Business rates support during the Covid 19 pandemic

Welsh Ministers have introduced three non-repayable grant instruments that are linked to non-domestic properties. 

The non-domestic rates (NDR) grant schemes has closed for new applications

The Covid-19 non-domestic rates (NDR) grant schemes closed to new applications at 5pm on 30th June 2020.

Any applications received after 5pm on 30th June 2020 will not be considered.The Grant Schemes will only apply to properties that were on the NDR rating list on 20 March 2020.

If the ratepayer is not on the list at this date, it will be at the discretion of the individual local authority as to whether the business should be eligible for a grant.

The decision to provide the grant ultimately lies at the discretion of the local authority and should be based on the overriding principle of the scheme of providing support to businesses negatively impacted.

View details of grant 1 - £25,000 Expanded Retail Discount Scheme Recipient

A grant of £25,000 for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000.

This means businesses that occupy properties such as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, live music venues, hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

It is estimated that there are up to 8,500 eligible properties in Wales, entailing a fund of around £214m.

The Welsh Government has produced guidance for expanded Covid-19 rates relief for occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties.

Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief in Wales – 2020-21 guidance

In administering this grant, the Welsh Government and the administering local authorities will apply very similar eligibility definitions for qualifying retail, leisure and hospitality hereditaments.

As of 20 April 2020, in relation to self-catering accommodation, properties will not be eligible for grant unless the following criteria are met:

  • The self-catering accommodation can produce two years of trading accounts directly preceding the current financial year of the business
  • The self-catering accommodation must actually have been let for a period of 140 days or more in the financial year 2019-20
  • The self-catering accommodation business must be the primary source of income for the owner (minimum threshold is 50%).

Local authorities have full discretion to request and examine trading business accounts, booking lists and self-assessment tax returns submitted to HMRC for the financial year ending 31 March 2019 if additional evidence is required to demonstrate that this criteria is met.  In cases where local authorities have decided to request additional evidence and the evidence shows that the scheme criteria are not met, local authorities are required to withhold payment of grant.

In addition, a small number of exclusions will apply, based on the Welsh Government’s guidance for Permanent Small Business Rates Relief Scheme for Wales (2019).  These exceptions include: 

  • Hereditaments occupied by a council, a police and crime commissioner, or the Crown
  • Beach huts
  • Hereditaments used exclusively for the display of advertisements, parking of motor vehicles, sewage works or electronic communications apparatus (e.g. ATMs).

The multiple property restriction which applies to the Small Business Rates Relief scheme does not apply to Grant 1. All properties fulfilling the eligibility criteria will be able to access the grant funding.

Each local authority will use the criteria and guidance outlined above to identify qualifying businesses in their area based on information they already hold from administering the NDR system.  Each local authority will then:

  • Notify each qualifying business in their area of their eligibility for a grant (either in writing – electronically, by post or both – or via press notice including distribution via digital and social media communication channels)
  • Collect any additional information required from that business to enable processing and payment of the grant (eg. bank account details where these are not already held through pre-existing systems)
  • Pay the grant to the eligible recipient business, preferably via direct transfer to their bank account.
View details of grant 2 - £10,000 Small Business Rate Relief

A £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for small business rates relief (SBRR) in Wales with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. It is estimated that there are up to 63,500 eligible properties in Wales, entailing a fund of around £635m.

The multiple property restriction which applies to Small Business Rates Relief also applies to this grant. Therefore, the same ratepayer may only receive the grant for a maximum of two properties in each local authority area.

As of 20 April 2020, in relation to self-catering accommodation, properties will not be eligible for grant unless the following criteria are met:

  • The self-catering accommodation can produce two years of trading accounts directly preceding the current financial year of the business
  • The self-catering accommodation must actually have been let for a period of 140 days or more in the financial year 2019-20
  • The self-catering accommodation business must be the primary source of income for the owner (minimum threshold is 50%).

Local authorities have full discretion to request and examine trading business accounts, booking lists and self-assessment tax returns submitted to HMRC for the financial year ending 31 March 2019 if additional evidence is required to demonstrate that this criteria is met.  In cases where local authorities have decided to request additional evidence and the evidence shows that the scheme criteria are not met, local authorities are required to withhold payment of grant.

Each local authority will use these criteria to identify qualifying businesses as of 20 March 2020 in their area, based on information they already hold from administering the NDR system and SBRR scheme.  Each local authority will then

  • Notify each qualifying business in their area of their eligibility for a grant (either in writing – electronically, by post or both – or via press notice including distribution via digital and social media communication channels)
  • Collect any additional information required from that business to enable processing and payment of the grant (eg. bank account details where these are not already held on pre-existing systems)
  • Pay the grant to the eligible recipient business, preferably via direct transfer to their bank account.

All childcare providers that currently receive 100% Small Business Rates Relief are eligible for the £10,000 grant.

£10,000 small charities within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector

A £10,000 grant to all ratepayers eligible for charitable relief and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) relief, operating in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors occupying properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

Local authorities have discretion to provide grants to not-for-profit bodies they consider to be operating for charitable purposes but aren’t currently receiving charitable relief or CASC relief.

This discretion will only apply to not-for-profit organisations who are in receipt of or have entitlement to discretionary rates relief and operate in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors.  

The multiple property restriction applied to the Small Business Rates Relief scheme applies to this grant. Therefore the same ratepayer may only receive the grant for a maximum of two properties in each local authority. This multiple property restriction also applies to charities and CASC.

You cannot apply for this grant if you have already been awarded Covid-19 grant(s) amounting to £10k or more from any of the following:

  • Welsh Government Economic Resilience Fund (ERF)
  • Sport Wales Emergency Relief Fund

If you have any queries regarding eligibility based on any Covid-19 related grants that you may already have received e.g. if you have received a Covid-19 grant(s) amounting to less than £10k from Sport Wales and/or the ERF, please e-mail businessrates@denbighshire.gov.uk.

Frequently asked questions

Business Rates Grant Aid Payments - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)