News - 04 May 2020

Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England yesterday to set out that up to £617 million would be made available.

This 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 government will confirm the exact amount for each local authority this week.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and 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.

The move to close the loophole could prove especially welcome for those businesses operating from managed workspaces, many of whom had contacted D2N2 to highlight the lack of financial support they were eligible for.

As part of its response to Coronavirus, D2N2 has been feeding intelligence offered by local businesses back to central Government in order to adapt Government financial support packages to cover as many different types of business as possible.

Local Business Grant Top Up Scheme

In order to qualify for the Top-Up scheme, businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments with the maximum available amount via the scheme limited to £25,000.

The second level of grant available is for £10,000 with local authorities having the discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000.

It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

As of 27 April, over £7.5 billion has been paid out to over 614,000 business properties via the Small Business Grand Fund and Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Fund schemes. This is over 61% of the grant funding allocated to local authorities.

For more information on Coronavirus business support visit the D2N2 Coronavirus Business Assistance and Small Business Grants webpages.

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