Small businesses that missed out on the first round of £10,000 grants could get their cash in June.
The Small Business Grant Fund – which saw businesses get grants of between £10,000-£25,000 from the government – was recently extended to include those businesses that fell between the cracks with the first round of funding.
Local authorities have now been given the guidance they have been waiting for from the Department for Business, Energy, Innovation & Skills (BEIS) on how to distribute the much-needed cash.
Local councils had been waiting to receive details of how they should distribute the funds to those businesses who missed out before handing it out.
The guidance puts the onus on the council to distribute the funds fairly with businesses having to prove that the crisis has caused them to experience a downturn in business.
Originally, to benefit from the scheme firms had to be on the rates list at their local council to get the money which meant businesses that paid rates via their landlords on a shared site or office block, market traders and B&Bs missed out.
The extension, announced 10 days ago, to the original scheme has seen the government add a further £617m to the fund to help those businesses that missed out.
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. They must also not have received any other government grants – including the help announced for self-employed people.
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.
Local authorities will now be discussing the fairest way possible to hand the money out and it is believed the first payments could be made in June.
The official statement from BEIS said: ‘This is an additional five per cent uplift to the £12.33bn funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, so up to £617m. We will confirm the exact amount for each local authority next week.’
Many small businesses had missed out on the payments distributed via their local council. Car Dealer Magazine publisher Blackball Media was one of them.
The publisher’s office is based on land owned by another company and rent includes a proportion of rates. However, Gosport Borough Council could not issue the £10,000 grant as the business did not appear on the rates assessment list, despite the fact we were technically eligible.
There will be many businesses across the country in similar situations – and it is these small firms that need the grants desperately.
Eligible businesses in England have a rateable value (rv) of up to and including £15,000 to receive a grant of £10,000.
Eligible businesses with a property having an rv of more than £15,000 and under £51,000 can receive a grant of £25,000. Businesses whose properties have an rv above £51,000 aren’t eligible.
Tax will be payable on the grants if the business makes a profit.
- Join our WhatsApp group to get updates sent straight to your phone. Email us via the website here to get a link to join.