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Business Rates

New Grants For Business Rates

The first business rates grants were paid out over the last 6 weeks and so far we have paid nearly 1,850 business grants totalling nearly £23.5m. If you have applied for a grant please monitor your bank account rather than contact us. The remaining grants are being paid on a daily basis as fast as we can. Please note that members of the team are cold calling businesses yet to apply for the business grant. Thank you for your patience.

The Government has introduced business grants to support small businesses during the present uncertain times. These are one off payments, based on business rates liability at 11th March 2020.  They have also now introduced a discretionary top up grant for businesses not paying business rates that still have property costs.

The payments will be made to the ratepayer or business as appropriate at this time and currently there is one payment per property to support business rent and property expenses.

Notification will be sent to businesses paying business rates we believe qualify, for one of the business grants, asking you register and complete a form for the grant at www.GrantApproval.co.uk. Businesses not paying business rates who have property costs are also invited to apply for a discretionary grant.  You do not require notification to register.

The Council will then check eligibility and distribute grants as soon as it possibly can.  Please note that the information requested is 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).  We started getting business grant payments out in early April, and will continue to do this provided you complete the form and are eligible. For the Discretionary Top Up Grant announced by the Government on the 2nd May 2020 you can only register at the moment.  The Government has published the guidelines for the Discretionary Top Up Grant, which are available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885011/local-authority-discretionary-grants-fund-guidance-local-government.pdf.  Please note as a discretionary scheme the Council also has to set its own guidelines which it is currently doing and we hope to publish very soon on this website.  As soon as we do you will be able to apply for the Discretionary Top Up Grant.

Once a form is completed in full we will process the claim and any qualifying and approved businesses will have the money transferred to their bank accounts. 

All completed eligible claims for the business grants bar the Discretionary Top Up Grant have been processed and grants paid if they are an eligible business.

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.

Only one grant is available for properties in this category.

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 with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive £10,000 and if the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000 they will receive £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.

From 25th March 2020 the following categories have also been included: Employment agencies, estate agents and letting agents, betting shops, wellness centres, spas, massage parlours, casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls.

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 such as Medical services e.g. vets, dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors. Professional services e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisers, tutors. Post office sorting office.

If you have any doubt whether you qualify for this grant please email us at businesssupport@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.

Discretionary Top Up Grant

The Government announced a discretionary top up of the grants on the 2 May 2020 with the announcement at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-up-to-local-business-grant-funds-scheme. The Government have since published their guidelines at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885011/local-authority-discretionary-grants-fund-guidance-local-government.pdf.  Please note as a discretionary scheme the Council also has to set its own guidelines which it is currently doing and we hope to publish very soon on this website.  As soon as we do you will be able to apply for the Discretionary Top Up Grant.  Businesses, though, can register for this top up grant at www.GrantApproval.co.uk and we will email you as we get further information, as well as informing you when you can apply.  You will need to complete an application for this grant and meet the required criteria to be considered for this grant.

To claim the 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.  The Council will then check eligibility and distribute grants as soon as it possibly can.  Please note that the information requested is 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).  We are planning to start getting grant payments out in early April, provided you have completed the form and are eligible.

The system will ask for certain details, so it is suggested you have your business rates or utility bill or lease (as appropriate) for the property you are claiming the grant for with you when you complete the form.  You will also need at least 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, although you can only claim one grant per property.  If this is the case, though, you will only need to register once.  The system on the one registration for either the business or top up grant 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.

Please also be aware that the Council will seek to recovery wrongly paid and will take the appropriate action if any fraud is committed claiming a grant.

Please sign up for an online business rates account

As a Business Rate payer, you can see details about your own account at https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/revsandbens/business-rates/  such as:

  • your current charge and previous charges
  • discounts and exemptions that have been granted
  • payments that have been made (excluding today)
  • your total account balance

You can also register to pay your Business Rates by Direct Debit.  We are continuing to be open as normal for businesses but our telephone lines are busier than normal.  If you need help about the business grants and cannot find it on our website please email us at businesssupport@midsussex.gov.uk.  If you need general business rates advice please email us at revenue@midsussex.gov.uk.

Any problems with Self Service

If you are having any problems with your self service account, please contact adminsupport@midsussex.gov.uk. This includes problems registering and logging in.