If you’ve fallen through the funding gap, there may be light at the end of the tunnel - in the form of the government's new discretionary fund. It’s on a case by case basis and awarded by your local council; recipients of the grant receive between £2500 and £25,000, which, for any business, is a huge boost in the current climate.
The fund was launched to help small businesses with ongoing, fixed, property-related costs that are not eligible for financial support under other government grant schemes. Organisations that qualify include:
Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces that do not have their own business rates assessment
Regular market traders with fixed property costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
‘Bed and Breakfast’ dwellings that pay Council Tax rather than business rates
Properties associated with charities that are in receipt of charitable business rates relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
According to UKHospitality, the government has also clarified that hospitality supply chain businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis are eligible for discretionary grants.
‘We urge councils to respond positively to applications from supply chain businesses hit by Covid-19, as these businesses are just as vital to the health of hospitality. Support needs to be comprehensive and applied right across the entire scope of the sector if we’re to reopen successfully and keep as many businesses afloat and as many jobs secure as possible.’
Whether you’re a small business that has fallen through the Small Business Rates Relief gap, or a supplier to the hospitality sector, we’d encourage you to get in touch with your local council. Have a look at their eligibility criteria and see if you’re eligible for the discretionary fund. What have you got to lose?
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