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Coronavirus: £25,000 Grant Scheme extended to Sport

Registration is now open for businesses to apply for the £25,000 Business Grant Scheme for the retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors

This scheme has been provided to support businesses that are currently experiencing financial hardship, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and have a need for financial relief under the terms and conditions of the Business Support Scheme.

Businesses can complete a pre-application check, apply for the scheme and provide their bank details by completing the following online application form.

£25,000 Business Support Grant Scheme Application Form

Please note the closing date for scheme registrations is 20 May 2020.

Applications will be assessed and payments made as soon as possible where they demonstrate clear eligibility. In cases where eligibility is less clear, it will be necessary to carry out further verification checks, you will be contacted where further information is required and payments will be made as soon as possible. Therefore, you should regularly check the email account (and the junk mail). The grant payment will be sent directly to your bank account and you will receive an email confirming that the grant payment has been issued.

Applicants who need to report associated changes to their rate account (for example to report that a previously vacant property is now occupied) must ensure that changes are reported to the helpline on Tel: 0300 200 7809 by 1 May 2020. This is to allow sufficient time for the rate account to be updated and the online grant registration to be completed before the scheme closing date of 20 May 2020.

£25,000 Business Grant Scheme: details of the scheme

The NI Executive is providing a one-off grant of £25,000 to eligible businesses that have a Net Annual Value (NAV), otherwise known as a rateable value, of between £15,001 and £51,000 within the retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors, subject to some exclusions.

Eligible businesses/properties
Businesses must operate in a premises in the retail, hospitality, tourism or leisure sectors, in one of the following:

Amusements Garden Centre Race Track
Arts Gallery Golf Driving Range Restaurant
Auction Mart Harbour Retail Warehouse
Bakery Ice Rink Riding School
Bingo Hall Laundry Shooting Range
Bowling Alley Leisure/Gym/Fitness Centre Shop
Cafe Market Showroom
Camping Site Museum Sports Club
Car Wash Office (in eligible sector) Taxi Depot
Caravan Site Outdoor Centre Theatre
Cinema Petrol Filling Station Tourism Accommodation
Entertainment Centre Play Centre Visitor Centre
Exhibition Venue Post Office
Funeral Parlour Public House

If you think your business should be eligible for the grant but does not appear on this list, you should contact the helpline on Tel: 0300 200 7809.

Businesses/properties excluded from this grant
The following businesses/properties are excluded from receiving the grant:

  • Vacant properties.
  • Public bodies.
  • Premises used for manufacturing purposes.
  • Properties with a rateable value of under £15,001 or over £51,000.
  • Businesses which as of the 15 March 2020 were insolvent, about to file for insolvency, dissolved or about to be dissolved.
  • Businesses that were dormant as of the 15 March 2020 – ie not trading but not insolvent.

Further conditions

  • Businesses with multiple premises meeting the rateable value criteria outlined above will only be eligible for one grant of £25,000.
  • Businesses who have already received a £10,000 grant under the Small Business Grant Scheme, and who have an additional property which falls within the £15,001 to £51,000 rateable value and meets the other eligibility criteria for the £25,000 Business Grant Scheme, are eligible to apply.
  • Businesses that have already received the £10,000 grant and because of a revision of rateable valuation are now eligible for the £25,000 grant for this property will only be entitled to receive the balance of £15,000.
  • For rental properties, the scheme is being designed to benefit the businesses and not the landlord or managing agent who is responsible for paying the rates. Landlords, managing agents and small businesses in this situation should not use the Business Grant Support online form to register for the scheme but should wait until a new online form for rental properties is made available.

How to access the £25,000 grant

If you think you are eligible for the £25,000 Business Support Grant, you should use the online application form to check initial eligibility details, apply for the grant, provide the necessary information to allow us to verify your eligibility and provide bank details for payment.

Data handling
You should note that your data will be shared and handled in line with the Department for the Economy’s Privacy Notice.

Pre-application check
The online application form has been designed to only allow businesses with an eligible Ratepayer ID and Occupancy ID to complete their details.

You can check whether your business meets the pre-application criteria for this grant by entering the Ratepayer ID and Occupancy ID from your business rate bill. If you don’t have your Ratepayer ID and Occupancy ID, contact the helpline on Tel: 0300 200 7809.

If your business has been identified within the pre-application check as eligible for this grant, you will be asked to complete the rest of the online application form, provide verification details and provide your bank details for payment.

If your business has not been identified within the pre-application check for this grant, this could be because the rateable value of your property is not between £15,001 and £51,000, your property is registered as vacant or because your business isn’t considered to be within the retail, hospitality, tourism or leisure sector.

If you think your business should be eligible and it meets the rateable value criteria, but it does not appear on this list, you should contact the helpline on Tel: 0300 200 7809.

How do I know the NAV or rateable value of my property?
You can find the rateable value of your property by searching the non-domestic Valuation List.

Ratepayers whose rateable value will change due to Reval2020
This is not a normal rating year because the new non-domestic Valuation List came into effect on 1 April 2020, following the non-domestic Revaluation (Reval2020).

Ministers want to be as inclusive and supportive of business as possible and want to make sure that no individual business is disadvantaged by the change. Therefore, each business affected by the Reval2020 will get the grant on the basis of whichever valuation list would benefit them the most – the 7th list on 15 March 2020 or the 8th list on 1 April 2020.

