Covid-19 grants linked to business rate properties in Wales
Economic Resilience Fund (ERF): Restrictions Business Fund
The Welsh Government has launched the Restrictions Business Fund to support businesses that have been directly impacted by the additional restrictions put in place on the 4th December to control the spread of Covid-19. The purpose of the grant is to provide businesses with cash flow support and to help them survive the economic consequences of the restrictions introduced. The grant seeks to complement other Covid-19 response measures to support businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations in Wales.
Guidance to welsh local authorities issued by Welsh Government
Covid-19 grants - state aid notification
Please note: Businesses who received funding earlier this year but did not complete a State Aid Declaration will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org during October/December 2020. This email will ask you to complete a few short questions using an online form.
Grants provided via the Covid-19 Non-Domestic Rates schemes will be provided to businesses under the de minimis Regulation (1407/2013). The de minimis Regulation allows businesses to receive up to €200,000 of de minimis state aid in a three-year period; this consists of the current financial year and the two previous financial years.
To administer de minimis state aid, local authorities will need to establish that the award of a grant will not result in a business having received more than €200,000 of de minimis aid. Please note that the threshold only relates to aid provided under the de minimis Regulations. Aid under other exemptions or outside the scope of State Aid is not relevant to the de minimis aid calculation.
What local authorities need to do
All local authorities in Wales are required to provide a declaration to the grant applicant and ask the question (see below) of any business applying for, or having already been paid, a grant. Please note the State Aid guidance was issued retrospectively by the Welsh Government several weeks after the grant scheme was launched. This means that some businesses will have received the declaration and answered the question as part of the initial process, whereas others will be contacted separately regarding this de minimis State Aid issue.
The details of the declaration and the state aid question are shown below for your information:
This grant is being provided to you as de minimis aid under EC Regulation 1407/2013. You can find out more about what this is here: ‘de minimis aid summary’. A grant provided to you under this scheme will be relevant if you have applied, or are planning to apply, for support in the future under de minimis.
The value of the support you are receiving under this scheme will depend on which grant you qualify for.
You will need to declare this amount to any other support agencies that ask you how much de minimis aid you have had. For the purposes of the de minimis Regulation, you must keep a record of this grant for 3 years from the date you receive it.
Has your business received any public sector assistance through a State Aid de minimis scheme over the past 3 years? Yes/No
If your answer is ‘no’, you do not need to do anything else regarding this question.
If your answer is ‘yes’, you will be asked to provide these details:
- Name of the organisation providing the assistance/aid
- The value of the assistance
- The date of the assistance
Further State Aid Information
In a minority of cases, businesses may notify local authorities that they have gone over the €200,000 limit of de minimis. If this is the case, then local authorities can still provide the business with a Covid-19 NDR grant, notifying this under the Covid-19 Temporary Framework Notification, which has a limit of €800,000. This requires local authorities to collect more information from such businesses.