April 12, 2021

A new Welsh Government fund is being launched across Bridgend county borough on Wednesday, October 28 to provide financial assistance for businesses that are facing operational and financial challenges caused by the lockdown restrictions.

The Lockdown Business Fund involves a number of grants being made available for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, certain not for profit organisations and certain businesses in other sectors.

It includes the Lockdown Non Domestic Grant and the Lockdown Discretionary Grant.

The grants will be open to applications from Wednesday, October 28 and will close at 5pm on November 20 or when the fund is fully committed.

 

The Lockdown Non Domestic Grant (NDR)Grant 1 

A grant of £5,000 is being made available for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses that have been forced to close – as defined by the regulations – and occupy properties with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000. Businesses will need to be on the NDR rating list for their local authority on 1 September 2020 and will need to complete a simple registration form to receive the grant. Businesses must be liable for business rates payable to the local authority to be eligible for this grant.

 The guidance lists the properties that will benefit from the relief as being wholly or mainly used:

  • As shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • For assembly and leisure
  • As hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

The grant is also available to not-for-profit organisations occupying eligible properties such as charity shops, including those already eligible for partial mandatory relief on those properties.

 

The Lockdown Non Domestic Grant (NDR) – Grant 2 

A grant of £1,000 is being made available to businesses eligible for small business rates relief in Wales occupying properties with a rateable value of up to £12,000 – some exceptions apply. Businesses must be liable for business rates payable to the local authority to be eligible for this grant.

Dependent on meeting the eligibility criteria, Grant 2 applicants can also apply for the following top-up grants:

  • Businesses eligible for small business rates relief that have been subject to local restrictions for 3 weeks or more and have been materially impacted (more than 50 percent reduction in turnover) up to October 23 will be eligible for a further grant of £1,000
  • and businesses eligible for small business rates relief that have been forced to close – as defined by the regulations – as a result of the national firebreak lockdown will also be eligible for a further top up grant of £2,000 from their local authority.

Businesses will need to be on the NDR rating list for their local authority on 1 September 2020 and will need to complete a simple application form to receive the grant.

Arcades that can be classified as amusements rather than gambling premises are considered leisure establishments and are eligible for the grants either via the small business rates relief route or, where the rateable value of the premises makes them eligible, for the larger £5,000 grant as leisure facilities.

 

The Lockdown Non Domestic Grant (NDR) – Charities and sports clubs

This involves a £1,000 grant to all ratepayers eligible for charitable relief and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) relief, operating in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors and occupying properties with a rateable value of up to £12,000.

Local authorities have discretion to provide grants to not-for-profit bodies they consider to be operating for charitable purposes but aren’t currently receiving charitable relief or CASC relief.

This discretion will only apply to not-for-profit organisations who are in receipt of or have entitlement to discretionary rates relief and operate in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors. Community Amateur Sports Clubs will also be eligible to apply for the top up grants if they meet the eligibility criteria detailed above.

Childcare providers that currently receive 100% Small Business Rates Relief are eligible for the £1,000 grant.

 

The Lockdown Discretionary Grant 1

A discretionary grant of £1,500 is available to assist businesses that have:

  • Been forced to close (as defined by the regulations) as a result of the national firebreak lockdown
  • OR are able to demonstrate that the national firebreak lockdown will result in at least an 80 percent reduction in their turnover for that period

The Lockdown Discretionary Grant 2

A discretionary grant of £2,000 is available to assist businesses that have:

  • Been forced to close (as defined by the regulations) as a result of the national firebreak lockdown
  • OR are able to demonstrate that the national firebreak lockdown will result in at least an 80% reduction in their turnover for that period
  • AND have been subject to local restrictions for 3 weeks or more up to October 23 and experienced at least a 50% reduction in their turnover for that period.

Businesses cannot apply for Grant 1 and Grant 2.

Businesses will need to confirm that without the grant support the viability of the enterprise will be under threat, and outline why.

Bridgend County Borough Council leader Councillor Huw David said: “We welcome this new Welsh Government funding which aims to provide businesses with cash flow support to help them survive the economic consequences of the lockdown.

“It seeks to complement other Covid-19 response measures to support businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations in Wales.

“Businesses who are at real risk of permanent closure are understandably very worried about the future – we are doing all we can to ensure they receive a swift response to their applications, and we will continue to focus our resources on supporting them at this very difficult time.”

Businesses in receipt of the Lockdown Discretionary Grant are ineligible for the Lockdown Non Domestic Grant.

To apply for any of these grants or for more details on the grants available as part of this new fund visit the Bridgend County Borough Council business support webpage from Wednesday, October 28.

Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. This may lead to applications not being appraised after they have been submitted if the fund is fully committed.