Discretionary Grant Scheme opens on 1 June

I’m writing to let you know that after some further guidance issued by the government today, the local authority’s discretionary grant scheme will be available for applications from 9am on Monday 1 June herehttps://www.blackburn.gov.uk/coronavirus/support-business/covid-19-discretionary-business-grant-programme

Some points to note about the further guidance set out by the government today:

  • The Council’s grants programme is predominantly aimed at small and micro-businesses. The guidance issued to the Council by the Government identifies the following businesses as priorities for funding:
  • Businesses with relatively high fixed property-related costs
  • Businesses which can evidence they have experienced a significant fall in income due to COVID-19
  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000
  • Small businesses in shared or other flexible workspaces, including mills and units in industrial or business parks 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 (including a rateable value of less than £15,000)

Eligible businesses will also need to demonstrate they were trading on 11 March. The maximum grant available is £25,000, though this will only be awarded in exceptional circumstances. It is anticipated that most grant payments will be under £10,000.

The government has set out today that businesses are not eligible to apply if they:

  • pay business rates
  • are in administration, insolvent or has received a striking-off notice
  • have already received financial support from the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund 

The information which will be required for the application process will include:

  • Your business details (name, address, contact details)
  • The date your business first started trading
  • Unique information regarding your business – such as Companies House number, Charity registration number or your Self-assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference number if you are self-employed
  • Information about your business – such as the financial turnover/balance sheet position and number of employees (used to assess company size)
  • Information about any premises you occupy – including the date your occupancy started, the value of your fixed property-related costs, and evidence of your occupancy (such as a signed lease or rental agreement, or a signed mortgage agreement).
  • Evidence of actual property costs such as rent, rates, mortgage and insurance payments. This should take the form of business bank statements showing that payments have actually been made.
  • Evidence of a substantial loss in income due to Covid-19 impacts. This is likely to be in the form of the latest available annual accounts or tax return, and bank statements covering the period 1st January 2020 to 31st May 2020. You may also wish to include additional documentation from your bank, accountant, financial adviser etc.
  • Any other details of how your business has been affected, operationally and/or financially, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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