Following recent Government announcements relating to the support of Leisure, Hospitality & Retail Business, a number of our clients have made immediate enquiries as to their eligibility for the Scheme. We set out below our current (as of 21st March 2020) understanding of the Scheme to try to assist you to understand what it might mean for your business.

We would advise the reader to use the Government website below to monitor the full list of reliefs and grants available to the business owner at this time, which is being updated on a daily basis:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

You can sign up for regular updates upon announcements on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?link=/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

1. What the Chancellor Said Re Leisure, Hospitality & Retail Business

2. So What Is Available?

Business Rates Holiday

You are eligible if your business is based in England and your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector and you received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property

3. Am I Considered To Be in The Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Sector?

Many businesses may feel that they are within the Sector – unfortunately, the Government may not yet consider you to be;

Things are moving rapidly – there may or may not be changed to the definitions applied by Government;

In the meantime, we publish below what currently is understood to be the business activities that will qualify.

4. What Do I Need To Do Now?

Nothing; there is no action for you, the Government has stated

5. So What Constitutes A Business In Retail?

6. So What Constitutes A Business In Leisure or Hospitality?

So far as we can ascertain, Leisure and Hospitality is a new category which was not defined previously.

We have been advised by a Local Council that this category is now defined as properties used for the provision of sport and leisure facilities, assembly of visiting members of the public and, the provision of living accommodation as a business. This apparently includes:

Note that properties must be occupied and not empty. o Helpfully we understand that properties which are temporarily closed due to Government advice on COVID-19 will be treated as occupied for the purposes of this help!

To clarify, the government has provided a list of properties that do not qualify for the relief, these are:

Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawnbrokers)