Whitley Stimpson urges business owners interested in applying for this first come, first served grant for local businesses for payment in July, to check their local authority website and apply as soon as possible. The application deadline is Sunday 14 June for many local councils. Some will not consider applications made after this date, whilst others will allow business owners to register their interest in the event further funds become available later.
Earlier this month the government made more money available for local authorities to distribute to qualifying small/micro businesses by way of the Discretionary Business Grant scheme.
The grants were intended to help small businesses that were not eligible for the previous Government grant schemes (excluding the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Schemes). So if you’ve made use of the SEISS and/or the furlough scheme you can still potentially claim a discretionary grant.
The grant payments are available to eligible businesses employing less than 50 people and will be at the discretion of the local authorities. Furthermore, we understand the scheme is aimed at businesses that:
- have relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
- can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to COVID-19
- occupy a property (or part of a property with a Rateable Value or Annual Rent or Annual Mortgage payments below £51,000
Specifically, the government has asked the local authorities to prioritise:
- small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces
- regular market traders with fixed building costs
- B&Bs that pay Council Tax rather than business rates
- charity properties in receipt of charitable business tax relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief
Further information about the scheme and guidance can be found on the Government website here – Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund.
Information about how to find your local council and the scheme from local councils in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire areas can be found below.