A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.
Yesterday, the government announced that up to £617 million would be made available, which is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF), so up to £617 million. The exact amount for each local authority is yet to be confirmed.
This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. The government is asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But 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 have under 50 employees, and
- they must also be able to demonstrate that they have 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. Local authorities will have the discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.