As part of its response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Scottish Government has made grants available to certain businesses. The purpose of these grants is to help protect jobs, prevent business closure and promote economic recovery. Falkirk Council has been asked to administer the grants for businesses based in the Falkirk Council area.
The Scottish Government has defined eligible businesses as:
Businesses operating in an eligible premise in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme and Rural Relief as at 17 March 2020, can apply for a one-off grant of £10,000.
You can also get this grant if you received Nursery Relief, Business Growth Accelerator Relief, Disabled Relief, Fresh Start, Discretionary Sports Relief, Charitable Rate Relief, or Enterprise Areas Relief on this date and are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.
Other retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and up to and including £50,999 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.
Self catering accommodation and caravans
These are eligible if associated receipts represent a primary source (for example, one third or more) of the ratepayer's earnings and the property has been let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20.
Multiple retail, hospitality or leisure properties
If your business has more than one property, you may be able to apply to either of the grants above for each eligible property.
Each additional property may be eligible for a:
- Small Business Support Grant of £7,500
- Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant of £18,750
These additional grants will need to comply with the European Union's State Aid rules.
From 05 May 2020, if you have multiple properties and are not eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme, you may still be eligible for a Small Business Support Grant for any retail, hospitality or leisure properties with a rateable value up to £18,000 each. All of your properties must have a combined rateable value of between £35,001 and £51,000.
For multiple properties you need to make a separate application for each eligible property. (These additional grants will need to comply with the European Union's State Aid rules)
From 28 May 2020, under the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act, businesses with certain connections to tax havens may not receive coronavirus-related grants from Scottish Ministers. Tax havens are defined as those listed in the EU List of Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions for Tax Purposes as follows:
- American Samoa
- Cayman Islands
- Trinidad and Tobago
- US Virgin Islands
More information on eligibility can be found on the governments website.
How to apply
Before you begin
You will need:
- Rates Return number
- Bank account details
- Name of the account holder
- Account number
- Sort code
- A bank statement
You need to know if you are in receipt of one of the following:
- The Small Business Bonus Scheme
- Rural Relief
- Eligible for SBBS but in receipt of Nursery Relief, Disabled Relief, Fresh Start, Business Growth Accelerator Relief, Enterprise Areas Relief, Discretionary Sports Relief or Charitable Rate Relief
If you have a business rates account with Falkirk Council, you must use this online form to apply for a grant. If you cannot apply using this online form, please email us with:
- your Falkirk Council business rates account number
- the address of your business in the council area
- your business name and contact details
We will contact you as soon as possible.
We will review your application and will aim to make payment, in strict accordance with Scottish Government eligibility criteria, within 10 working days from receipt of a fully completed application.
The deadline for applications is 31 March 2021.
Frequently asked questions
How long will it take the Council to process my application?
Once you have completed all sections of the application form and submitted the relevant documents i.e. your bank statement, we will review your application and aim to make payment, in strict accordance with Scottish Government eligibility criteria, within 10 working days from receipt of a fully completed application.
How long do I have to apply for the grant?
Eligible ratepayers can apply for the one-off grant payment up to 31 March 2021.
What if I get Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief?
If you applied for Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme, you can also apply for the £10,000 grant.
What if I have more than one eligible property?
The Scottish Government have advised that those businesses who have received a grant or meet the eligibility criteria for the Business Support Fund or the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Support Fund Grant Schemes, may now qualify for a grant on an additional property which they pay rates on.
I own a property, but it is not in use/unoccupied at present, do I still qualify for the grant?
No, unoccupied properties are not eligible for the grant.
I run a Bed & Breakfast but pay Council tax rather than non-domestic rates, do I qualify for the grant?
No, only properties on the non-domestic rates register can apply for the grant. However, you may be able to access other forms of support. For more information visit the Business Gateway website.
I have a self-catering property, will the Council still pay me the grant?
Self-catering accommodation and caravans are considered eligible for grant funding if associated receipts represent a primary source (for example, one third or more) of the ratepayer's earnings and the property has been let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20.
Local Authorities may specify any additional evidence they require (for example, records of bookings, a copy of public liability insurance cover or a website) in order to confirm eligibility.
My business had not yet opened for the season when restrictions began, do I still qualify for the grant?
For the £10,000 grant, qualification requires occupation of the business premises as at 17 March 2020 although you do not have to have been taking guests at this time i.e. a seasonal business is still eligible as long as they were registered for Non- domestic rates.