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Firebreak lockdown grants

Welsh Government launched two lockdown grants to help businesses survive the economic consequences of the Welsh national lockdown imposed as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19). The online application form is now available.

Welsh Government have set various criteria and evidence requirements which must be met before a grant can be awarded and businesses will be required to confirm that they satisfy those criteria. Applicants may be asked to provide evidence and/or further information to support the application.

However, Swansea Council aims to make automatic payments to those businesses eligible for the Non-Domestic Rate (NDR) grants wherever possible using information obtained during the payment of the last round of Non-Domestic Rate grants, earlier this year. Only businesses that are eligible for the new NDR grant but did not get the previous NDR grant, will have needed to fill in an application form.

Applications will be required in every case for the Lockdown Discretionary Grants.

If you need to apply for a grant, you must both complete the application in full and also provide all supporting evidence that is required. If you do not do that, we will be unable to process your application. The information and evidence requested should be available to all businesses as part of their normal record keeping processes.

Applicants should note that if a grant payment is made and evidence subsequently emerges to show that the applicant was not eligible for that grant payment, the local authority, acting on behalf of Welsh Government, may require repayment of the grant in full or part.

Should it be determined that the payment was made as a result of an act of fraud by the applicant or their representative, legal action will also be considered.

 

Grants

The Lockdown Non-domestic Rate Grant (closed 5.00pm 20 November) - for eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations that are liable to pay business rates as of 1 September 2020.
Swansea Council aims to make automatic payments to eligible businesses wherever possible using information obtained during the payment of the last round of Non-Domestic Rate grants, earlier this year.

Only businesses that are eligible for the new NDR grant but did not get the previous NDR grant, will need to fill in an application form.

The Lockdown Discretionary Grant - for eligible businesses that are not liable to pay business rates. Businesses with a NDR rateable value in excess of £51,000 may apply. Reopened 18 November.

Read more below, or apply here.

 

The Lockdown Discretionary Grant

Businesses with a NDR rateable value in excess of £51,000 may apply. Reopened 18 November.

Grant amount 1 - a discretionary grant of £1,500 is available to assist businesses that have:

  • Been forced to close (as specified in The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 3) (Wales) Regulations 2020) as a result of the national firebreak lockdown
  • OR are able to demonstrate that the national firebreak lockdown will result in at least a 80% reduction in their turnover for that period

Grant amount 2 - a discretionary grant of £2,000 is available to assist businesses that have:

  • Been forced to close (as specified in The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 3) (Wales) Regulations 2020) as a result of the national firebreak lockdown
  • OR are able to demonstrate that the national firebreak lockdown will result in at least a 80% reduction in their turnover for that period
  • AND have been subject to local restrictions for 3 weeks or more up to the 23 October and experienced at least a 50% reduction in their turnover for that period.

You cannot apply for both discretionary Grant 1 and Grant 2.

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

 

Eligibility

These grants can only be claimed by businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • Businesses that were trading prior to 1 September 2020
  • Businesses must be operating in Wales
  • Businesses must have one or more of the following
    • HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number
    • VAT Registration Number or a VAT exemption certificate
    • Company Registration Number
  • Have been forced to close or have experienced a drop in turnover of at least 80% as a result of the national lockdown in Wales
  • Employing 49 or less employees
  • The business must be your main source of income (>50%)
  • Supported businesses must aim to maintain employment for 12 months
  • Only one application per business
  • Businesses will need to evidence active trading up to the date of national firebreak lockdown

If you have any questions relating to eligibility for the Discretionary lockdown grant, they can be e-mailed to DiscretionaryGrant@swansea.gov.uk. There may be a delay in a response being sent as all our processing team, plus extra staff drafted in to speed up the process, will be working on making the grant payments. We appreciate your patience.

 

Exclusions for the Lockdown Discretionary Grant

Welsh Government have decided that the following businesses will not be eligible for the Lockdown Discretionary Grant

  • Businesses that are eligible for the Lockdown Non-Domestic Rate Grant are not eligible for this discretionary grant.
  • Businesses required to close having infringed social-distancing rules. However, if improvements have been made and the business has been allowed to re-open then they may be eligible for the grant (subject to meeting the eligibility criteria and sufficient funds being available to pay a grant).
  • Businesses that chose to close but are not required to close
  • Businesses in liquidation or dissolved or in process of being struck off
  • Businesses that have breached the State Aid limit
  • Businesses with 50 or more employees
  • Businesses which are not the main source of income for the owner

 

Making an application for the grants

Non-Domestic Rates Grant  - we aim to make automatic payments to eligible businesses / charities / CASCs wherever possible using information obtained during the payment of the last round of Non-Domestic Rate grants, earlier this year.

Only businesses that did not receive the previous Non-Domestic Rate grant, but are eligible for the new grant will need to apply.

Lockdown discretionary grant - Applications will in every case be required for the Lockdown Discretionary Grants.

For those businesses that do need to apply for a grant, as part of the application process they will need to provide bank account details so a payment can be made (name on the account, account number, sort code).

Evidence may be requested to support the application (such as the upload of a scanned business bank statement for discretionary grant applications) and follow up investigation activity by local authority or Welsh Government staff may be undertaken if appropriate to confirm the validity of the application.

 

How to apply

To make an application for a grant, you will need to have created a Swansea Account. If you do not have one of these already, you will be able to create one at the start of the applications process.

Once you have created your Swansea account and/or signed in, you will see a list of headings on the left of your screen or under 'Menu' on mobile. You should select:

  • Business Rates/NDR - if you are liable to pay Business Rates directly to the Council
  • Discretionary Grant - if you are not liable to pay Business rates to the Council (this includes people who pay an amount to their landlord in their rent to cover Business Rates)

Start your application here

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