Business Support Grant - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is the closing date for applications to the Business Support Fund?

A. Applications for this scheme closed at 5pm on Friday 10th July as specified by the Scottish Government and no new applications will be accepted after this time.

  • If you made an application in the past 10 working days and have not yet heard the outcome, please be assured that this will be processed and we will contact you in due course. If we require further information to process your application, we will contact you and you must provide this by the date specified, otherwise we will consider you to have withdrawn your application.
  • If you previously applied for a grant but we requested further information from you in order to assess your application, then you must provide this by 5pm on Friday 31st July, otherwise we will consider you to have withdrawn your application.
  • If you previously applied for a grant but were considered ineligible, you may request an internal review of your case. Requests for an internal review received after 5pm on Friday July 31st will not be considered.
  • If you previously applied for a grant but your application was dependant on the views of the Assessor (for example to determine if the premises should be included in the Non-Domestic Rates Valuation Roll), this may be delayed until the Assessor is able to make a site visit. In such cases, where possible, we will endeavour to process your application using other evidence.
  • If you made an application prior to the past 10 working days and have not been advised of the outcome, you should contact us on ndr@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Q: I think I might be eligible for a grant but don’t know my Non-Domestic Rates reference number, how do I get that?

A: You can find this number on any of your previous NDR bills. If you don’t have a bill you can contact the Council’s Coronavirus Caring for People Helpline Service on 01546 605524 and select option 2 (Business Related Help) followed by option 1 (Applying for the Business Support Grant). Alternatively you can email ndr@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Q: What is my rateable value (rv)?

A: Your rv can be found on any NDR or BID bills that you may have. If you don’t have these you can find your rv on the Scottish Assessors website by clicking in to https://www.saa.gov.uk/ and entering the post code in the blue box.

Q: How can I check if I am eligible for a grant?

A: The application form lists the businesses that are eligible to apply.  The criteria were set by the Scottish Government and Argyll and Bute Council does not have any local discretion to vary criteria. 

Q: I have a self-catering unit in Argyll and Bute, am I eligible for a grant?

A: Self-catering accommodation and caravans are eligible for the one-off £10,000 grant for small businesses or the one-off £25,000 grant for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors,  where this is the primary source of earned income and the property is let for 140 days or more.  

Q: Are all businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme rate relief eligible for the £10,000 Small Business Grant Fund?

A: No.  The Scottish Government has defined the businesses that can be assisted.  These are detailed on the application form.

Q: Are only businesses in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors operating in premises with a rateable value of £18,001 or up to £51,000 eligible for the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant?

A: Yes. The Scottish Government has defined the businesses that can be assisted. These are detailed on the application form.

Q: I think I may qualify for a NDR relief scheme like the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief but I have not applied for this relief.  Am I eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund?

A: You may apply to the Small Business Grant Fund but will need to apply for the qualifying NDR relief. You can apply online at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/business-and-trade/help-business-rates . Once you have submitted your application for the relief you can apply for the Small Business Grant Fund, be sure to advise the Council that you have applied online for the qualifying NDR relief as part of your Small Business Grant Fund application.

Q: My landlord pays the NDR to the Council but the costs are passed on to me in my rent.  Can I apply for the grant?

A: This will depend on the individual circumstances.  If an application is received from a tenant who is not the ratepayer in accordance with the Councils records, the Council will contact both the landlord and the tenant to establish the circumstances. If there is evidence that a tenant is responsible for NDR within the rent, an exception may be able to be considered, but the guidance is that payments should be made to the ratepayer.

Q: I operate a seasonal business.  My premises was not yet open on 17 March.  Can I apply?

A: Scottish Government guidance states that to qualify ‘the ratepayer’ is understood to be the ratepayer as at 17 March 2020 as per the local authorities records”. Therefore if you are noted on the Council records as the ratepayer for the business on that date you can apply.

Q: Can second home owners apply for this grant?

A: This is a business grant, many second homes are on the Council Tax register and so will not get support by way of a grant. To be eligible the property must be registered for Non Domestic Rates (or in receipt of  one of the specified types of NDR relief) AND provide the majority (one third or more) of income to the applicant AND have been let for 140 days or more in the last financial year. Evidence of this will be requested with your application.

Q: What evidence is needed of majority income and days let to support my application for a grant for a self-catering accommodation unit or caravan?

A: The application form asks you to make a declaration that you are eligible against both these criteria.  As a minimum, if your property is listed for booking on a website, you should include that web link in your application. You should provide evidence appropriate to your business to support your declaration that the property has been let for 140 days in the last financial year. This will vary by business and could include screen shots of online calendars showing bookings, booking lists, or summaries from online booking sites.

Proof of income is not required with your application but the Council reserves the right to ask for evidence of this at a later date.  

Q: I have more than one eligible property within my business. Can I apply for more than one grant?

A:  Yes. Eligibility has been revised and from 5 May those with more than one eligible property can apply for one grant per eligible property.   Each additional property which meets the eligibility criteria will qualify for a grant equal to 75% of the one-off grant.

For the Small Business Fund grants, the first qualifying property will be eligible for £10,000, and each additional qualifying property will be eligible for £7,500. For the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund the grants awarded will be £25,000 for the first qualifying property and £18,750 for each additional qualifying property.

Q: What level of grant should I apply for if the rateable value of each of my eligible properties in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector is £18000 or lower but their cumulative rateable value is between £35,001 and £51,000?

A: In this case you should apply for the £10,000 Small Business Fund grant BGF for each of your qualifying Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure properties.  You can receive one £10,000 grant and £7,500 grants for any additional properties that you have in your business portfolio if they are eligible for support.

Q: If I have properties in different local authority areas can I apply via each Local Authority?

A: Yes. You can only receive one initial payment of either £10,000 or £25,000 from the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality or Leisure Fund. Once you have that initial payment you can apply for more payment for any properties you have with that authority or in different local authority areas however you MUST notify each authority of any applications that you have made with other local authorities.

Q: The NDR register does not capture the entirety of my business activity, what should I do?

A: Contact the Assessor at Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute Valuation Joint Board who has powers to change the register after a review see www.saa.gov.uk for details.

Please note: This information is for guidance and may be subject to change. Last updated : 10/07/2020.