Covid 19: Business Discretionary Grant Fund

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Sunday , November , 29 2020
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Local Authority Small Business Discretionary Grant

The government has made additional funding available to support small businesses.

The Local Authority Small Business Discretionary Grant is aimed at small businesses who are not eligible for other government coronavirus grants. Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self Employed Income Support Scheme are eligible to apply for this scheme.

Our scheme follows the criteria set by the government.

The deadline for applications was midday on Monday 15 June 2020.

More than £1 million has been provided to businesses in Carlisle after they successful applied for a coronavirus Discretionary Grants Fund.

We were given £1.36 million to distribute to local businesses. Payments have been made to the majority of the valid applications with some awaiting further consideration.

The scheme received nearly 500 applications.

We have contacted each of the applicants setting out if their application was successful and, if their application was valid, how much funding they will receive. Payments were made last week.

Most applications to the Carlisle scheme were valid. Those that weren’t successful either did not meet the government’s criteria, were eligible for other schemes or despite reminders the necessary evidence has not been received. A small number of applications are still being processed as more information was required from the applicants.

As per government guidelines, we have prioritised small/micro businesses with high ongoing property related costs, who have endured significant losses during this period and have been able to evidence these clearly.

In order to be fair and proportionate in our allocations, we have assessed the scale of business losses and fixed property costs in order to determine an appropriate level of grant award. We did not set a flat rate of funding to each business as this would not have been fair to those that have experienced more significant financial losses. Consequently, some businesses will have received more funding than others.

If you met the following criteria and you have successfully submitted your application, you should have received an email confirming its receipt.

The confirmation email will have asked you to respond with evidence supporting your application. We asked applicants to provide the following information:

Information Evidence required Comment
Payment details Copy of bank statement clearly showing name, address, sort code and account number. This must match the name of the business or individual listed on the business rates bill or lease/mortgage agreement.
Evidence of ongoing rental or mortgage costs or other fixed property related costs You will need to provide a copy of your current lease agreement or mortgage agreement. This must clearly show the financial contribution you are required to make as part of the agreement.
Evidence you are a small or micro business This will be done on self-declaration.  
Evidence of a significant fall in income due to Covid-19 You will need to provide evidence of turnover for April 2019 and April 2020 for comparison. For this we would need a Statement of Accounts. Where a company was not trading in April 2019, we will accept another month’s turnover. It is at the businesses discretion what form this evidence takes but it must clearly show the turnover of the businesses for these periods.
Evidence of trading on or before 11 March 2020 Where you have a business rates account this will be sufficient as the date liable will be used. For businesses that are not rated you will need to provide evidence. This could be in the form of stock orders, lease agreements or correspondence with HMRC etc.
Evidence of eligibility under state aid rules This will be done by way of self-declaration on the online application form. If you are unsure whether state aid applies to your business, you need to seek independent legal advice.

The government guidance prioritises the following businesses:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment.
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates.
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Criteria which businesses must meet in order to apply

Your business may not be in the above list, but you may still apply. All businesses applying to this fund will need to supply evidence to demonstrate that it falls into one of the following categories:

  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Business with fewer than 50 employees.
  • Businesses that were trading on or before 11 March 2020.

Ineligible businesses

Businesses which are eligible for the existing grant schemes are not eligible for the Local Authority Small Business Discretionary Grant.

Businesses which received the Small Business Grant Fund (where businesses in England who are in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system were eligible for a payment) are also ineligible for this grant.

Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Apply for a Grant

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Before you can access the application for a Local Authority Small Business Discretionary Grant you will need to complete a number of questions that will confirm your business is eligible to apply.  Please note the deadline to apply has passed.

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