Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Discretionary Small Business Grant Scheme

We are working hard to help the local economy and welcome news that the Government has published guidance to local authorities on how they can set up a new discretionary grant fund scheme for small businesses that have not been eligible under existing grant schemes. This means businesses that have not received any financial assistance so far.

The Government advises that these discretionary grants are aimed at businesses which meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Small and micro businesses.
  • Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs.
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

The Government's guidelines state that only businesses which were trading on 11 March 2020 are eligible for this scheme, and these discretionary grants can begin to be paid to eligible businesses from early June.

Councillor Adam Yates, portfolio holder for Resources and Transformation, said: "We are pleased that this discretionary grant fund has now been set out in more detail and welcome the support it offers to local businesses that missed out in the earlier schemes. We would encourage any local business that was not eligible for the other grant schemes to check the WLBC website for guidance on eligibility and how to apply."

The Council will provide detailed guidance for local businesses as to the criteria for the new scheme and online application forms will be available on Covid 19 business support.

The Government has stated that they expect payments of up to £10k will be appropriate in most cases. The Council is awaiting confirmation from the Government as to the total funds available to it under the new scheme.