COVID-19 business support schemes (e.g. grants and the COVID-19 additional business rate relief) are subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). However, for COVID-19 business support there is an exemption for subsidies under the value of approximately £2,243,000 per economic actor (broadly speaking, for example, a holding company and its subsidiaries).
This allowance comprises 325,000 Special Drawing Rights (at current exchange rates about £343,000) for Small Amounts of Financial assistance and a further £1,900,000 for COVID-19 related subsidy. Therefore, to be eligible you must not have claimed over the period 2019/20 to 2021/22 more than £2,243,000 from schemes which fell within the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance or COVID-19 related allowances. COVID-19 business grants you have received from local government and 2019/20 Business Rate Retail Relief should count towards this limit, but you should not count any Extended Retail Discount you have received since 1 April 2020. Further details of subsidy control can be found on the GOV.UK website.
You may claim up to a further £10 million of additional allowance (on top of the £2,243,000) only if you meet the additional requirements below and you have not claimed any other support from the additional allowance up to an aggregate £10 million limit (such as from the COVID-19 business grants). The additional requirements are:
- The business intends to use the support to fund uncovered fixed costs (costs not covered by profits for insurance etc.) during the period of COVID-19. Economic actors may claim for up to 70% of their uncovered costs (although this 70% limit does not apply to small businesses with less than 50 employees and less than £9 million turnover where the limit is instead 90%), and have shown a decline in turnover of at least 30% within the April 2020 to March 2021 period, compared to the same 2019 to 2020 period.
The Government and Wyre Forest district Council will not tolerate any business falsifying their records or providing false evidence to gain support awards, including claiming support above these thresholds. A person and/or business that falsely applies for any relief, or provides false information or makes false representation in order to gain support may be guilty of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006.