Local Discretionary Grant Scheme for small businesses opens to applications

Posted on Friday 29 May 2020

BCP Council has launched its local discretionary grant scheme after being allocated £4.3 million of additional funding by the Government to support small businesses.

The new fund is aimed at small businesses that can demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income because of Covid-19, have ongoing fixed property-related costs and occupy property or shared office space with a rateable value below £51,000.

Government have advised that the Council can use their discretion to award grants, to those that are eligible. The scheme will allow for varying amounts of Grant up to £10,000 and will allow discretion, taking into account local priorities and impact on the residents, to consider awards of £25,000.

To be eligible, businesses must have been trading on 11 March 2020 and so far been considered ineligible for grant support. The Council will prioritise businesses identified by government and those it has identified based on local needs.

These include:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces
  • Regular Market traders
  • Bed and breakfast premises which pay council tax instead of business rates
  • Charities in receipt of Charitable rate relief who otherwise would have received Small Business Rate Relief
  • Tourism & Hospitality Sector – specifically Small Event Management / Catering firms and businesses with licences to trade on pontoon or similar
  • Nurseries e.g. day nurseries, nursery schools
  • Financial Sector – small mortgage broker businesses
  • Local Care and Health Practitioners

Applications for the Local Discretionary Grants Fund must be made before 9.00am on Monday 15 June via the online application process. Once the applications have been received BCP Council will carry out a review to determine the allocation of available funding and final grant values based on the number of applications received. Payments will be made as soon as possible after this period of analysis and assessment.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said:

“We would encourage small businesses who think they are eligible to apply for the new scheme as soon as possible using the online application process. While we welcome the additional funding, this represents only a small percentage of the total value of grant support we have already distributed to businesses in our area. More is needed and we will continue to lobby government for more assistance.”