An extra £600 million to extend coronavirus grants for small businesses

Businesses which missed out in first round of the Business Rates Grants may be eligible for a new Discretionary Grant Fund. Local authorities are being provided with additional funding to target small businesses with high fixed property-related costs but which have not been eligible for the current grant scheme. The grants are capped at £25,000  with other grants of £10,000 or under available at the discretion of Local Authorities.

Local Authorities will exercise their local knowledge and discretion to determine which businesses to support.

The priorities should include:

  1. Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces eg: industrial parks, science parks, incubators which do not have their own business rates assessments
  2. Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessments
  3. B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  4. Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
  5. Any other business similar in nature at the discretion of the Local Authority

National criteria to qualify for grants from this Fund include:

  1. Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs
  2. Business which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to Covid 19
  3. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees
  4. Businesses that were trading before March 11th 2020

Businesses which are eligible for the existing grant scheme of Self-employed Income Support scheme are ineligible.  As the fund is discretionary the local authority may wish to introduce an application system which will slow the process down but they are expected to make every effort to be effective and quick in their decision making.

 More information is expected to be made available in the next week