A top-up fund has been set up for certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the local business grant funds scheme to access support during the coronavirus outbreak.
The £617 million fund will support small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs outside of the business grant scheme.
The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities who may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need.
Priority support will go to businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders and small charity properties that would otherwise meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.
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. 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.
Further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly.
As of 27 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 funds allocated to local authorities for business support.