Business rate relief for Covid-19 affected business
Updated 27 April 2022
All of the grants provided by central government have now closed.
Post payment checks
All councils have been asked by central government to provide assurance that the grant money paid out was paid in accordance with the scheme guidelines and made to the correct beneficiary – this is known as post-payment checks. You may have had an email from us asking you to provide some information to help us fulfil this requirement.
These checks may require those businesses who have received grants to provide evidence such as lease agreements, bank statements and till receipts. The information should be provided within 20 working days of being contacted by the council.
These checks will confirm whether the grant has been paid correctly and in compliance with the scheme guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions: Post Assurance Checks
Why is the council completing these checks now?
Government has produced guidance requiring local councils to undertake checks on all grants paid out under the Small Business Grants Scheme, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Scheme, and the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Scheme. These checks were not completed at the start of the schemes as the priority was to make payments as quickly as possible to eligible businesses.
What checks will be completed?
The council is required to complete a check that the business receiving the grant was eligible under the scheme (eligibility check) and that the grant has been paid to the correct individual’s bank account (beneficiary check).
Although the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, state aid rules continue to apply during the transition period. The council is also required to confirm that the payment of grants complies with the EU regulations regarding State Aid De Minimis limits. The council will require a declaration from all grant recipients that in receiving the grant, they have not exceeded these limits in respect of state aid given over a 3-year period.
What information will I need to provide for the council to complete the checks?
We will email you and request specific information. Examples of what we may request include:
- Eligibility check – we will need to confirm that the recipient of the grant was occupying the business premises and operating on the 11 March 2020. To check this, the council may request: a lease agreement; a business bank statement registered to the property; invoices raised for the period; utility bill for the business property; a Small Business Rates Relief application (where applicable); an Expanded Retail Discount application (where applicable)
- Beneficiary check – the council will need to confirm that the business receiving the grant is the correct recipient with the correct bank details. To check this, we may request: a bank statement showing name, address, sort code and account number
These documents should be provided in electronic format wherever possible, either via submitting scanned copies or taking photos and attaching these to an email and returning to firstname.lastname@example.org. These should be returned within 20 workings days of the email request.
What will happen if I don’t supply the information in the time requested?
If this information is not supplied, the council will be unable to confirm that the grant has been paid in compliance with the scheme guidance and the grant will need to be recovered.
What will happen when the checks have been completed?
When the checks have been completed, you will only be notified by the council of the outcome if it has been established that the grant payment has been fraudulently claimed or paid in error. If it is identified that the grant has been paid incorrectly (e.g. the business was not eligible or it has been paid to the wrong person) the council will undertake action to recover the grant. An invoice and explanatory covering letter will be issued in terms with the recovery process set by central government.
How will my data be handled?
Where grants are found to be compliant, your data will be stored in our system and will be retained for 3 years plus the current fiscal year. In cases where grant monies need to be recovered, data will be retained for 6 years plus the current fiscal year for debt recovery purposes, or until the debt has been repaid in full.