Written Question on Small Businesses: Coronavirus

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

See more on: "Small Businesses: Coronavirus"
Date Title Questioner
11 May 2020, 5:52 p.m. Christopher Chope (Conservative - Christchurch) Christopher Chope (Conservative - Christchurch)

Question to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government:

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will issue guidance to local authorities on the definition of eligibility for access to the £117 million fund for discretionary grant payments to businesses announced on 1 May 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Simon Clarke

The Government has allocated additional funding to local authorities in England in the form of a discretionary grant fund of up to £617m. This will be divided between English local authorities in proportion to the amount they will pay out under the existing grant schemes (Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant Fund).

Local authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for this fund. The following businesses should be considered as a priority:

  • Businesses in shared workspaces;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Local authorities may choose to pay grants to businesses outside of the outlined priority areas, according to local economic need, so long as the grants are aimed at:

  • Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs
  • 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 11th March

Businesses already in receipt of the Small Business grant, a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant or Self-employed Income Support Scheme payment are not eligible.

Guidance will be published on the discretionary grant scheme in due course following consultation with local authorities.

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