Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): strategic framework business fund - information for local authorities

Information on administering grants for local authorities responsible for delivering funding to eligible businesses. These grants form a new package of support to help businesses closed or impacted by coronavirus protective measures.

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): strategic framework business fund - information for local authorities
Business temporary closure fund

Business temporary closure fund

Who is eligible

Eligibility will depend on the level of restrictions which are in place at any point in time in the location of the business premises.

The business temporary closure grant is for those businesses required to close by law, as set out in the schedules of The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 which contains the measures which apply for each level. Part 1 of each schedule contains the businesses which are required to close.

Table 1, below, provides further clarification on those businesses which may be eligible. Any business not specifically mentioned in these regulations or within the table is not eligible. It is for a local authority to determine if a business meets the description and further information can be requested, where necessary, to determine eligibility of applications.

The grant is available for business with premises registered for Non-Domestic rates as at 1 November 2020. Business that pay rates through their landlords may also apply, and local authorities may request documentation proving this, such as a lease or a rental agreement, or other evidence showing that the applicant is explicitly or contractually liable for charges associated with non-domestic rates for the property.

Local authorities have discretion to award grants to eligible businesses which lease or rent premises which are not rated, such as those leased from a council in a public park, provided they are satisfied with the validity and eligibility of individual cases.

Provided they meet all the eligibility critieria, businesses which are Limited Companies (including social enterprises), Sole Traders, Trusts, Partnerships, Community Interest Companies or Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations, may apply for a grant.

The business must have been actively operating before 17 March 2020, and where necessary, local authorities can request additional evidence to determine eligibility.  

Level of grant award

The temporary closure grant will offer business required to close by law:

  • £2,000 for premises which have a rateable value of up to and including £51,000

or

  • £3,000 for premises which have a rateable value of £51,001 or above

The grant is payable for every four weeks for the duration the protective measures to close the business apply.

The rateable value of the property is considered to be as per local authority records at 1 November 2020. Any changes to the valuation roll after 1 November 2020 including changes backdated to this date should be disregarded for the purposes of eligibility. However if a property was requested to be entered into the roll or the entry modified before 1 November but delayed for administrative or systemic reasons, local authorities have discretion to consider such business eligible.

Multiple properties

An upper limit of £15,000 in total in any four-week period will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises, and subject to compliance with EC State Aid Limits (see below for more on EC State aid limits).

This limit applies to business entities. Individual ratepayers with more than one business, may receive up to £15,000 for each business entity.

Where a business operates multiple premises it can apply for a grant for each premise which is eligible. The business must provide in the application form, details of all the properties for which it is applying for a grant and clearly indicate which property is the headquarters.

The local authority in which the headquarters is based will administer the application for all eligible premises of a single business or group. 

Where the headquarters are not based in Scotland, a single application should be submitted to the local authority selected by the business.

Other eligibility criteria

The businesses applying for support must also meet the following criteria and where necessary supply appropriate documentation to substantiate each.

The business must have a business bank account.

The business must not have breached wider COVID regulations/requirements prior to local restrictions. 

The business must not have connections to tax havens, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020.

Applicants are required to declare all previous support received from UK or Scottish or Local Government support schemes to provide local authorities with the necessary information to ensure payments are made correctly and compliant with EC State Aid limits.