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Hawsons Chartered Accountants

The Local Discretionary Grants Fund

Posted: 19/05/20 by Hawsons Chartered Accountants

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has set up a discretionary fund to accommodate small businesses outside the requirements for the business grant funds scheme.

Who is this scheme aimed for?

This scheme is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Alok Sharma, the business secretary, and Simon Clarke, the minister for regional growth and local government spoke to local authorities in England to set out the scheme in which £617 million would be made available. Alok Sharma and Simon Clarke asked the local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces. For example, market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief. Plus, bed and breakfasts that pay council tax instead of business rates.

Which businesses are eligible for this scheme?

To be eligible for this scheme your business must qualify as a small business (or micro business). These requirements are as follows:
• Under 50 employees
• Turnover of no more than £10.2 million
• Balance sheet total not more than £5.1 million

You must also show that your business has seen a significant decrease in income due to Coronavirus lockdown measures.

This grant funding has been set-up for businesses that are not eligible for any other support schemes. Therefore, businesses that have received cash from any central government COVID-related scheme are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grants Fund. These schemes include but not limited to:

• Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
• Small Business Grant Fund
• Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
• The Fisheries Response Fund
• Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS).
• The Zoos Support Fund
• The Dairy Hardship Fund

There will be three levels of grant payments. The top-level being £25,000, the second level will be £10,000. In the third level, local authorities will have the discretion to make payments of any amount of under £10,000. Local councils will need to adapt this approach to local circumstances. Local Authorities have been given discretionary guidance for the Grant Funding schemes which can be found here.

How do I apply for the grant?

This fund is going to be allocated to your local authority. Your local authority will open some sort of application process. This is because potential beneficiaries will likely not be known by local authorities. They will then decide on their own discretion criteria which businesses will be eligible for this grant. Therefore, an application process will be required. If you are interested in applying for this fund.

If you think that your business is eligible for this grant, please visit your local authorities’ website regularly for details of the availability of grants, the criteria for the grants, and the process for making applications.

It is important to note that the grants are taxable.

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