Local Business Grant Funds scheme gets a top-up

Coronavirus, Finance,

The Government announced a £617million top-up to the Business Grant Funds scheme on the 2nd May 2020. This is described as a discretionary fund set up to help certain small businesses who didn’t qualify for the previous business grant funds schemes. These were the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF).

In common with the previous schemes, funds are going to be provided to local authorities and they will decide how it will be allocated. The exact amount for each local authority will be announced this week.

The additional sums are aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed properties-related costs. Authorities have been asked to concentrate on businesses who work from shared spaces, market traders, small charities and bed and breakfasts who pay council tax rather than business rates. There is however no obligation that these are the businesses that will get the support though.

Businesses must be small, with less than 50 employees, and they must have seen a drop in income as a result of Coronavirus. The second part is obviously not going to be difficult for most businesses!

As with the earlier grants, the maximum level will be £25,000, with a lower level of £10,000. Local authorities will be able to make smaller payments as well.

Given the local variations we saw around the payments of the earlier grants, our advice would be to contact your local authority and ask what they are planning. Be sure to keep an eye on their websites and see whether you can qualify.

If you’d like to read the guidance, you can see it here.

It’s unlikely that we’re going to become aware of how this money is rolled out across the different areas., but are very happy to support any application that you need to make. Do let us know what’s happening in your area and whether you’re able to benefit.

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