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Grants for businesses

Stroud District Council is administering a number of Government schemes of grants and business rate relief to help businesses through the Coronavirus pandemic. This page is regularly updated so please check back, and follow our social media channels for updates.

Discretionary Grant Scheme

The Discretionary Grant Scheme Application Portal is now closed for applications. We will now be considering all applications that have been submitted..

 Stroud District Council has been given additional funding by Central Government to help business whose trade has been affected by the covid-19 crises but who were ineligible for help under the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

Central Government have issued guidance to Stroud District Council for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund, and have indicated several types of business model that should be given priority when applying.  These are:

 (a) Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces e.g. industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc., which do not have their own business rates assessment;

(b) Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;

(c) Bed and Breakfast premises which pay council tax instead of business rates; and

(d) Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

 

However, the final local policy is at the discretion of Stroud District Council and a copy (including the qualifying definition for each of the above) can be viewed below.

Stroud District Council have decided that priority will also be given to local independent businesses that are in the hospitality sector such as bars, restaurants, cafés, nightclubs, public houses and boutique hotels which are eligible for the Expanded Retail Discount and have a rateable value of £51,000 or greater but below £105,001  

In order to fairly administer the scheme, the Council has decided that awards will be determined as follows:

  • There will be a two-week period during which applications can be made. This will be between 9am on 9th June 2020 until midnight 21st June 2020;
  • Once the application period is closed, all awards will be considered against the criteria laid down within this scheme. The Council aims to commence paying grants from 25th June;

Depending on the number of applications and the amount left in the grant fund, the Council reserves the right to provide other application periods if appropriate

Applications for consideration for a discretionary grant need to be submitted via the link below.  But before starting an application please note that as part of the application you will need to attach a copy of an up to date bank statement, a copy of your tenancy / rental or mortgage agreement, copies of your accounts for March – June together with a copy of your accounts for the same time last year.  Other specific information may also be required depending upon the nature of your business.

Discretionary Business Support Grant Funding Guidance

Stroud Discretionary Business Grant Policy

Discretionary Grant Scheme Frequently Asked Questions

 

Business Support Grant Scheme

Scheme 1 – Business Support Grants Fund 

The current proposal is that all properties in receipt of rural rate relief or small business rates relief on 11th March, including those in receipt of tapered relief, will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000.

Scheme 2 – Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund

Businesses in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property.

For eligible businesses occupying properties with rateable values of:

  • £15,000 or less on 11 March 2020 the grant is £10,000
  • £15,001 and £51,000 on 11 March 2020 the grant is £25,000

We have started to make the payments without the need for an application. As of Wednesday 8 April we have paid £10million in grant payments with payment runs being made every working day.

We may need to contact you direct, so to help with this please email the name and address of your business along with the account reference (if know) and a contact telephone number to business.rates@stroud.gov.uk.

We’ve have received thousands of emails and calls over the past week and are working through them all, but it will take time – please bear with us.

If you are concerned that you cannot make the rent payment for your business premises please see the link above for advice from the Government.

Further information

Grant scheme portal

The portal is now open for eligible claims.

In a number of cases we are able to make payments directly, for example where businesses pay their business rates by direct debit.

However in some cases we will need to take bank account details in order to make a payment. If this applies to your business, please submit your details on our online portal.

Extra protection for businesses who rent premises

GFirst LEP - the Local Economic Partnership for Gloucestershire Stroud District Council works closely with GFirst LEP.  GFirst LEP is leading the provision of support for businesses through the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Please view www.gfirstlep.com/news/coronavirus-updates to access up to date news, advice and support that is available for your business.

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction - view www.gov.uk for details.

Expanded Retail Discount

The Government announced in the Budget on 29 October 2018 that it would provide a Business Rates Retail Discount, to apply in the years 2019/20 and 2020/21. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, in the Budget on 11 March the Government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors. Following the announcement on 23 March 2020 of further measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, the Government confirmed that some of the exclusions for this relief have been removed, so that retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that will have had to close as a result of the restriction measures will now be eligible for the relief.

This relief will apply to retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief.

Businesses already awarded the 50% retail discount on their annual bill for 2020/21, an amended bill showing the 100% discount has been issued.

  • We’ve identified businesses under the leisure and hospitality sector that qualify for the extended retail discount. Amended bills showing the 100% discount have been issued.
  • We’ve identified the businesses now included as a result of the discount being expanded to remove the rateable value limit and are currently issuing revised bills.
  • We have stopped directs debits to be collected on 1 April 2020

For further guidance please click the link below:

Expanded Relief Guidance

Nursery Discount

We have now been given guidance regarding a business rates nursery discount.  Please see link below for qualifying criteria.

Nursery Discount Guidance

The relief will apply to properties occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

We have identified the businesses that qualify for the nursery discount and amended bills showing the 100% discount have now been issued.

State aid

 

Whilst the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the government and the EU provides that during a transition period, state aid rules will continue to apply and be subject to control by the EU Commission as it is currently. The government has notified the EU of its intention to bring forward an immediate change to the UK’s tax treatment of non-domestic property, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, and to seek clearance under Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Subject to this approval, the Expanded Retail Discount scheme, the Nursery discount scheme will become a notified state aid.

 

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