Business Rates Grant Aid Payments Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Welsh Government announced two grant aid schemes to support a range of businesses through the Covid 19 pandemic.

There are two specific award levels (£10,000) and (£25000) and both schemes have specific eligibility criteria. The Grant Aid Schemes also directly link into the Welsh Small Business Rates Relief Scheme and the Expanded Rates Relief Scheme. Details of each the schemes are shown on our website.

We appreciate there has been a lot of uncertainty with the schemes as the final guidance was not issued until 5th April 2020, which has led to a significantly higher volume of work being received. As part of the customer feedback that has been receiving we have set down some common questions and answers to help. This list is not exhaustive and will be added to if more themes are identified.

I am unsure if I qualify for a grant as there are different qualification dates for England and Wales Welsh Government has decided that occupied properties as at 20th March 2020 may be eligible for the either of the grant schemes.

This is different to England where the date is 11th March 2020. If you want to apply for the grant scheme please complete our form using the following link

What happens if I move into a property after 20th March 2020?

There will be no entitlement to the Grant Aid payment, however you may qualify for either Small Business Rates Relief or the Expanded Retail Relief Scheme

What would happen if I had moved into a property before the 20th March 2020 but had not notified the Council of this change?

Welsh Government has allowed Local Authorities an element of discretion within the scheme, however as the payments are to be audited by Welsh Government / HMRC & HM Business Rates Grant Aid Payments FAQs 2 Treasury we would need to see proof of occupation, such as a lease agreement and utility bills. This is to ensure the policy is being adopted correctly and it reduces the risk of fraud.

I have an agreement with my Landlord who pays the Business Rates as part of my lease, will I get a grant payment?

Welsh Government states that we must pay the grant award to the Ratepayer occupying the premises and who is liable for the Business Rates. In this type of case the Landlord, who is liable for the Business Rates will be awarded the grant. There are however three options

a) You contact the landlord directly and arrange the transfer of the payment to you.

b) You contact the landlord and he agrees that the payment is to be made direct to you, rather than them.

c) The Landlord agrees to transfer the liability of the Business Rates, however this must be prior to the 20th March 2020

For both b) and c) we will need to see evidence such as an email from the Landlord. Please sent this through to [email protected] and put in the subject line ‘Urgent Grant Aid Review’.

If I qualify for Small Business Rates Relief how much will my grant aid payment be?

Welsh Government amended the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme to a maximum of two properties per Local Authority area. The award would be £10,000 per property that receives Small Business Rates Relief. This grant aid scheme adopts the same principles as the Small Business Rates Relief legislation and is awarded to a maximum of two qualifying properties where the Rateable Value is up to and including £12,000. Business Rates Grant Aid Payments

Is there a limit of how many grant awards will be payable to me under the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme as I have 5 properties within the Small Business Rates threshold range?

Yes the maximum award would be £10,000 per property so in this case you would only qualify for a total grant aid payment of £20,000 (£10,000 x 2) How do I access the higher grant of £25,000? Welsh Government has stated the higher grant of £25,000 will be payable where the property is occupied, has a Rateable Value of between £12,001 and £51,000 and is in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Sectors.

Are there qualification rules or do all Businesses within this range receive the £25,000 award?

Yes there are specific guidelines in awarding this relief, which links directly into the Expanded Rates Relief Scheme. Full details of this scheme can be found on our website or at Business Wales. Additionally where the property is within a national chain the grant payment may be withheld until confirmation is received about State Aid Funding.

I completed my form online and there was a question about State Aid, what does this mean?

Welsh Government has taken advice from UK Government, who in turn have applied to the EU for a relaxation of State Aid Rules. This has been granted in part and there are two State Aid thresholds. For the £10,000 grant the limit of State Aid funding is 200,000 Euros over the last 3 years and for the £25,000 grant this is 800,000 Euros over the last 3 years. So if you have already received grants from Local Government, the EU or National Government which exceeds the respective values then you should not claim this grant payment Business Rates Grant Aid Payments

I occupy 6 Businesses in the Council’s area four of which are below the £12,001 Rateable Value threshold, including two offices, a shop and an industrial unit. My other two properties are another shop with a Rateable Value of £19,000 and a large pub with a Rateable Value of £55,000. How much grant aid will I get?

In this case the total grants payable is £45,000. This is made up as follows ((2 x £10,000 for the Small Business Rates Properties) + (1 x £25,000 for the £19,000 Rateable Value shop) The Large Pub’s Rateable value is greater than the retail threshold and is ineligible and the maximum grant payable under the £12,001 threshold is capped at two qualifying businesses for Small Business Rates relief as stated above.

I am still waiting for my property to be brought into the Rating list will I qualify for a grant?

Properties are brought into the Rating list by the Valuation Office Agency, we understand they have some outstanding cases and once these are brought into the list we can review the eligibility for the grant schemes. Until then we cannot make an award.

I use a shared space in a property e.g. a small café within a larger shop will the owner and I both get a grant?

We can only award the grant aid payment to the Ratepayer liable for the Business Rates, in this type of case only one award will be made and we cannot pay both parties. There are some options available:

a) An agreement can be made between the relevant parties and the grant aid payment split on the agreed proportions. Please note this is between you and the other business and we cannot intervene.

b) You can request the Valuation Office Agency to split the property, in essence creating two entries within the Rating List.

The Valuation Office Agency may decide this is not appropriate and leave it as one assessment or to split it into two. Business Rates Grant Aid Payments For option b) we can only pay the grant to both businesses if the Valuation Office Agency sets a Rateable Value on each and both new parts meet the eligibility criteria as mentioned above. The businesses may be the need to supply evidence to the Valuation Office in support of this action.

I am a sole trader and do not have a company number or VAT registration number. Can I still get a grant?

Yes as long as meet the criteria already mentioned before, please complete our data capture form so we can put through the award.

What happens if I do not re-open until much later in the year or decide not to re-open will I have to pay the grant back?

No, as long as the business is not in liquidation or dissolved when the grant is awarded, and otherwise meets all applicable conditions

Can I opt out of a grant scheme payment even though I am eligible?

Yes any business may decline the grant

My Business is a partnership with multiple owners, who will get the grant payment

We will use the information received on the data capture form and cross check this against our Business Rates database. We would be making a payment to the lead person on the Business Rates bill.

Are these grants taxable?

We have not had any guidance on this from Welsh Government, however within the wider UK it is understood HMRC will be treating these grants as taxable, however businesses that make a loss this year will pay no tax on the grant Business Rates Grant Aid Payments

When will I get paid?

We are hoping to process the grants within 7 to 10 working days of receiving the data capture form. However we have experienced a huge volume of forms, correspondence and emails, which may delay the process slightly. We are adding in additional, qualified resources and officers are working evenings and through weekends and bank holidays to get the payments out.

Is there any other help available to me and my business?

Welsh Government has announced details of further schemes to support businesses, some of these details are known, others are in the process of being developed by Welsh Government. We will update our website with the latest details when we get them. I disagree with the decision not to award the grant.

How do I appeal?

Whilst there is no formal guidance on this from Welsh Government we understand that in these unprecedented times mistakes may happen or that there is additional evidence being made available against a decision to refuse a grant payment. If this is the case please send us an email to [email protected] and put in the subject line ‘Urgent Grant Aid Review