On Friday 1st of May 2020, the UK Government announced to the local authorities in England that an increase of up to 5% would be made available to increase the scope of the business grant funds scheme. In addition to the below, supplementary guidance will be made available by the Government shortly.
The additional £617 million would be added to the existing £12.33 billion allocated for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). This increase in funding will be aimed at improving schemes’ access for companies with ongoing fixed property-related costs.
The Government has asked local authorities to prioritise among small businesses (with less than 50 employees), those who operate within shared-office spaces or 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.
Applying businesses will have to prove that the reduction in revenue is due to the lockdown measures adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic. The allocation of the grants will be split into three levels, up to a maximum of £25,000, £10,000 or below, and it will be at the discretion of the local authorities based on local economic circumstances.
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