Retail and Hospitality Grant Schemes in the UK

Information on these schemes for all countries in the UK.

Retail and Hospitality Grant Schemes

June 8th, 2020

In response to the economic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government released its Business Grants Scheme. This scheme included two packages, the Small Business Grant and the Retail and Hospitality Grant. The latter is designed to support businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.

Support for Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Businesses in England:

Business Rates Holiday:

Retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses in England will benefit from a business rates holiday for the tax year of 2020 to 2021. Eligible businesses will be retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses based in England.

To benefit from the business rates holiday, your business should be mainly or wholly used:

  • as a shop, restaurant, cafe, drinking establishment, cinema, or live music venue.
  • for assembly or leisure.
  • for hospitality, as a hotel, guest and boarding premises, or self-catering accommodation.

This scheme does not require any action on your part, but local authorities may have to reissue your bill, which will be done as soon as possible. You can use the UK government's business rate calculator to estimate your business rate charge.

Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme:

Businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of up to £15,000 may be eligible for a grant of £10,000 and those with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.

Eligibility criteria:
  • Your business must be based in England.
  • Your business must be in the retail, hospitality, or leisure sector.
  • Your business must have a rateable value of under £51,000.
  • Your business should be in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount.
  • Your property must be an occupied property that is mainly or wholly used as a shop, restaurant, cafe, drinking establishment, cinema, or live music venue, for assembly or leisure, or for hospitality, as a hotel, guest and boarding premises, or self-catering accommodation.

If you are not a ratepayer in the business rates system, you will not be eligible for this grant. Properties occupied for personal use and those which, as of March 11, are in liquidation or have been dissolved, are also not eligible for this grant.

You should be aware that businesses cannot receive both the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme.

Accessing the scheme:

Early access to £3.4 billion was given to every local authority on Friday, March 27, 2020, so that grants could be given to businesses as soon as possible. Eligible businesses will be contacted by their local authority for business information.

However, some local authorities have decided to institute an application process. If you have not been contacted by your local authority, you should contact them to discuss your eligibility.

State aid:

State aid will be applied to this scheme. This means that businesses that are offered grants under the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme, particularly those with multiple properties, cannot receive more than €800,000 under the Temporary Framework.

You will be asked to sign a declaration that you have not received more than €800,000 under the Temporary Framework and you will need to confirm that your business was not in any difficulty on December 31, 2019.

Support for Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Businesses in Scotland:

Rates Relief:

All retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses that are based in Scotland will receive 100% rates relief. Eligible businesses must be occupied properties or properties that have been temporarily closed by the government due to COVID-19.

You do not need to apply for this relief as it will be automatically applied to your bill by your local council. The rates relief will apply even if you receive another type of relief for your property.

Cash Grant:

Businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors that have a rateable value of between £18,001 and £51,000 can apply for a cash grant of £25,000. These businesses that have a rateable value of less than £18,000 can apply for a cash grant of £10,000.

Eligibility criteria:
  • Businesses must be in the retail, hospitality, or leisure sectors.
  • Businesses must have a rateable value of less than £51,000.
  • Small businesses with a rateable value of less than £18,000 should be in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme relief or the Rural Relief.
  • Businesses that have applied for the Nursery Relief, Business Growth Accelerator Relief, Disabled Relief, or Fresh Start, but who are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme relief, are also eligible.
  • Self-catering accommodation and caravans are eligible if they are the primary source of income (a third or more) for the ratepayer and were let out for 140 days or more in the 2019-2020 financial year.

Businesses such as boathouses, sites (such as kiosks or photobooths), slipways, stances (such as market stalls), and timeshare units are not eligible for this grant.

Accessing the grant:

You will need to fill out an application form, which you can find on the website of your local council. You should be aware that you will only be allowed to apply for one grant, even if you own multiple properties.

The deadline for application is March 31, 2020, and local councils will begin making payments from April 6, 2020.

The Scottish government is working with the UK government to apply State Aid rules to their grants.

Support for Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Businesses in Wales:

Rates Relief:

Businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors in Wales will receive a 100% rates relief from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Eligible businesses will be occupied properties with a rateable value of £500,000 or less and will include those businesses that were forcibly closed by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be eligible for rates relief, properties should be used mainly or wholly for the purpose of retail, hospitality, or leisure businesses. Eligible ratepayers who occupy more than one of these properties are entitled to rates relief for each of their properties.

Local authorities in Wales will be responsible for applying this relief as a reduction to the rates bills of eligible businesses. If a property undergoes a change of ownership and the new ratepayer is in occupation on or after April 1, 2020, the local authority can use its discretion in whether to apply the rates relief. Empty properties that become occupied after April 1, 2020, will qualify for rates relief.

Cash Grant:

Local authorities across Wales will deliver a cash grant of £25,000 to businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors that occupy properties and have a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000. Small businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will receive a cash grant of £10,000.

Eligibility criteria:
  • Your business must be based in Wales.
  • Your business must be in the retail, hospitality, or leisure sectors.
  • Your business must have a rateable value of less than £51,000.
Accessing the grant:

Individual local authorities across Wales are responsible for administering the cash grants to eligible businesses. You do not need to apply or contact your council but will receive information regarding this grant in due course.

