To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether exhibition businesses are (a) covered by and (b) qualify for support from the (i) Small Business Grant Fund and (ii) the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
14 July 2020
If an exhibition company meets the criteria for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, it can receive a grant from these schemes. Under the SBGF, businesses can receive a £10,000 grant per property, for each property in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief. Under the Retail, Hospitality or Leisure Grant Fund, businesses can receive a £10,000 grant per property, for each property occupied for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes with a rateable value of £15,000 or below and which is not in receipt of SBRR or RRR; and a £25,000 grant per property, for each property occupied for these purposes with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
The Government is aware that some small businesses have found themselves excluded from the existing business grants schemes because of the way they interact with the business rates system. That is why the Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to Local Authorities to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation. The Government’s intention is for Local Authorities to prioritise the following types of business when making discretionary grants:
- Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, for example industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc, which do not have their own business rates assessment;
- Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
- B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
- Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
Exhibition companies may fall into one of the above categories. Local Authorities may also choose to pay grants to businesses outside of these priority groups, according to local economic need, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other grant funded by central Government (with the exception of grants from the SEISS).
Businesses which have not received a grant should have been able to benefit from other measures in the Chancellor’s unprecedented package of support for business, including:
- An option to defer VAT payments by up to twelve months;
- The Bounce Back Loan Scheme, which will ensure that small and micro businesses can quickly access loans of up to £50,000 which are 100 per cent guaranteed by the Government;
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, now extended to cover all businesses including those which would be able to access commercial credit;
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses with their wage bills; and
- The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to provide support to the self-employed.
The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, and how to apply: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/.
In addition to these measures, the Chancellor announced further support for businesses at the Summer Economic Update, including the Jobs Retention Bonus, which will grant businesses £1,000 for each furloughed staff member that they bring back and keep employed until the end of January 2021, and a VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors.