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As we noted earlier this month, on 1 May the government announced an additional Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund to help those businesses who had not been able to benefit from the existing SBGF and RHLGF.

Guidance was issued on 13 May to local authorities and it has been made clear within this that each local authority is free to determine the level of grants available, who will benefit and they should make this information available on their website.

The following broad guidelines have been given though:

Who will benefit?

-      Small businesses, being those with turnover below £10.2million; balance sheet value below £5.1million and less than 50 employees. In particular businesses falling into the following broad areas;

o   Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces;

o   Regular market traders with fixed building costs;

o   B&Bs which pay Council Tax rather than business rates; and

o   Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

-          Businesses with high ongoing fixed property-related costs.

-          Businesses which occupy or part of a property with a rateable value, annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

-          Businesses which can demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income due to COVID-19.

Eligibility?

-          You are not eligible if you have received cash grants from any central government related COVID-19 scheme, such as the SBGF, RHLGF, SEISS, etc.

-          You are not precluded from claiming if you have claimed under the Job Retention Scheme.

-          Your business has to have been trading on 11 March 2020, therefore precluding new start-up businesses from claiming.

What level of grants will be available?

Local authorities will be able to make grants available within three bands:

-          A grant of £25,000

-          A grant of £10,000

-          A grant of any amount less than £10,000.

As with the other grant schemes being provided amounts received are classed as State Aid support and the amount received is treated as taxable income in the hands of the recipient.

For anyone looking to try and claim under this fund we would recommend checking their local authorities website on a regular basis. 

We are here to support you during these unprecedented times. If you have any queries or need any advice, please do not hesitate to contact me or your local Thomas Westcott representative.