District councils welcome extra funding for businesses

Charnwood Borough Council leader Jonathan Morgan has welcomed the Government’s announcement to provide up to an additional £617m to help small businesses across the UK who may not have qualified for earlier coronavirus support schemes.

A portion of that amount will be allocated to the borough council which has already issued more than £27 million to 2,249 businesses.

However, some local firms do not qualify for these grants and the council has lobbied government on their behalf, along with local MPs, for extra support.

Cllr Morgan said: “We certainly welcome the additional funding announced by Government as we are acutely aware that some businesses do not qualify for the other schemes.

“We have not yet been informed how much each authority will receive, but we are already working on how we can distribute the additional funding to local businesses as safely, securely and as quickly as possible.

“My advice to local businesses would be to regularly check the council’s website and social media accounts for further updates.

“We are committed to supporting local businesses in these very difficult times.”

The Council is still waiting for further guidance on how to administer the grants, but the Government has announced:

  • this additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. The Government is asking local authorities 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. Local authorities can choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need and 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.