Many small businesses are under the impression they need to be paying rates to received this grant – the opposite is actually true! The Small Business Grant Scheme is for businesses who pay little or no rates due to them being in receipt of either SBRR (small business rate relief) or RRR (rural rate relief). There is a government help page here that tells you the official wording.
Being a rate payer just means that you or your company are registered for business rates – you don’t actually have to pay anything! So if you get Small Business Rates Relief in full or partially, if you pay some rates or none at all, this grant is for you! It’s all done by your local council via their rates records to ensure only the right people receive it, it’s designed to help you cover rent and premises expenses during this uncertain period.
So in short, if you have a rate demand for your premises (even if it is credited in full for rates relief) you can definitely apply! Most councils have online forms to complete, others are sending application forms via post, a few of the one’s we know are relevant to our clients are below:
At time of writing, Chelmsford are aiming to have their online form up by the end of 3rd April, Castle Point haven’t indicated any dates as to when their application system will be ready and Braintree were saying they will post applications forms which can be scanned and e-mailed back to them.
Please note this information is correct as of 2nd April.