 for their first property, and £7,500 or £18,750 for each subsequent qualifying property.
  • Allows small sports clubs that are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme but in receipt of discretionary sports relief to be eligible for the £10,000 Grant Scheme.
  • Now allows small properties in Enterprise Areas that are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme but in receipt of Enterprise Areas relief to be eligible for the £10,000 Grant Scheme.
  • Confirm that Arms’ Length External Organisations will also be made eligible for the Grant Funding Scheme and clarify that public bodies are excluded.

The updated scheme enables ratepayers of properties in the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure sectors, who were previously ineligible for support, to access the Small Business Grant Fund. Since 8 June ratepayers operating properties in Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure where individual rateable values do not exceed £18,000 and total rateable value is between £35,001 and £500,000 will now be able to apply for the Small Business Grant Fund for each of their Retail, Hospitality or Leisure properties.

From 11 May 2020 the £10,000 Small Business Grant Fund includes businesses which are eligible for Small Business Bonus Scheme, but in receipt of Charitable Rates Relief.

The Scottish Government has confirmed changes to the Business Grant Scheme. The amendments enhance accessibility of the scheme, creating an avenue for businesses typically occupying shared spaces that were previously ineligible for the Fund as they were not the named ratepayer for a property. The other amends the cumulative rateable value upper threshold which portfolios of properties must not exceed in order to be eligible. These amendments were implemented on 8 June 2020.

  • Tenants and occupiers: The tenants and/or occupiers of Non-Domestic properties such as shared office spaces, incubators and industrial units, where they are not the ratepayer but can evidence that they are required to contribute towards the charges associated with the Non-Domestic rates liability via the ratepayer for that property may now be eligible for the SBGF, provided the property meets the necessary qualifying criteria, and satisfactory supporting evidence can be provided.
  • Cumulative Rateable Value: Ratepayers that hold one or more properties in the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure (RHL) sector, whose cumulative rateable value (of all RHL and non-RHL properties) is between £35,001 and £51,000, have – since 2 May – been eligible for the SBGF for each of their qualifying Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure properties which has an individual rateable value that does not exceed £18,000. From 2 June, the total cumulative rateable value range will be amended from £35,001 – £51,000 to £35,001 – £500,000

Guidance on the scheme to help Non-Domestic Rate payers in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the website.

If you feel that a property should qualify for a grant as it is broadly similar but not one of the specific property types listed, please complete the form and make the application.

There are a large number of anomalies and different approaches adopted by various Councils so we are recommending Applications are made to review the response.