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Geoff Endacott

Financial Support for Clubs

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Posted (edited)

I don't know where this should be, but hope that the moderators can move it if necessary. I found this on the gov.uk website.

 

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility

You are eligible if:

your business is based in England

you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR

you are a business that occupies property

How to access the scheme

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Find your local authority.

 

Bentley MRG own our own clubroom. We receive Small Business Rates Relief and therefore pay no rates.

 

Our main source of income is usually Trainwest which has, of course, just been cancelled.

 

I will investigate and report back but would be interested if any clubs have experience of this. It looks as though it might be significant.

 

Geoff Endacott

Edited by Geoff Endacott
Typo.
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Are you able to provide a link at all? How does a business go about claiming it?

 

And are charitable businesses (e.g. heritage railways) eligible?

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I think that this is an evolving situation as the Govt realises the issues that it causes. But as I recall the current guidance, charities are not eligible.

 

Because of the rules around charities trading, I would think that most of the preservation operations would have a charitable arm and a trading arm. The latter may well be eligible.

 

Supposedly, the Councils responsible for distributing these grants will get in contact. We have had nothing from our Council yet, so I am a bit surprised that a model railway club has. 

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May well depend if the club involved is a Limited Company that is eligible for SBBR and/or RRR and occupies rateable premises

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The two criteria seem to be that you own your own premises and qualify for Small Business Rates Relief. That will probably exclude most heritage railways.

 

Geoff Endacott

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21 hours ago, Geoff Endacott said:

We have now been awarded a grant of £10,000.

 

Geoff Endacott

 

Hi Geoff 

 

Just to clarify what you've said … you say a grant, so not a loan …. a 'gift' of £10,000 that you don't need to repay.

 

No issue at all, just seeking clarification.

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Yes - it is a grant. They don't want it back. However, I suspect that our rates bill will be significantly higher in the coming years so we will end up repaying the money in a different way.

 

Geoff Endacott

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In the circumstances is this really proper? After all this is only a hobby and it’s not terribly important compared with the more urgent issues that face us all. I’m not blaming you for following the rules but it does feel like a ‘loophole’ ripe for exploitation.

 

Griff

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7 minutes ago, Geoff Endacott said:

Yes - it is a grant. They don't want it back. However, I suspect that our rates bill will be significantly higher in the coming years so we will end up repaying the money in a different way.

 

Geoff Endacott

We crossed posts.... but this illustrates my point. I’m sure the community would rather their money spent on something more worthwhile.... social care for instance?
 

Griff

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26 minutes ago, Geoff Endacott said:

Yes - it is a grant. They don't want it back. However, I suspect that our rates bill will be significantly higher in the coming years so we will end up repaying the money in a different way.

 

Geoff Endacott

 

19 minutes ago, griffgriff said:

In the circumstances is this really proper? After all this is only a hobby and it’s not terribly important compared with the more urgent issues that face us all. I’m not blaming you for following the rules but it does feel like a ‘loophole’ ripe for exploitation.

 

Griff

But as Geoff points out, nothing is free and we will all be paying this back in taxes one way or another.

 

As I see it, if you meet the criteria then you must be eligible and so should claim.

 

If this keeps the club going it means in 2021 there will be Trainwest - that attracts business for small and large modelling businesses - no Trainwest - lost income for those businesses not forgetting the hotels in the area who benefit also and the place that hosts the event.

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16 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

 

But as Geoff points out, nothing is free and we will all be paying this back in taxes one way or another.

 

As I see it, if you meet the criteria then you must be eligible and so should claim.

 

If this keeps the club going it means in 2021 there will be Trainwest - that attracts business for small and large modelling businesses - no Trainwest - lost income for those businesses not forgetting the hotels in the area who benefit also and the place that hosts the event.

I’m not blaming Geoff..... I’m blaming the system.

 

Griff

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19 minutes ago, griffgriff said:

I’m not blaming Geoff..... I’m blaming the system.

 

Griff

But in a time of crisis sometimes the system has to be a little looser as decisions are made a great haste to resolve a very sudden hardship placed upon the economy.

 

Even well planned solutions have holes in them.

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I’m sorry (and you may find this upsetting) but I feel using the phrase ‘hardship’ in a thread about a hobby is quite frankly obscene.


I think we may have to agree to disagree on this occasion.

 

Griff

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3 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

I think that this is an evolving situation as the Govt realises the issues that it causes. But as I recall the current guidance, charities are not eligible.

 

Because of the rules around charities trading, I would think that most of the preservation operations would have a charitable arm and a trading arm. The latter may well be eligible.

 

Supposedly, the Councils responsible for distributing these grants will get in contact. We have had nothing from our Council yet, so I am a bit surprised that a model railway club has. 


Every council is handling it differently. Some paid out the retailer grants within 5 days to all eligible business rate payers, others have forms on their website to download and return for payment within 28 days, and are not promoting businesses to look for them. This is based on a chat amongst shop owners, in the industry I work in, on Facebook.

 

i know from a rates appeal a couple of years ago our local council don’t keep bank details for the direct debits in an unencrypted format, so cannot refund/pay back automatically.

 

 

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There is no easy answer to this. We were invited to apply, so I did.

 

In the overall scheme of things model railways aren't terribly important.

 

Our rates discount is £3,750 a year. If that is withdrawn, the council will have their money back in three years.

