A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses who were previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.
It was announced early May that additional funding will be given, specifically aiming to aid small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.
This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). Therefore taking the funding to a total of £617 million. The exact amount for each local authority is still be announced by HMRC.
HMRC has asked that local authorities 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.
However, local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. 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 and 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.
As of April, over £7.5 billion has been paid out to over 614,000 business properties via the SBGF and RHLGF schemes. This is over 61% of the grant funding allocated to local authorities.