Are you missing out on Government grants?

Coronavirus, Finance,

A recent update in official data around the grants made available to businesses through Local Authorities suggests many small businesses haven’t benefited. According to the FSB, these funds are sitting in Local Authority bank accounts, and will revert to the Government at the end of the month if they aren’t claimed.

Of the 314 English councils with money to hand out, 291 have at least one business that is entitled to support that has not claimed it. Wirral council was holding £14.7m in unspent funding at the end of July. You can see the latest report here.

The figures also show that 24 authorities have paid out more than they were allocated.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, urged firms to apply for the grant funding, but added it should not be returned to the government if it was not claimed by the deadline.

“There are many small businesses who aren’t eligible, so the government should widen the criteria to those on the periphery,” he said. He added the money would be a “Godsend” for businesses left out by the “restrictive criteria” for the grant, such as firms in supply chains to other small ventures.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “We are working with local councils to ensure funds get to as many eligible small business owners as possible. Businesses that are eligible but have not yet received grant funding should speak to their local council as soon as possible.”

Who is eligible?

Businesses can apply for one of the following funds:

  • For the Small Businesses Grant they must be based in England, occupy property for business use and have been eligible for relief on various rates by 11 March 2020.
  • To access the retail, hospitality and leisure grant the business must be mainly used as a venue for hospitality, retail or leisure. Some charities can also apply.

Are YOU Eligible?

Use this business support finder, on the Gov.uk website, to see what support is available for you and your business.

If you think you should be eligible for one of the grants mentioned above, check your local authority website as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, we cannot advise you any further on these grants, as the availability and application process may differ between authorities.

IMPORTANT NOTE – these amounts are grants, not loans, so they do NOT need to be repaid. They are taxable, as they are classed as income, but they are not repayable.