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With more areas in the UK being affected by a surge in Covid-19 cases, local lockdowns are on the increase. On Thursday Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead and County Durham will face pub curfews and restrictions on mixing. Many local firms will have to close again. Even those that stay open will likely be affected by the restrictions. So the government has announced local lockdown grants to help.

A new grant of up £1,500 per 3 week period is available for businesses adversely affected by a local lockdown. This grant was announced on 9 September. It is specfically for businesses in England who are required to close because of local lockdowns and related restrictions.

The scheme provides a safety net to further protect jobs where a business is required to close.

 

What local lockdown grants are available?

To be eligible for the grant your business must have been required to close. The amount of local lockdown grant available depends on on the business rates that you pay. If you are in premises with rateable value of £51,000 or more you are entitled to £1,500 for each three-week period. And this grant can be claimed for each property that you occupy. If your business is in a property with a lower rateable value, you are entitled to £1,000 in the same way.

If you rent your premises but someone else is responsible for the business rates you can also claim the grant.

Payments are triggered by a national decision to close businesses in a high incidence area. Each payment will be made for a 3 week lockdown period. Each new 3 week lockdown period triggers an additional local lockdown grant payment.

Not required to close?

Even if your business is not required to close because of the local lockdown, but you are hit financially by this you can apply to your local authority for a discretionary payment on similar terms.

Extra discretionary funding

Local authorities will also receive an additional 5 per cent top up amount of business support funding to enable them to help any other small business affected by local lockdown which may not be on the business rates list. Payments made to businesses from this local authority discretionary fund can be any amount up to £1,500 and may be less than £1000 in some cases.

Taxable income

As with all government coronavirus-related grants, the local lockdown grant payments are taxable income but are outside the scope of VAT.

How to apply

Local authorities will administer the new small business local lockdown grant. Keep your eye on Stafford Borough Council’s site or get in touch with them

 

Read the full news story on GOV.UK

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