Business support grant update

We have now received confirmation that areas of the Scottish Government's Coronavirus Business Support fund have been updated to allow changes to rate records to ensure that grants reach those business ratepayers in need and directly affected by COVID-19.

The Council has been lobbying for these changes in response to the plight of local businesses caught out by some of the rules attached to the grant scheme. As a result, it now expects to be able to release payments to approximately 400 more local firms.

The news comes as a welcome boost to the scheme which has seen almost £20m of government funding awarded to local businesses during the first month of operation.

A summary of the key updates:

  • Where the ratepayer held on record is incorrect, records can now be amended and the correct business paid the grant. Where they meet the other criteria such as eligible for Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) relief or other qualifying reliefs, they qualify for the grant.
  • Businesses already liable for rates who do not have SBBS on record as at 17 March 2020 can now apply for this in order to meet eligibility.
  • If a business has mandatory relief and some element of SBBS they will qualify for the £10k grant if they meet the rest of the criteria.
  • A business property must already be on the valuation roll or the Council must confirm that the new entry was not on as at 17 March due to an administration delay or official error.
  • Where businesses or organisations are only in receipt of charitable relief they are not eligible for the £10K grant scheme even if they could otherwise have qualified for SBBS.

Officers are now working through previous grant applications received to complete the process in light of the updated guidance. Businesses are asked to please be patient during this period and our teams will be in touch for any additional information that may be required to complete grant awards.