As you are aware from our previous articles, Local Authorities now have discretionary grant funds available. This was announced in May 2020 and should be launched in early June 2020.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has issued guidance for Local Authorities. To summarise, the key points are:
· The additional fund made available for this grant is aimed at small and micro-businesses who are not eligible for the small business grant fund or the retail, leisure and hospitality fund.
· Local Authorities will be responsible for delivering grants to eligible businesses.
· The grant scheme widens access to support businesses who are struggling to survive due to the Covid-19 shutdown but are unable to access other grant funding. Local Authorities should make payments as quickly as possible to support struggling businesses.
· 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 the business is at the discretion of the Local Authority.
· When making the decision as to the appropriate level of grant, Local Authorities should take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business, the number of employees, whether the business has to close completely due to the impact of Covid-19.
· Local Authorities are being asked to prioritise small businesses in shared offices or flexible work spaces, market traders with fixed building costs, Bed & Breakfasts who pay council tax instead of business rates. This list is not exhaustive but is intended to guide Local Authorities.
· Only businesses that were trading on 11th March 2020 are eligible for this scheme.
· Local Authorities must use their discretion to identify the right persons to receive this funding based on their application process.
We will of course continue to update our website with any other information regarding Covid-19.