COVID-19 : Business grants

We will be updating this page as soon as we are notified of any government announcements in order to assist businesses with the effects of the current Coronavirus outbreak.

This information is designed to assist businesses to understand the effect of these announcements and how these will be applied to eligible ratepayers. Please ensure that you apply for the correct grant(s), based on the detail in the table. 

Further information about these grants and how to apply can be viewed further down this page.  

Name of grant Type of business that can apply Applicable dates Additional information

Restart Grants 

Specific non-essential retail. Exclusions apply - check the detail below.  

Specific hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises. Exclusions apply - check the detail below.  

Thursday 1 April 2021 to Wednesday 30 June 2021.

Applications are open.

Applications will close on Wednesday 30 June 2021. No late applications will be accepted. 

For Businesses registered as liable for Business Rates on premises only. 

There is no link between the Restart Grants and any of the other Grants paid previously.  

Grants are based on the sector the business operates in and they must not be specifically excluded.

LRSG (Closed) 44 day Payment  

Businesses, registered for Business Rates, legally required to close due to the National Lockdown commencing in January 2021 who have not received the January Lockdown Support package.

 

Monday 16 February to Wednesday 31 March 2021 - LRSG (Closed) 44 day payment. 

Applications are open. 

Applications will close on Monday 31 May. 

No late applications will be accepted. 

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)  This is a discretionary grant for businesses, whether registered for Business Rates or not, which will run until Wednesday 31 March 2022, funding permitted. Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 31 March 2022

Applications are currently closed.

Due to the large volume of applications received in the last week of the application window, it is not currently possible to confirm when, or if, the scheme may re-open. This will depend on the assessment of outstanding applications and the effect on funding. 

Businesses should check for updates here in early May. 

How to Apply

You need to make a separate application for each grant type or award, unless indicated, but there is a "pre-fill" option available on the on-line portal which will pull through any details already submitted.

Before you start your application, please check the detailed criteria below and ensure that you have the following information to upload onto your application form:  

  • Details of your property code/reference number. This must be as per your Business Rates Bill. Please do not use the reference from the Valuation Office Agency website as these numbers are slightly different and you will not be able to proceed. 
  • Identification of the individual making the application on behalf of the rate payer : Upload either your passport ID page or driving licence. 
  • Evidence of business trading, from the premises, immediately prior to the national lockdown on Tuesday 2 January 2021 : Upload either a delivery note, expenses receipt, purchase order or sales receipt.
  • Evidence the claimant is named holder of the bank account : Upload a bank statement dated within the last three months.
  • Evidence of the company occupying the property the day prior to the date restrictions were introduced : Upload two different utility bills, dated within the last three months, such as:
    • electricity bill 
    • gas bill
    • landline bill  
    • water bill

To make your application go to the Grants approval website and select the ‘Grants For Businesses’ option. Please ensure that you select the correct grant scheme as you will not be able to proceed if you choose an incorrect scheme or if you try to use a different reference number.  

When you will hear from us 

We aim to process your application within ten working days however the volume of applications being received may mean that the assessment takes longer. If your application is approved your grant payment will be paid into your bank account within a further four working days. If you have any questions about the national restrictions grant you can email us at: businessgrants@rbwm.gov.uk.

Restart Grants - Thursday 1 April 2021

Applications must be made for this grant between Thursday 1 April and Wednesday 30 June 2021. No late applications will be accepted. 

This scheme is entirely separate to the other grants which have been available since November 2020. Grants are based on the sector in which the business operates and are a one-off payment available to the registered Business Ratepayer on Thursday 1 April 2021, if they were trading on that date, unless the local authority believes there to be an error. The level of grant awarded will depend on the rateable value of the relevant property. 

Strand One  - Non Essential Retail 

This is generally defined as being a business that is wholly or mainly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services, by the public, where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and well-being of the public. 

