The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, commonly known as RHLGF, is a UK Government fund that aims to support businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector through the financial difficulties arising from the coronavirus outbreak by providing a one-off cash payment of £10,000 or £25,000 to qualifying businesses in relation to any qualifying properties.
The key features of the RHLGF are:
1. RHLGF background – RHLGF was announced by the Government on 11th March 2020.
2. Qualifying businesses - Businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000.
3. Qualifying properties – The relevant property must have had a rateable value of less than £51,000 on the 11th March 2020 and have been eligible for a discount under the business rates Expanded Retail Discount Scheme had that scheme been in force at the time.
4. Multiple properties – Qualifying businesses will receive one grant per qualifying property under RHLGF.
5. Exclusions – Qualifying businesses cannot receive RHLGF and a Small Business Grant (under the SBGF) for the same property. There are a limited number of other exclusions.
6. Amounts – Qualifying businesses with a qualifying property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Qualifying businesses with a qualifying property that has a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
7. Making claims – Local authorities are required to contact qualifying businesses whom they consider to be eligible for payments from the RHLGF and invite them to apply. It appears that local authorities have chosen to write letters to businesses and request them to respond to an email address or complete an online form. The person contacted will be the person who according to the billing authority’s records was the ratepayer for the property on the 11th March 2020.
8. Payments – The local authority will assess any RHLGF application before making the payment. The RHLGF payments will be made by BACS to the applicant’s UK bank account specified in their application.
9. Status – The RHLGF is open and local authorities have been making RHLGF payments.