 

Geoff Endacott

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4 hours ago, griffgriff said:

In the circumstances is this really proper? After all this is only a hobby and it’s not terribly important . . . 

 

Providing the facility for people to enjoy a hobby when this emergency passes is important for the social wellbeing of the country.   To suggest otherwise is to miss the point and, to answer your question, a grant in the circumstances described is proper.

 

Geoff, in my opinion, has done the right thing for his club, and should be complimented for being so open in making this announcement.    

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The other thing to bear in mind is these grants have been funded by central government, distributed by district councils.

 

Funding is therefore out of general taxation (paye, Corporation tax, VAT, national debt etc. ) and not from local council funds.

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18 minutes ago, Bonafide said:

 

Providing the facility for people to enjoy a hobby when this emergency passes is important for the social wellbeing of the country.   To suggest otherwise is to miss the point and, to answer your question, a grant in the circumstances described is proper.

 

Geoff, in my opinion, has done the right thing for his club, and should be complimented for being so open in making this announcement.    

You are, of course, having a laugh!
 

For the 3rd time.... I am blaming the process. However to actively defend the situation is beyond belief.

 

I would really like to hear you say this to a care home worker who is searching for their PPE!
 

I am speechless. 
 

Griff

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, griffgriff said:

You are, of course, having a laugh!
 

For the 3rd time.... I am blaming the process. However to actively defend the situation is beyond belief.

 

I would really like to hear you say this to a care home worker who is searching for their PPE!
 

I am speechless. 
 

Griff

You are so speechless you have posted your faux outrage 5 times.

 

Can I suggest that you look at the bigger picture?

 

Whether a club or business gets a £10k grant or not, paid for out of one of thousands of public sector budget lines and processes, will make absolutely no difference to whether care workers get PPE or not. There is no shortage of money for PPE but a shortage of supply and logistics and IMHO poor decision making at Government levels not prioritising the care sector. If money would solve this problem overnight rest assured the BoE would magic up new money.

 

If you really feel so strongly perhaps offer your services to HM Treasury as they have had to come up with a multi-billion pound plan at short notice to try and prop up a weakening economy. No doubt you can devise a more effective scheme that can instantly assess thousands of different types of business eligibility very quickly by hard pressed local authority staff across the country with limited time or resource for training, systems, processes etc. I am sure they will be glad of your expertise.

 

If not then perhaps direct your feelings to a more appropriate website - those suffering from outragism will find plenty of likeminded individuals at www.dailymail.co.uk or www.theguardian.com.

 

I am quite happy that a club who qualifies for funding has been paid it, and as a taxpayer I am also pleased that in many cases this has been paid quickly despite the scheme only being created a few weeks ago (rather better than some other Government bright ideas.....). That club will no doubt provide forms of support that otherwise may have to be provided via expensive and limited public services.

 

A friend of mine received their grant automatically and it is a credit to local authority staff around the country that money is getting to many businesses and organisations that need it. Stopping many of them failing will reduce the short and long term burden on public services in the future, and may well prove in the long run to be value for money.

Edited by ruggedpeak
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12 hours ago, griffgriff said:

You are, of course, having a laugh!
 

For the 3rd time.... I am blaming the process. However to actively defend the situation is beyond belief.

 

I would really like to hear you say this to a care home worker who is searching for their PPE!
 

I am speechless. 
 

Griff

 

If you are that speechless, why can't you stay quiet?

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15 hours ago, griffgriff said:

You are, of course, having a laugh!
 

For the 3rd time.... I am blaming the process. However to actively defend the situation is beyond belief.

 

I would really like to hear you say this to a care home worker who is searching for their PPE!
 

I am speechless. 
 

Griff

I apologise for my opening remark but not my opinion.  This is a benefit intended to support small businesses and it is small businesses that need support at this time.

 

A couple of unnecessary and glib comments have been made since last night. As someone who works in local governmentI and experiences the effects of cuts to spending I feel I have the right to express my displeasure.  Again I must stress that, in my mind, no one has done anything illegal but this is not my point.

 

I have no wish to ‘rage’ in a tabloid but I have raised the matter with my MP. It now rests with him and I consider the matter closed.

 

Griff

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Geoff’s club isn’t the only one to benefit. If there’s a grant or subsidy available and any organisation or individual meets the criteria then they can have it.  The big picture is that the scheme will protect many businesses and therefore jobs. 

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It is not for us to decide who should and should not get this kind of help. Should new age shops get it? Ann Summers shops? 

 

If the Government had only wanted to restrict it to concerns which they felt were of value, then they could have done so. As they havnt, its perfectly acceptable for Model Railway CLubs, or Heritage Railways, or anyone to claim this money.

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I've just had a quick look at the relevant Government page re who is eligible for these grants ( trying to help a friend who's battling to keep his business/livelihood afloat).

Having read these, I would point out that I did notice that it does actually state quite clearly in the official guidance, that, even if you do technically qualify on such things as the rate rebate aspect, that there are exclusions The first/main one main one being if the premises are basically for private use ( there are other exclusionsas well).

Suspect most MRC's,  if not all would fall into the latter category, given that they are basically private members clubs.

Being a wary sort, & given the above, I'd be double and even triple checking that I was totally eligible for a grant like this, £10k is a lot of dough to find in a hurry, if you end up having to repay it.

 

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