Exclusions include: food retailers, supermarkets, convenience stores, corner shops, off licenses, breweries, pharmacies, chemists, newsagents, animal boarding facilities, building merchants, petrol stations, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi and vehicle hire businesses, education providers including tutoring services, banks, building societies and other financial providers, post offices, funeral directors, laundrettes, dry cleaners, medical practices, veterinary surgeries, pet shops, agricultural supply shops, garden centres, storage and distribution facilities, wholesalers, employment agencies and businesses, office buildings, automatic car washes and mobility support shops. 

Please note this list is not exhaustive. 

Level of Award

Where a business is eligible, the award will be based on the Rateable Value of the premises as follows: 

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive a one-off payment of £2,667. 
  • Properties with a rateable value over £15,000 but less than £51,000 will will receive a one-off payment of £4,000.
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive a one-off payment of £6,000.

Strand Two  - Hospitality, Leisure, Accommodation, Gym & Sports, Personal Care businesses. 

Hospitality - a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption of food and drink.

Leisure - a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days/nights out.

Accommodation - a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes. 

Gym and Sports - a commercial or non-profit establishment where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual or group basis, using exercise equipment or open floor space with or without instruction, or where individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities are participated in competitively or recreationally.  

Personal Care - a business which provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics and wellbeing. 

Exclusions:  

  • Food kiosks and takeaways (not those adapted to offer takeaway during restrictions). 
  • All retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators and telescopes.
  • Private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres, beach huts. 
  • Home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds. 
  • businesses only providing personal care goods rather than services, training centres for staff, apprentices or others, dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths, medical or health services including where they incorporate personal care services, treatments for those with disabilities and services relating to mental health. 

Please note this list is not exhaustive. 

Level of Award 

Where a business is eligible, the award will be based on the Rateable Value of the premises as follows: 

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive a one-off payment of £8,000. 
  • Properties with a rateable value over £15,000 but less than £51,000 will will receive a one-off payment of £12,000.
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive a one-off payment of £18,000.

Grants are not available to businesses:

  • that are in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking-off notice.

For further details of the Restart Grants please refer to the Gov.uk website. 

LRSG (Closed) Grant - Tuesday 16 February to Wednesday 31 March 2021

In order to continue support for businesses, subject to business rates, legally required to have closed by Central Government as a result of the January Lockdown and remaining closed during this time, a further grant has been made available to cover these 44 days.

The level of grant is dependent on the rateable value of the relevant property:

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive a payment of £2,096 for the 44 day restriction period. 
  • Properties with a rateable value over £15,000 but less than £51,000 will receive a payment of £3,143 for the 44 day restriction period.
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive a payment of £4,714 for the 44 day restriction period.

If a Business has already received the January Lockdown payment and the One Off Business Support Grant, this 44 day payment will also have been included therefore it cannot be applied for again. Applications for this 44 day payment will only be accepted if the January Business Support Package of grants has not been awarded. 

Grants are not available to businesses:

  • that are able to continue to trade, because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely (e.g. accountants, solicitors), 
  • that have chosen to close but have not been instructed to,
  • that are in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking-off notice.

Check the list of businesses and venues which must close on GOV.UK website

Additional Restrictions Grant - Discretionary Scheme

In addition to the national schemes, the Government have also announced an Additional Restrictions Grant which is a largely Discretionary scheme. This scheme will run from Thursday 5 November 2020 to Wednesday 31 March 2022, funding permitted, and will open in various application windows. 

Applications for this grant are currently closed. Due to the high volume of applications received in the last few days of the current window, it is not possible to provide a date when it may re-open. This will depend on the assessment of those outstanding applications and whether any unspent funds remain. Businesses should check here for an update in early May. 

Government have announced authorities may receive a "top-up" to the original funding, as part of the roadmap to re-opening. However, authorities will only get this if they have distributed all current funding by Wednesday 30 June 2021. We do not yet know if or how much the Royal Borough's top-up will be but will update this information as soon as we are notified.  

Expanded Retail Discount

The government announced that Retail Relief Discount would increase from 50% to 100% and to more areas of business for 2020/21. However for 2021/22 Government announced that the 100% would only apply for April, May and June. From July 2021, it will decrease to be 66% for the remainder of the year. 

