New Discretionary Fund for Businesses

4th May 2020

South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has welcomed announcement that the Government is providing local authorities with additional funding to target small businesses with high fixed property-related costs, but that are not eligible for the current grant schemes.

The Government is making an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 Billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, so up to £617 million, available to local authorities.

Local Authorities will be asked to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants from within this funding pot:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces e.g. industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc, which do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B&Bs 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.

Mr Dunne said: “This additional funding is very welcome, and I shall be speaking to Shropshire Council about how they intend to distribute it. There are a few businesses that have fallen through the cracks of the support network, due to not paying Business Rates, including B&Bs and those in serviced offices, or other premises where Rates are paid as part of a management charge – so this will help provide additional support to these important businesses for South Shropshire.

I have joined other backbench MPs in calling on the Chancellor to deliver additional support mechanisms for the hospitality and tourism sector, but this is a welcome first step.”

Businesses which are eligible for the existing grant schemes or Self-employed Income Support Scheme are ineligible for these grants. In addition, they will only be accessible to:

• Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs

• Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis

• Business with fewer than 50 employees

• Businesses that were trading on or before 11th March.

Image by Olga Lionart from Pixabay

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Image by Olga Lionart from Pixabay

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