Business loans, rates and grants

Here you can access further information on what is available to you as part of the Government's "unprecedented" support package for businesses.

Please click on the links below for more information relating to:

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

A business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England is being introduced for the 2020/21 tax year. There is no need to do anything – this will automatically be applied to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge - they will do this as soon as possible.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019/20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  • properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:
    • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
    • for assembly and leisure
    • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Click here to estimate the business charge rate you will no longer have to pay and, if you’d like further guidance, click here to visit the Government’s website.

Small businesses paying little or no business rates

The Government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme Funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates. This may be because of the small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.

The Small Business Grant Scheme will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property

There is no need to do anything to access the scheme - your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme has now been provided and can be viewed by clicking here.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority - this can be found by clicking here.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant – so you do not need to do anything at this time. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme has now been provided and can be viewed by clicking here.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to your relevant local authority – this can be found by clicking here.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), delivered by the British Business Bank through 40+ accredited lenders and partners, has been launched to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses in accessing bank lending and overdrafts.

The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website, which can be accessed by clicking here.

We would encourage you to click and read the following documents and, if you have any queries, please get in touch with your usual Jerroms contact in the first instance:

Support for businesses through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's "Bounce Back" loan scheme will help with ensuring small businesses affected by Coronavirus (COVIS-19) can access vital cash.

The scheme will offer businesses loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 and will be accessed by completing a two-page self-certification form online.

Small businesses can apply for the 100 per cent taxpayer-backed loan from Monday 4 May 2020.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months and the Government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

Eligibility

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • was not an 'undertaking in difficulty' on 31 December 2019

Who cannot apply

  • banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector bodies
  • further-education establishments, if they are grant funded
  • state-funded primary and secondary schools

What happens if you are already claiming funding?

You cannot apply if you're already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

However, if you've already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.

Pivot and Prosper Grant Scheme

A £2 million Pivot and Prosper Grant Scheme has been launched by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), giving businesses the opportunity to apply for match funding up to £40,000.

This new scheme is designed to help businesses in adapting to the changing economic environment caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

There is an online application process to apply for the grant - and the deadline is 5pm on Friday 17 July 2020.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify, you must fulfil the criteria for location, sector and business size as follows:

Location

You will need to be based in one of the nine local authority areas of:

  • Birmingham
  • Solihull
  • East Staffordshire
  • Cannock Chase
  • Lichfield
  • Tamworth
  • Redditch
  • Bromsgrove
  • Wyre Forest

Sector

Your business will need to operate in one of the following sectors:

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Business Professional and Financial Services
  • Creative Industries
  • Energy and Low Carbon
  • Life Sciences
  • Food and Drink

Business Size

The company must employ between 10 and 100 members of staff.

To apply for funding or for more information about GBSLEP's Step Forward business support schemes, please visit https://www.yourstepforward.co.uk/

 Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

The Government has announced that they have allocated additional funding of up to £617 million across Local Authorities in England in the form of a Discretionary Grant Fund. There is still a lot unknown about the application process and even the eligibility criteria, as this will ultimately depend on the individual Local Authorities, with grants only administered at their discretion.

What is the Discretionary Grant Fund?

This additional funding will accommodate certain small and micro businesses with fixed building costs, who may have previously found themselves outside the scope of other business grant funds already available.

The £617 million will be divided across English Local Authorities in proportion to the amount they will pay out under the existing grant scheme, namely the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funds.

Who is eligible?

Each individual Local Authority will be responsible for defining its precise eligibility for this fund and grants will only be paid at their discretion.

What we do know is that the Government has identified the following businesses as a priority:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces such as units in industrial parks or incubators
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • B&Bs that pay Council Tax rather than business rates
  • 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, Local Authorities may choose to pay grants to businesses outside of the above depending on the local economic need - providing that the grants are aimed at:

  • Businesses based in England
  • Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs, such as rent
  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees
  • Businesses that were trading on 11 March
  • Businesses that can demonstrate that they've suffered a significant fall in income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak

Please note that businesses already in receipt of support from the Small Business Grant, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant or the Self Employed Income Support Scheme are not eligible for this particular grant. You cannot apply for this grant if your business is in administration, insolvent or has received a striking-off notice.

How much is available and how can you access the fund?

Grants will be capped at a maximum of £25,000, with the next tier down being £10,000. Local Authorities will be able to pay grants at their discretion to any amount under £10,000.

To access the fund, you will need to contact your Local Authority who will determine whether you are eligible. If you meet their criteria, please bear in mind that they will need to set up an entirely new system so that they can make payments to businesses that do not have their own ratings assessments. This is likely to take some time, so funding may not be immediately available, but your Local Authority will be able to advise you further on this.

For further information, please click here to be redirected to GOV.UK website.

Update: Solihull Council launches its Discretionary Business Fund on 26 May 2020.

Solihull Council has opened the application process for its Discretionary Fund with a deadline of 7 June 2020. To see their specific eligibility criteria and for more information on how to apply, please visit the Council's website by clicking here.

Please note you will only be able to apply if Solihull Council is your local authority. You can check this by clicking here.

Support for the larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. All UK businesses are eligible and the scheme is now available. More information is also available from the Bank of England and can be accessed by clicking here.

Get In Touch

Please get in touch if you want to talk more about how we can help you.
We offer an initial consultation free of charge which gives us the chance to meet and discuss your needs, with no obligation.

Accountants in Solihull

Lumaneri House, Blythe Gate, Blythe Valley Park, Solihull, B90 8AH

0121 693 5000

Accountants in Bromsgrove

Five Mile House, 128 Hanbury Road, Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove, B60 4JZ

01527 833124

Accountants in Coleshill

112 High Street, Coleshill, Warwickshire, B46 3BL

01675 466344

Jerroms is a trading style of both Jerroms Business Solutions Limited 08923059 and Jerroms (Bromsgrove) Limited 08433008.
Registered office for each of these companies is: Lumaneri House, Blythe Gate, Blythe Valley Park, Solihull, B90 8AH