COVID-19 – Business Support – The Government Announces Additional Funds For The Local Business Grant Funds Schemes To Cover More Businesses

Over the weekend, the government announced that they had been in discussions with local authorities in England to provide additional support for certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme through a discretionary fund.

This will be via a 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund schemes with £617 million to be made available.

The government will confirm the exact amount allocated to each local authority during the course of this week.

This additional fund is targeted at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.  The government is asking local authorities to prioritise:

  • businesses in shared work spaces;
  • regular market traders;
  • small charity properties that would otherwise meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief; and
  • bed and breakfast accommodations that pay council tax rather than business rates.

However, local authorities have the discretion to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need.

The key criteria are that a business must be small with fewer than fifty employees and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to COVID-19 restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments – the maximum will be £25,000, a second tier of £10,000 and local authorities will have option to make payments of any amount under £10,000.

We will continue to report any developments as they come through.  In the meantime, please email if you have any questions or would like any other information.