The Government have recently announced a discretionary fund to support certain small businesses that were previously outside the scope of the current business grants scheme.
A copy of the Government’s guidance can be found by clicking on the following link, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885011/local-authority-discretionary-grants-fund-guidance-local-government.pdf
Within the guidance, we have been asked to prioritise the following businesses:
- Businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces which don't have their own business rates assessment, such as;
- units in industrial parks
- science parks
- Regular market traders with fixed building costs who don't have their own business rates assessment
- B&Bs which pay council tax instead of business rates
- Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief (business rates reliefs and exemptions page)
As with the existing scheme, applicants must have been trading since before 11 March 2020 and they must also be able to demonstrate that they've suffered a significant fall in income due to the Coronavirus outbreak and have relatively high on-going fixed property related costs.
Although the new scheme will be more complex than the original scheme given the additional criteria that businesses have to meet, in designing its scheme the Council will being looking to balance the Governments guidance surrounding the qualification priorities mentioned and keeping the application process as simple as possible whilst getting the money out to eligible business as quickly as we can.
Unfortunately the funding from Government for the scheme is capped, so regrettably the Council will not be able to provide support to everyone who may need it within the district.
The Council hopes to be in a position to make payments to eligible business as early as possible in June. Although the scheme will be widely advertised within the district, please keep an eye on this page over the next couple of weeks as further details will become available including an associated application form.