The Government has made additional financial support available to the UK’s smaller business owners, who may have been excluded from existing schemes, via the creation of Local Authority Discretionary Grants.
More than £617 million has been made available to councils and local authorities, which will have the discretion to offer funding to:
- Small and micro businesses, as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006.
- 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 a property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.
Local authorities have been asked by the Government to prioritise grants to businesses that operate out of 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.
Local authorities have also been given discretionary powers to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. A decision on who will receive funding will be down to the discretion of each local authority.
To be eligible a business must be small (under 50 employees) and be able to demonstrate that they have experienced a significant drop in income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic restriction measures.
There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000.
It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances. Those in receipt of existing grants will not be able to claim this additional grant funding.
So far more than 614,000 business properties have benefitted from the grant funding schemes – receiving more than £7.5 billion.
It is hoped that those who missed out on initial grants will be supported by this latest change to the rules. Further details of the scheme are expected shortly.
Here to help
You are likely to have many queries regarding Local Authority Discretionary Grants and the other financial support available to your business, which is why we are standing by to help.
To find out how our experienced team can assist you during these difficult times, please contact us.