The Government has announced that to reduce social contact and limit the spread of Covid-19, certain businesses and venues would be required to close from Thursday 5th November to the 2nd December 2020. These included all non-essential retail, hospitality and entertainment venues, accommodation providers, personal care and leisure facilities, community centres and halls.
At the same time the Government announced further packages to support businesses, including a new round of business rate support grants. While the detail has only been provided in the last few days Torridge Council officers have been working hard behind the scenes to launch the online application process. However, the Council will also be writing to around 600 businesses that have been identified as eligible from their records to try and ensure as many local businesses as possible benefit from the scheme
As before, the scheme is based on the rateable value for businesses and for those registered for business rates as at 1st November 2020. In outline it will operate on the following basis:
For properties with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under, grants will be £1,334 per four weeks;
For properties with a rateable value of between £15,001 k-£50,999 grants will be £2,000 per four weeks;
For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over grants will be £3,000 per four weeks.
While Torridge will be writing to eligible businesses, owners can also review their eligibility here www.torridge.gov.uk/businessgrants and apply online at the following link: http://torridge.gov.uk/LRSGNOV2020 The application process is needed for auditing and fraud purposes as there will be checks made afterwards to ensure correct handling and money incorrectly acquired will be reclaimed. Payments will be made by BACS once applications have been processed.
The Council has stressed that for now the Government have not confirmed whether self-catering holiday lets will be eligible in this tranche of support so they are urging people not to contact the Council for the time being until the Government has issued further clarification.
Businesses should also check Government websites for further information on this and other support schemes using the governments support finder tool at https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder