To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of pro-rata splitting of covid-19-related business grants when the business has passed between owners during the covid-19 lockdown period.
1 February 2021
This point has been considered and is covered by the guidance issued to Local Authorities. In respect of the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum payments from 5 January onwards and Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment, any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after 5 January 2021, including changes which have been backdated to this date, should be ignored for the purposes of eligibility. Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the rating list is subsequently amended retrospectively to the date that national restrictions began.
In cases where it is factually clear to the Local Authority that the rating list was inaccurate on 5 January 2021, Local Authorities may withhold the grant and/or award the grant based on their view of who would have been entitled to the grant had the list been accurate. This is entirely at the discretion of the Local Authority and only intended to prevent manifest errors. By accepting grant support, business owners are confirming that they are eligible to receive that support.
Should further business grant support measures be introduced in future, new guidance on eligibility and other related matters would be issued to local authorities to ensure that grant funding can be directed to where it is needed as quickly as is practicable.