Land & Property Services (LPS) will undertake a special exercise to identify these cases:

  • Retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure premises whose rateable value decreased to £51,000 or less on 1 April 2020 will be eligible for the £25,000 grant. The Department for the Economy (DfE) and LPS are working on identifying these businesses.
  • Retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure premises whose rateable value fell to £15,001 or below on 1 April will still get the £25,000 grant.
  • Retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure premises whose rateable value increased to over £15,001 on 1 April will get the £25,000 rather than £10,000.

Businesses who fall into one of these three categories should complete the online application form.

Collection of bank details

After you complete the online application form, you will be provided with a reference number. You will also be asked to send a copy of your business’ bank statement for verification purposes. The bank statement must:

  • Cover the period including 15 March 2020.
  • Allow DfE to read the name of the account holder, the property address, the sort code and account number.
  • This will be used to validate that business transactions were occurring on 15 March 2020. You can redact any other transactions that you consider to be irrelevant.

You will be given an application reference number when you make your online application.  Following the completion of your application, you should email a copy of your bank statement and your contact name, quoting your reference number, to the following email address: [email protected]

You should note that the reference number is required to ensure that it is associated with your application. Not adding the reference number may result in your application being refused.

Please note that a PDF or scanned copy of the bank statement is preferable.  A photograph of your statement can be provided in exceptional circumstances.

Why is this information required?
Your bank statement will be used to:

  • Verify the bank account belongs to an eligible business.
  • Check you have entered your bank account details correctly for payment.
  • Verify your business was trading on 15 March 2020.

What if I can’t supply a bank statement? 
In order to complete the verification process, you will be required to provide a copy of your business’ bank statement.

Where you do not have access to online banking systems or have a copy of your statement that covers the period at 15 March 2020 and matches the other bank statement requirements set out above, you should contact your bank to obtain a PDF copy of your statement. If you can only provide a paper copy, then a photograph of your statement can be provided as a last resort – you should note that DfE reserves the right to ask for other corroborating evidence if required.

Please email the following address: [email protected] if there is an exceptional circumstance which means you cannot provide a bank statement and the verification team will discuss options with you.

Further information – FAQs and helpline

Find further information in the frequently asked questions on the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant (PDF, 617K).

If you have enquiries about the £25,000 grant scheme call Tel: 0300 200 7809. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.

Next steps following completion of the application form and provision of bank statement

Your application details will be checked alongside your bank account statement and if everything is in order, the grant payment will be sent directly to your bank account. You will receive a notification when your payment has been processed.

Please note the closing date for the scheme is 20 May 2020. During this time applications will be assessed and payments made as soon as possible if they can demonstrate clear eligibility. In cases where eligibility is less clear, it will be necessary to carry out further verification checks and payments will be made as soon as possible.

Your responsibilities
You are responsible for providing accurate and true information.

Businesses should note that:

  • Providing wrong or misleading information is an offence and any such information may be used against me in any subsequent criminal investigation. The information provided on this claim form may be made available to other departments/agencies for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime.
  • Any payment must be declared to HMRC as appropriate as part of the tax return for the business. For further information, you can contact HMRC’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline.
  • The grant constitutes State Aid that falls within the scope of the EC’s de minimis Regulation. You will be asked to provide information on other de minimis support your company has received and confirm that you agree to the State Aid conditions when completing the online form. If DfE cannot pay your grant on a de minimis basis, they will pay this on the basis of the UK’s COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK authorities (SA.56841). If this becomes necessary, DfE will contact you to request additional information.
  • You will be asked to certify that all the information provided in this application is correct and you agree to repay on demand to DfE all of the funding received from this scheme, if DfE, the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO), DfE Internal Audit Services (IAS) or their representatives decide after investigation, that the grant was awarded on the basis of wrong or misleading information provided when making my application to this scheme.

On the online application form, businesses will be asked to certify that:

  • The business on which this application is based is currently experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and has an evident need for financial relief under the terms and conditions of DfE’s Business Support Scheme. DfE will as usual use a risk-based approach to compliance.
  • Any grant received by the business, under the terms and conditions of DfE’s Business Support Scheme, will be used only for the purpose intended – ie to help alleviate the financial pressure of the recipient business and to the exclusion of any other individual or third party gain.
  • The information provided as an authorised applicant for the business is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief and I agree, should DfE, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, or their representatives, determine that the grant was awarded on the basis of wrong or misleading information, the grant will be subject to recovery in full.
  • They accept that acceptance of this grant means that any officer/agent of DfE or Northern Ireland Audit Office or their representatives at any reasonable time to enter its premises to interview the applicant and inspect, copy, record and take away any accounting or other record, including original documents, as may be required for the purposes of confirming the eligibility of the applicant.
  • They understand that providing wrong or misleading information to secure public money is an offence and may lead to criminal investigation and prosecution.
  • They understand that the information provided on this claim form will be made available to other government departments and their agencies for the purpose of detecting and preventing crime.
  • They understand that if DfE approves this application, these terms and conditions shall be enforceable on the basis of a contract between me/the business and DfE.