COVID-19 business rates and grants

The Budget announcement on 11 March 2020 confirmed a range measures to provide support for business during 2020/21 with the addition of a series of temporary rate reliefs and support for businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Subsequent announcements have been made to support businesses during periods of lockdowns and restrictions.

Reliefs

This included: Businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors (including pubs) who can receive 100% rate relief for 2020/21 irrespective of rateable value - subject to qualifying criteria. This will continue until the end of June 2021.

  • All qualifying retail, leisure and hospitality properties including public houses, estate agents, betting shops and bingo halls will receive 100% business rates relief.  
  • Registered nurseries will receive a 100% rate relief for 2020/21 irrespective of rateable value. Ealing Council will also make a grant payment to registered nurseries through the Emergency Fund

A discount of two-thirds will then continue for the remainder of the year, up to a value of £2,000,000 for closed businesses, with a lower cap (£105,000) for those who have been able to stay open. Nurseries will also qualify for the relief in the same way as other eligible properties.

Business rates bills will be held back for likely recipients of these reliefs. Other annual bills for businesses will be issued in the usual way from 15 March 2021.

Enhanced Retail Relief 

All qualifying retail, leisure and hospitality properties including public houses, estate agents, betting shops and bingo halls received 100% business rates relief. This relief is not considered state aid.

Nursery Relief  

All registered nurseries received 100% rate relief which means that they will not pay business rates in the 2020/2021 financial year.

Grants

Discretionary Grants for Business Rate Payers subject to Tier Restrictions and Lockdown: from 17 October 2020 to 15 February 2021

These grants cover the periods:

  • National Restrictions: 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020
  • Tier 2 Periods: 17 October 2020 to 4 November 2020 and 3 December 2020 to 15 December 2020
  • Tier 3 Period: 16 December 2020 to 19 December 2020
  • Tier 4 Period: 20 December 2020 to 03 January 2021
  • National Restrictions: 4 January 2021 to 15 February 2021
  • Christmas Support for Wet-Led Pubs: 1 December 2020 to 31 December 2020

To find out about these grants and financial help available for your business, please visit our COVID -19 Help for business web pages - under Financial Support.

We appreciate that this is an incredible distressing time for our local businesses and we want to assure you that the council’s finance team is processing the funding to businesses as quickly as possible.

Our teams are experiencing extremely high levels of demand. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time. Please avoid contacting us for an update unless absolutely necessary, as this may slow down processing applications.

Sign up to receive the latest updates via our business e-newsletter.

For further enquiries regarding discretionary grants contact the business rates team at businessratesteam@ealing.gov.uk or telephone 020 8825 7020.

Additional restrictions grant (ARG) fund

The additional restrictions grant (ARG) fund is a one-off discretionary fund from the government that is aimed at a range of business sectors and must be distributed by 31 March 2022. Ealing Council has been allocated nearly £10million to distribute to businesses. To ensure a large range of Ealing businesses are able to benefit from the grant funding, the council has created six different schemes to reflect the complex and varied nature of Ealing’s economy. 

Applications for the aviation sector grant, cultural sector grant and COVID hardship grant are now closed.

Find out more about these grants and apply. Please note that the deadline for application has been extended to 11:59 on Monday, 22 March, 2021.  We are aware that some people have expereinced technical issues completing application form. If this happens please wait 10 minutes before trying the form again. We are working to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency. 

COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Ealing Council has created a £1.5m Emergency Fund to assist vulnerable residents and aid essential community services across the borough. This fund provides support for organisations, providers and individuals where financial support is needed as a result of the unprecedented challenges created by Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Childcare provision

Emergency funding has been made available for providers of childcare including nursery schools. Funding for this grant will be applied automatically. If it is not shown on your bill, but you believe you should be eligible, please contact the business rates team at businessratesteam@ealing.gov.uk or telephone 020 8825 7020.

The council also commits to:

  • Continuing to pay existing essential service providers regardless of their ability to deliver the full range of services expected in normal operating circumstances
  • Offering preferential payment terms to pay existing providers and suppliers on zero day terms, or in exceptional cases, up to 12 weeks in advance.
  • Offering support to businesses to pay their bills in a flexible way with payment deferral options.
  • Businesses who wish to discuss payment options can contact the business rates team at businessratesteam@ealing.gov.uk or telephone 020 8825 7020.

Grants applied to businesses which were in receipt of the qualifying reliefs as at 11 March 2020.

  • Businesses who received small business rates relief (rateable value less than or equal to £15,000) received a £10,000 grant in 2020/21 on top of their existing relief.
  • A grant of up to £25,000 was paid to businesses in receipt of the Retail Relief with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 (subject to state aid limitations).

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)    

  • Businesses who qualified for Small Business Rate Relief (many of whom already have no rates liability) and Enhanced Retail Relief also received a grant of £10,000 per property. These are businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, subject to state aid limits.

 Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)  

  • The properties already identified as being in receipt of Retail Relief, with a rateable value of less than £51,000, received a grant payment of £25,000, subject to state aid limits.

Be wary of fraudsters

We have been made aware of a number of scams that are circulating for example people offering to help businesses access grant funding for a fee or contacting businesses claiming to be from official sources stating that they have received funding in error and need to make repayments. Businesses should be wary of scammers and suspicious emails and only provide organisations that you trust and have given consent to, your personal or financial details. Always remember to take a moment to think. Could it be fake? Go to www.gov.uk for more information.