However, if you believe that your business is eligible for this cash grant but you have not yet received any information, you can check your local authority's webpage for information on accessing the grant.

Support for Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Businesses in Northern Ireland:

Business Rates Holiday:

All Northern Ireland non-domestic ratepayers (not including public sectors and utilities) will receive a 3-month business rates holiday. This means that no rates will be charged for April, May, and June 2020, with the next rates bill issued only in June 2020.

This is an automatic application, so you do not need to apply to have your business rates deferred.

Sports and Recreation Rates Relief:

Clubs, societies, and organizations that provide sports or recreation services may be able to apply for the Sports and Recreation Rates Relief. This rates relief is an 80% reduction for that part of eligible properties which is used solely for recreation. The areas that are not used solely for recreation are excluded from this rates relief.

To be eligible, properties must:

  • be occupied for the purpose of the prescribed recreation.
  • be occupied by a not-for-profit club or society.
  • not employ any person to engage in any recreation for reward.

You will need to apply to the Land & Property Services for the Sports and Recreation Rates Relief. You can use their online form to submit your application.

Cash Grant:

Northern Ireland businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a £25,000 cash grant.

Eligibility criteria:
  • Your business must be based in Northern Ireland.
  • Your business must be in the retail, hospitality, or leisure sectors.
  • Your business must have a rateable value of less than £51,000.
Accessing the grant:

The grant will be administered to qualifying companies by the Department for the Economy and Invest Northern Ireland together with the Department of Finance's Land and Property Services.

However, this grant is not yet in operation. We will update our article as soon as details for accessing this grant have been published.

More COVID-19 Resources:

FAQs:

What is the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme?

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme is part of a government package designed to support businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors. The UK government is offering this grant which will be distributed to all eligible businesses across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

How much is the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme?

All retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses that are based in the UK, occupy property, and have a rateable value of less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have slightly different eligibility criteria but will distribute the same amounts.

Which businesses are eligible for the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme in England?

  • Your business must be based in England.
  • Your business must be in the retail, hospitality, or leisure sector.
  • Your business must have a rateable value of under £51,000.
  • Your business should be in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount.
  • Your property must be an occupied property that is mainly or wholly used as a shop, restaurant, cafe, drinking establishment, cinema, or live music venue, for assembly or leisure, or for hospitality, as a hotel, guest and boarding premises, or self-catering accommodation.

Which businesses are eligible for the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme in Scotland?

  • Businesses must be in the retail, hospitality, or leisure sectors.
  • Businesses must have a rateable value of less than £51,000.
  • Small businesses with a rateable value of less than £18,000 should be in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme relief or the Rural Relief.
  • Businesses that have applied for the Nursery Relief, Business Growth Accelerator Relief, Disabled Relief, or Fresh Start, but who are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme relief, are also eligible.
  • Self-catering accommodation and caravans are eligible if they are the primary source of income (a third or more) for the ratepayer and were let out for 140 days or more in the 2019-2020 financial year.

Which businesses are eligible for the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme in Wales?

  • Your business must be based in Wales.
  • Your business must be in the retail, hospitality, or leisure sectors.
  • Your business must have a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Which businesses are eligible for the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme in Northern Ireland?

  • Your business must be based in Northern Ireland.
  • Your business must be in the retail, hospitality, or leisure sectors.
  • Your business must have a rateable value of less than £51,000.

How do businesses in England access the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme?

Eligible businesses will be contacted by their local authority for business information. However, some local authorities have decided to institute an application process. If you have not been contacted by your local authority, you should contact them to discuss your eligibility.

How do businesses in Scotland access the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme?

You will need to fill out an application form, which you can find on the website of your local council.

How do businesses in Wales access the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme?

Individual local authorities across Wales are responsible for administering the cash grants to eligible businesses. You do not need to apply or contact your council but will receive information regarding this grant in due course.

How do businesses in Northern Ireland access the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme?

Northern Ireland has not yet set this grant into operation.

Does my business qualify for a business rates holiday?

All businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sector that are based in the UK and occupy property will receive a business rates holiday. The length of the holiday varies by country.

What is the business rates discount for English businesses?

Retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses in England will benefit from a 100% business rates holiday for the tax year of 2020 to 2021. This scheme does not require any action on your part, but local authorities may have to reissue your bill, which will be done as soon as possible.

What is the business rates discount for Scottish businesses?

All retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses that are based in Scotland will receive 100% rates relief holiday. You do not need to apply for this relief as it will be automatically applied to your bill by your local council.

What is the business rates discount for Welsh businesses?

Businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors in Wales will receive a 100% rates relief from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Local authorities in Wales will be responsible for applying this relief as a reduction to the rates bills of eligible businesses.

What is the business rates discount for Northern Irish businesses?

All Northern Ireland non-domestic ratepayers (not including public sectors and utilities) will receive a 3-month business rates holiday. This is an automatic application, so you do not need to apply to have your business rates deferred.