1000 small businesses yet to claim MSDC Grant – Do you qualify?

Mid Sussex District Council has now paid nearly 1,000 small businesses that are eligible for their business grants, paying out over £12m already.  We are continuing to pay out on a daily basis.  But we still have about 1,000 small businesses within Mid Sussex District Council that have yet to give us the information to pay that company a business grant we believe they may be entitled to.  The Council Leader of Mid Sussex District Council Jonathan Ash Edwards has recorded a video that I hope you will watch.

Overall to date we have received over 1,300 business grant requests for over £17m of grant and the Revenues and Finance teams are working hard to get payments out to qualifying businesses very quickly to bank accounts.  For any business that seeks a business grant and does not meet the criteria we are contacting them to advise them of this outcome and to also give them the opportunity to ask for a review.  Please note that the Government are planning to publish the performance of each Council paying business grants in the afternoon of Monday 20th April 2020.

As the Council Leader states, though, in the video with Mid Sussex district we also need to reach out to the estimated 1,000 other small businesses that could too we believe qualify for a business grant of £10,000 or £25,000.

I have highlighted the type of grants available below:-

Small Business Grant

Qualifying businesses will receive £10,000. To qualify businesses would have been in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief on 11th March 2020. This would require them to have a rateable value (this is stated on your bill) of £15,000 or less. Only properties occupied on this date would be eligible.

Only trading business properties would qualify, so this excludes; property used for personal use, companies in liquidation or dissolved, car parks and parking spaces.

Please check on your business rates bill if you are in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.  Further information is available on Small Business Rates Relief is at https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/revsandbens/business-rates/property-reliefs/small-business-rate-relief/.  Further information is available on Rural Rate Relief at https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/revsandbens/business-rates/property-reliefs/rural-rate-relief/.

If Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief is not shown on your business rates bill and you believe you could be entitled please contact the Mid Sussex DC Revenues team at revenue@midsussex.gov.uk.

State Aid rules will apply for this grant, with a limit of 200,000 Euros. It is for the company to check they are not contravening these rules.  Further information on state aid can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid.

Retails, Leisure and Hospitality Grant 

Qualifying businesses meeting the criteria with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive a  business grant of £10,000 and if the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000 they will receive a business grant of £25,000.

Qualifying businesses are: shops (such as: florist, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off license, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets), charity shops, opticians, post offices, furnishing shops/display rooms, car/caravan show rooms, second hand car lots, markets, petrol stations, garden centres, art galleries. Also, hair and beauty services, shoe repairs/key cutting, travel agents, ticket offices, dry cleaners, launderettes, PC/TV/domestic repair, funeral directors, photo processing, tool hire, car hire. Also, restaurants, sandwich shops, coffee shops, pubs, bars, cinemas, hotels, guest and boarding houses, holiday homes, caravan parks and sites, live music venues, employment agencies, estate agents and letting agents, betting shops, wellness centres, spas, massage parlours, casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls.  This list is not exhaustive so if you are in doubt if you qualify or not please contact the Mid Sussex DC Revenues team at revenue@midsussex.gov.uk.  If you qualify for a 100% retail discount in 2020/21 you are likely to qualify for a business grant.

Excluded properties are: private stables, beach huts, moorings, car parks and parking spaces, financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers). Other services e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies. Medical services e.g. vets, dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors. Professional services e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisers, tutors. Post office sorting office.

Further information on retail discount is available on https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/revsandbens/business-rates/property-reliefs/retail-discount-2019-20-and-2020-21/. If Retail Discount is not shown on your business rates bill (if it is for 2020/21 you should have no business rates to pay) and you believe you could be entitled please contact the Mid Sussex DC Revenues team at revenue@midsussex.gov.uk.

State Aid rules will apply for this grant, with a limit of 800,000 Euros. It is for the company to check they are not contravening these rules. Further information on state aid can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid.

To apply for the business grant

A simple online form needs to be completed to enable the Council to pay you the business grant should you qualify – this is available by clicking here www.GrantApproval.co.uk.  Please note that this a third party form to help pay business grants quickly, with the information requested to enable payment and for the Council to provide monitoring data back to the Government, as well as a check against Fraud and State Aid.  The Council may also use the data to update its business rates records.  All data is processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 (UK GDPR).   The Council will then check eligibility and distribute grants to qualifying businesses as soon as it possibly can.

The system will ask for certain details, so it is suggested you have your business rates bill for the property you are claiming the grant for with you when you complete the form.  You will also need two forms of ID for your business. These documents are requested to prove that the information provided does relate to the business and to reduce the risk of someone falsely requesting your grant.

Please note that you may qualify for several grants if you own several properties that qualify in Mid Sussex DC.  If this is the case, though, you will only need to register once.  The system on the one registration when you apply will enable you to do it for all the properties.  Also even if you have a company you will need to register in the name of the person applying.  If there are any issues with the application please email the Council at businesssupport@midsussex.gov.uk.

Could I also please ask that if you apply for a business grant please do not contact the Council asking when payment is due.  We are aiming to process business grants within 5 working days, with payments reaching bank accounts 2 working days later.  Payment of business grants will be by BACS directly into bank accounts.

Mr Kevin Stewart, FIRRV, MAAT, MCMI

Business Unit Leader Revenues and Benefits

Mid Sussex District Council