Business Secretary, Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England yesterday to confirm that a discretionary fund has been set up for small businesses.
The scheme will accommodate those previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme and will see up to £617 million made available. The Government will confirm this week, the exact amount for each local authority.
This additional fund is aimed at small companies with ongoing fixed property-related costs. The Government is asking local authorities to prioritise the following businesses:
- Those in shared spaces
- Regular market traders
- Small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief
- Bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates
Local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.
To be eligible:
- Businesses must be small
- Have fewer than 50 employees
- Be able to demonstrate they’ve seen a significant drop in income due to Coronavirus restriction measures
There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.
Further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly. In the meantime, you can find further information here.
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