Government announces additional grants for small businesses

4 May 2020: Details of additional funding for those not covered by existing local authority grants will be revealed this week.

On Saturday 2 May 2020, the Government announced that the local business grant funds scheme would receive a 5% top-up aimed at closing the support gap for businesses that don’t qualify for the existing business rates relief. This funding is aimed primarily at small (less than 50 employees) businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. The amount to be received by each local authority will be confirmed this week.

The Government has asked local authorities to prioritise:

  • businesses in shared spaces
  • regular market traders
  • small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief
  • bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rate.

However, payments will be made at the local authority’s discretion based on economic need. The maximum grant is £25,000, alongside £10,000 grants and local authority discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. 

Recipients must be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income due to coronavirus restriction measures. Businesses eligible for current grant schemes will not be eligible for this new one.

Commenting on the extension of the grant scheme, Philippa Kelly, Director of ICAEW’s Technical Strategy Business Group, said: “Government’s effort in continuing to close the gaps in existing support schemes remains vital as businesses face increasingly tense times in terms of cashflow. The criteria of “a significant” drop in income must be made clear and these grants delivered quickly to businesses who have not been able to access existing support schemes.”