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 Epsom & Ewell Borough 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.