Following the government’s recent announcement that its national business support grant schemes will shortly be coming to an end, BCP Council is inviting all remaining businesses it believes to be eligible to apply by Thursday 27 August.
Both the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant Fund were launched at the start of lockdown to support businesses affected by COVID-19.
To date, BCP Council has successfully issued over £77.9 million in grant support through these schemes to 86% of businesses in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole that it believes to be eligible from its records.
To be considered eligible a business must be ratepayer and as of the 11 March 2020 operate from premises under the rateable value limits for each scheme; under £15,000 for Small Business Grant Fund and under £51,000 for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
Businesses must also be in receipt of either Small Business Rate Relief or part of the Expanded Retail Discount scheme. Grants which may be awarded are either £10,000 or £25,000 depending on rateable value.
Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said:
“We would hate for anyone to miss out on this support and urge all businesses who fit the criteria, but have not yet applied, to check online and apply as soon as possible.
“If you have not applied and you are on our records, you should also have received a third prompt in the post to your registered business address.
“We remind you that these are one off cash grants and not loans, while taxable there will be no need for you to pay back any of the funds.’’
Businesses can check their eligibility and apply via: bcpcouncil.gov.uk/covid19businesssupport
Local Discretionary Grant scheme
Further support has also been made available through BCP Council’s Local Discretionary Grant scheme. The first phase of this scheme attracted around 800 applications and led to more than £2 million being awarded from the available £4.3 million fund. A second phase, with expanded criteria to support businesses trading from residential premises launched on 17 July and closed on the 2 August. Over 650 applications are currently being assessed or reassessed from previous application period. Once completed BCP Council aims to make payment as soon as possible to all eligible businesses.