Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England yesterday to set out that up to £617 million would be made available.

This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF), so up to £617 million. We will confirm the exact amount for each local authority next week.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in 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. But Local Authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus 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.

Further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly.  I will of course let you know as soon as I know more.  Can businesses please not contact Mid Sussex District Council until we have further details – we will publish as we have more details on our website and through the Business Associations.

As of 27 April, over £7.5 billion has been paid out to over 614,000 business properties via the SBGF and RHLGF schemes. This is over 61% of the grant funding allocated to local authorities.  At Mid Sussex District Council as of close of play yesterday we had paid 1,606 business grants and nearly £21m (which represents 76% of the available grant)

If any business pays business rates to Mid Sussex District Council (or are liable for Business Rates and do not pay as they get full relief meaning they have nothing to pay) and has not yet claimed a business grant please go to our website at https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/revsandbens/business-rates/new-grants-for-business-rates/ for further information.  If you were liable for Business Rates at the 11th March 2020 and are unsure if you meet the criteria to qualify for a business grant please email us at businesssupport@midsussex.gov.uk.

Thank you

Mr Kevin Stewart, FIRRV, MAAT, MCMI

Business Unit Leader Revenues and Benefits

Mid Sussex District Council

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