The Government has set up a new discretionary fund to help certain small businesses that originally fell outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. Up to £617 million will be made available, in addition to the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF).
The fund will be administered by local authorities and is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. These include businesses in shared spaces, 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.
The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities, who may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local need.
In order to benefit from the scheme, businesses must have fewer than 50 employees, and they must also be able to show that they have seen a significant drop in income due to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown.
There will be three levels of grant payments, ranging from under £10,000 to a maximum of £25,000. Local authorities will be able to choose to make payments of any amount under £10,000, depending on local circumstances.
Additional guidance and information on how the scheme will work is due to be announced imminently.
More information on other support available to businesses can be found here.