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LOCAL AUTHORITY DISCRETIONARY GRANTS FUND

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The Government announced a “top-up” scheme called the Discretionary Grants Fund, to support small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.

Who is eligible for the business grant?

The Government is asking local authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants:

•    Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have heir own business rates assessment;

•    Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;

•    Bed and Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and

•    Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Government guidance states that: “The list set out above is not intended to be exhaustive but is intended to guide local authorities as to the types of business that the government considers should be a priority for the scheme. Authorities should determine for themselves whether particular situations not listed are broadly similar in nature to those above and, if so, whether they should be eligible for grants from this discretionary fund.”

Eligible businesses must demonstrate that they fall into all of the following categories:

•    have relatively high ongoing fixed property related costs
•    have suffered a significant fall in income due to Covid-19
•    have fewer than 50 employees, (10 employees for micro-businesses)
•    are an eligible business which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value, or annual rent, or annual mortgage payment below £51,000, and
•    they were trading as at 11 March 2020

Local authorities may disburse grants to the value of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000. The value of the payment to be made to a business is at the discretion of the local authority.

When will the grant be available?

Council’s are currently reviewing the guidance and potential funding and developing application processes. Some council’s are requesting that businesses who think they may be eligible register their interest. See below. 

Blackpool Borough Council


Preston Borough Council

  • If you feel you meet the criteria and wish to register your interest, please email: discretionaryscheme@preston.gov.uk


Wyre Borough Council

  • We are in the process of determining our scheme and setting up an application process and this will take some time. We ask for patience as we do this as it is important that we establish a consistent approach that complies with government guidance and further clarification is awaited. In the meantime please do not contact the business help team in relation to this scheme in order to allow us to focus on this new task.


If your business falls under a different local authority then please visit their website to find out more information. 

 

More articles on financial support during Covid 19 for businesses

 

 

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