Top-up to local business grant funds scheme announced

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma has announced a discretionary fund set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. 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) taking the total to £617 million. 

John said: "This is welcome news. There are many small businesses in the constituency that have so far not been eligible for other funding and who are experiencing financial difficulty at this time. The Treasury is doing its best to identify those still needing help and it doing all that it can to offer support."

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. It will be administered through local authorities who have been asked 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. However local authorities can 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.

This is a new fund and guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly. 

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.