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COVID-19 Business Support Grant

We have already paid out £66m in grants since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic providing a vital lifeline to around 4,000 businesses in Gateshead facing unprecedented challenges as a result of trading restrictions and social distancing measures. 

To support business during the current lockdown we have allocated Additional Restrictions Grant to establish the COVID Businesses Support Grant to assist certain businesses with fixed overheads, that have been severely impacted but have not been eligible to access grant funding since the introduction of local restrictions on 18 September 2020.

As of 29 March 2021 the scheme has been extended and will include hospitality, accommodation and leisure businesses, business supplying these sectors and businesses providing in person face to face services that are mandated to close but that do not operate from commercial property subject to satisfying all other qualifying criteria. 

Payment to qualifying home-based and mobile businesses will be prioritised. COVID Business Support Grant resources allocated for businesses occupying commercial premises are full committed - applications received now will join a reserve list and are subject to the future availability of funding.

Eligibility 

Businesses that have not been able to apply for a COVID19 related grant since the introduction of local restriction in the North East on 18 September 2020 may now apply to this scheme if they meet all the other eligibility criteria set out in this guidance.

Businesses eligible to apply to the Business Support Grant fund must:

  • have been trading on 30 December 2020, and  
  • be located in the borough of Gateshead, and 
  • occupy commercial premises, or
  • be a hospitality, accommodation, or leisure and events business, business directly supplying these sectors, or business providing in person face to face services that has been mandated to close, and able to demonstrate a minimum of £200 per month non-domestic, business related ongoing fixed costs such as insurance, professional indemnity and vehicle payments, and so on
  • be able to demonstrate the severe impact on the business due to the COVID19 restriction, including a significant fall in income. 

Driving Instructors are expected to be Approved Driving Instructors, registered with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Applicants will be expected to confirm and provide evidence upon request that the business activity which is the subject of the application contributes at least 50% if their income.

Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and those eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are eligible to apply for this fund.

Ineligible businesses include:

  • Businesses eligible for cash grants from any other COVID related scheme are ineligible for Business Support Grant Funding. This includes Local Restrictions Support Grant Closed, Local Restrictions Support Grant Open and any other Additional Restrictions Grant funded scheme. 
  • Businesses without commercial premises or unable to demonstrate non-domestic, business related ongoing fixed costs of £200 per month. 
  • Self-catering and accommodation providers not registered for business rates or in the rating list, or not registered with the Council's Licensing Team
  • Businesses that are in financial difficulty, in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made.

We will not approve or make payment of a further grant to a business that has already received a grant or partial grant passed on by a landlord under one of the schemes mentioned above. 

For an application to be considered, eligible businesses are required to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria above. To do this you will need to provide:

  • your Business Rate account number where you have one, or 
  • evidence of property occupation and ongoing fixed commercial property costs, typically providing a copy of your lease, or
  • If a home-based or mobile business, evidence of other non-domestic, business related fixed costs such as a bank statement highlighting insurance or vehicle payments or other contracts demonstrating a commitment to pay
  • bank statements demonstrating your business was active on 30 December 2020 and also at the point of application
  • a declaration that the business has been severely impacted by the current lockdown restrictions
  • confirmation that the business has not received any other grant under the grant schemes mentioned in above.

Grant awards 

There are limited funds available and it is expected that there will be a high level of demand for aid through the COVID Business Support Grant scheme.

If your business is eligible, you'll receive the following one-off grant payment:  

Rateable valueGrant
Home-based or mobile business with monthly fixed costs of £200+£1,000
£15,000 or less and businesses without a rates account£2,500
More than £15,000 to less than £51,000£5,000
From £51,000 and above£10,000

Applications for grant will be made through a dedicated online grant portal and business will be required to confirm they are eligible for the scheme. 

Payments will be made directly to approved recipients' bank accounts by electronic transfer. 

Beneficiaries will receive written confirmation stating that by accepting the grant payment, the business confirms that they are eligible for the grant scheme, including that any payments accepted will be subject to subsidy control requirements.

Subsidy allowances 

The EU State aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted in the UK following the end of the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom remains bound by its international commitments, including subsidy obligations set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU. 

From Thursday 4 March COVID-19 business grants are provided under one of the following subsidies: Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance, the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance and the COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance. 

Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance enables an applicant to receive up to a maximum allowance of 325,000 Special Drawing Rights, which is the equivalent of £335,000 as at 2 March 2021, over any three consecutive fiscal years.

Where the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance has been reached, grants may be paid under the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance. For the purposes of these scheme rules, this allowance is £1,600,000. This allowance includes any grants previously received under the COVID-19 business grant schemes and any State aid previously received under the European Commission's Temporary Framework. 

Where an applicant has reached its limit under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, it may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9m subject to certain conditions.

Visit the Gov.uk website for full details. 

Applicants will be required to declare they are not an undertaking in difficulty.

Other information

We reserve the right to close or vary the terms of the scheme at any time, and without notice, should it be necessary to do so.

Grant income received by a business is taxable therefore funding paid under this scheme will be subject to tax. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

We and the government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud and any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

We do not accept any liability for any issues that may arise for businesses because of applying for, receiving, or not receiving grant payments under this scheme. 

Enquiries about the scheme can be emailed to businessgrants@gateshead.gov.uk.

Grant awards will be made to applicants satisfying the eligibility criteria subject to the availability of resources. The scheme will close to new applications on 25 April 2021 or once all funds are committed. Resources are limited. This means we cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide a grant to every business that meets the criteria.

There is no appeal process.

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