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02
Jun

Update - Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

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 For those of businesses who “missed out” on the grants linked to business rates and those businesses who have continuing overhead costs to meet and have experienced financial difficulty because of Covid19. This additional fund is aimed at small and micro businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.

Our advice to you is that the fund is limited - and therefore maybe be treated as “first come, first served” in some respects.

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These grants are primarily and predominantly aimed at: 

  • 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 property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000. 21. 

To be a small business, under the Companies Act 2006, a business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year - 

  • Turnover: Not more than £10.2 million 
  • Balance sheet total: Not more than 5.1 million 
  • Number of employees: a headcount of staff of less than 50 22. 

To be a micro business, under the Companies Act 2006, a business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements -  

  • Turnover: Not more than £632,000 
  • Balance sheet total: Not more than £316,000 
  • Number of employees: a headcount of staff of not more than 10

Central Government are asking local authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants from within this funding pot: 

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment; 
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment; 
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and 
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

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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 a business is at the discretion of the local authority. 

Grants under the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund are capped at £25,000. 

The next level payment under the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is £10,000.

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This grant funding is for businesses that are not eligible for other support schemes. 

Businesses which are eligible for cash grants from any central government COVID related scheme (apart from SEISS) are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grants Fund. 

Such grant schemes include but are not limited to: 

  • Small Business Grant Fund 
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant 
  • The Fisheries Response Fund 
  • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS) 
  • The Zoos Support Fund 
  • The Dairy Hardship Fund 30. 

Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are eligible to apply for this scheme. 

Businesses who are eligible for the Self-Employed Income support scheme (SEISS) are eligible to apply for this scheme as well. 

Only businesses which were trading on 11 March 2020 are eligible for this scheme. 

Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

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Here are a few links to local authority pages where you may find relevant information from your local authority.

Please note the application opening dates will vary from local authority to local authority so you may need to monitor when the application process goes live.

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