New National Lockdown Grants Now Available to Support Local Businesses

NEW one off payments are available for local businesses forced to close due to the national lockdown.

The Council has now received detailed guidance from Government on the Closed Business Lockdown Payment – a one off grant payment for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. The grant is to help businesses manage the impacts of the national lockdown through to Spring 2021.

Grant payments are based on the rateable value of premises:

• £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
• £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
• £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

The grants supplement the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme, which has been running for a number of weeks. Businesses who have already applied for the LRSG do not have to re-apply separately for the Closed Business Lockdown Payment scheme. Eligible businesses will have their Closed Business Lockdown Payments automatically added to their LRSG amount.

For businesses yet to apply for the LRSG grant, it is available for both periods of national lockdown – from 5 November to 1 December 2020, and from 5 January 2021 onwards. To be eligible, a business must:

• be liable to pay business rates for the premises occupied
• applicants must be the ratepayer
• have been mandated to close by law as stated in the legislation
• not be in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking off notice
• have been trading before 5 November
• not exceed the State Aid threshold of €800,000 (over a 3 year period)

On the basis that the national restrictions will apply until 15 February, there will be a one-off payment for 6 weeks. If the national restrictions are extended this, funding will be provided on a rolling 14-day basis for as long as national restrictions apply.

Businesses can find out more and apply at www.reading.gov.uk/businessgrantsc19. More details on a range of other support schemes for local businesses can be found on the same link.

Jason Brock, Reading Borough Council Leader, said:

“The Council has now distributed more than £5 million in financial support directly to local businesses since the start of the pandemic, across a variety of grants. The money is providing a lifeline to many businesses across Reading, in what obviously continues to be a very difficult period.

“New one off payments of up to £9,000, depending on the rateable value of premises, are now available. These sit alongside alongside the existing Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme, which has been running for a number of weeks, to help firms through the latest national lockdown.

“I would urge local businesses to check their eligibility for a variety of grants and new grants which may become available should the national lockdown need to be extended beyond mid-February.”

Oscar Mortali

For media enquiries about this release email oscar.mortali@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 2301