27th May 2020

Covid-19 Update 27th May 2020

I hope you are still keeping well through these difficult times as we look toward further lifting of lockdown measures.

Government Discretionary Grants Fund

I mentioned these grants in a previous news item and we have received further information. The government have issued a discretionary grants fund for local authorities to allocate to their ratepayers as they see fit. The grants go live today so we are issuing this bulletin to provide some further details.

The grants are designed to help those who haven’t been eligible for other grants such as the small business rates grants or the retail sector grants. In order to qualify, you must:

•    Have suffered a significant fall in income because of COVID-19
•    Have fixed property related costs
•    Employ fewer than 50 employees

Councils have been asked to focus on local business which would have a significant impact on the local economy if they ceased trading but also:

•    Small businesses in shared offices or flexible workspaces
•    Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates
•    B & Bs who pay council tax and not business rates and hence weren’t entitled to the small business grants
•    Charity properties that receive charitable business rates relief instead of small business rates relief and again wouldn’t have qualified for small business grants.

If you believe you might be entitled to a grant, please contact your local authority as soon as possible, at the moment I believe the application window is 2 weeks. As the grants are discretionary, even if you don’t fall into a category above, it may be worth applying if you haven’t received any other help.
To be honest trying to find links to sensible places for you to look to apply has been quite difficult, I would repeat my advice to contact your local authority. I have placed what useful links I could find below.

Wishing you all well, as always.

Very best

Nick Hunt