Therefore, Expanded Retail Relief / Nursery Relief should be as follows:

  • 100% for the months of April, May and June 2021
  • 66% from Thursday 1 July 2021 through to Thursday 31 March 2022 – subject to cash caps.

This means that we will need to recalculate and remove a percentage of the Expanded Retail Relief / Nursery Relief awarded on the annual bill from Thursday 1 July 2021. We will make this adjustment closer to July. When this is done, you will receive an amended bill and you will need to make payments towards your Business Rates from July onwards.

Prior to 1 July we will contact you to confirm your eligibility for relief after this date and to confirm that the award of relief does not exceed the cash cap for 2021/22.

Cash Caps from July 2021 – March 2022.

Government have introduced cash caps for the above period which means that no ratepayer can receive more than either:

  • £2m in Expanded Retail Relief across all of their properties in England if the premises were legally required to close from Tuesday 5 January 2021; or
  • £105,000 for other ratepayers who were allowed to remain open from 5 January 2021; or
  • £105,000 for nurseries

We must also make you aware that you do not have to accept the award of this Expanded Retail Relief / Nursery Relief. You do have the option to refuse this reduction in your Business Rates Bill.

Please be aware however, that if you refuse this discount now, you cannot opt to receive it subsequently at any time during 2021/22.

If you wish to refuse this discount or believe you will exceed the cash caps, you must advise us by e-mailing business.rates@rbwm.gov.uk. We will then remove the discount and provide you with an amended bill for you to make payments.   

To qualify for this relief, the premises must be occupied but will count as occupied if you would normally be open but have only chosen to close as a result of the current Coronavirus outbreak.

See the government guidance on the new scheme for more information.

The types of businesses which do not qualify for the expanded scheme include:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, betting shops and payday lenders).
  • Medical services (e.g. dentists, doctors, chiropractors, vets).
  • Professional services (e.g. accountants, solicitors, insurance agents, tutors).
  • Post office sorting offices.
  • Those premises not readily accessible to the public.

The new relief can be awarded for each eligible business property. This will be taken into account when we awarded the relief.

Nursery Discount

The government announced on Wednesday 18 March 2020 that it would provide a business rates Nursery Discount.

This relief will apply to properties occupied by providers of Ofsted’s Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage.

It will apply irrespective of the Rateable Value of the premises and will be for 100% of the remaining bill after the application of any other qualifying reliefs.

Properties where the council itself is liable for the business rates will be unable to qualify for this assistance.

We are in the process of checking the Ofsted register to automatically identify qualifying ratepayers and award this relief. You do not need to apply for this.

State aid / Subsidy information

Prior to Thursday 4 March 2021

Many of the business rate reliefs will come under the rules regarding state aid. State Aid law is the means by which the European Union regulates state funded support to businesses. EC 1407/2013, the De Minimis regulations, allow an undertaking to receive up to €800,000 De Minimis aid over a rolling three year period, including aid received outside of business rates relief.

Any De Minimis aid granted during the current or the two previous financial years must be declared. However, the government are working on obtaining approval from the EU to ignore the de minimis level for the expanded retail relief. We will update this information as and when we know more. 

Subsidy information post Thursday 4 March 2021 

The business making the application will only be eligible for grants after the above date if it has not exceeded the following 3 subsidy allowances: 

  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any period of 3 years
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – you’re allowed up to £1,600,000 as part of the Temporary Framework because of COVID19

  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000, provided certain conditions are met – see note 1 below.

Grants under these 3 allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £10,935,000 (subject to exchange rates). 

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that your business does not exceed these allowances by receiving this grant funding and by completing the required declaration the business accepts that any grant funding unlawfully claimed or paid in error will be subject to clawback and may result in prosecution. 

Further information on the new subsidy allowance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/

The amounts are set by BEIS and are contained in the guidance for the relevant grant schemes

Business rates : Contact details

For further information, please contact us by:

Business Rates - Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
PO BOX 3448
Town Hall, St Ives Road
Maidenhead SL6 1NG