Council launches today (5 June) the second phase of small business support scheme
Telford & Wrekin Council launches a second phase of its Discretionary Business Grants Fund today (Friday, 5 June) to continue to support businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result of the first phase of the Discretionary Business Grant funding, which closed last Friday, around £450,000 will be awarded to 132 small borough businesses within the next few days.
The second phase of the Discretionary Business Grant scheme launches today (5 June) and the Council is now able to extend the scheme outside of the Government’s priority list, so that more businesses in the borough can benefit from it and access the much needed financial support.
The following business categories are now able to apply for the second phase of the Discretionary Business Grants fund (these didn’t meet criteria in the first phase):
• Childcare Nurseries;
• Businesses with 2 or more properties in the boroughwhere the highest rateable value is £15,000;
• Small Manufacturing businesses with premises with a rateable value of under £25,000
This second phase of the Discretionary Grant scheme is still open for the following business categories which the Government asked the Council to prioritise:
- Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces
Examples can include businesses / units on industrial parks and science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment.
- Regular Market traders
With fixed ongoing building costs such as rent and have a rental / lease agreement with the landlord.
- Bed and Breakfast accommodation
Bed and Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
Bed and Breakfast in the following categories:
o Accredited with VisitEngland / VisitBritain or other quality mark
o A listed member of the official tourism organisation for the local area - www.discover-shropshire.co.uk
- Charity Properties
Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rate relief or Rural Rate Relief
Government also says the Discretionary Business Grants scheme (including this second phase) must apply the following criteria for applicants:
• The business must have relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
• The business must be able to demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
• The business has fewer than 50 employees
• The business was trading on 11 March 2020
• The business occupies property, or part of property, with a rateable value or annual rent / mortgage payments below £51,000
This second phase of the Discretionary Business Grants scheme will not be open to any business awarded a grant in the scheme’s first phase or to any business awarded a grant from the business grant fund opened in April and for which the Council has already paid out more than £28m to almost 2,400 businesses.
Applications open at 9am, today (Friday 5 June) and will close at 12pm (Noon) Friday 12 June.
Eligible businesses can apply directly on www.telford.gov.uk/discretionarygrants
Applications will be assessed as quickly as possible as the Council continues to work hard to get this essential support to eligible businesses as quickly as possible.
In total, the Council has received less than £1.47m from the Government for this Discretionary fund, compared with more than £35m for the national scheme in April.
Decisions on the level of grants (set at a maximum of up to £10,000 in exceptional circumstances or up to £5,000) will be made based on demand.
For those in shared spaces, B&B’s, Charities and market traders, grants will be based on five times the monthly rent / mortgage payment.
Businesses applying for this scheme will need a copy of their lease / tenancy agreement, copies of bank statements, and details of accreditation (B&B’s only).
Councillor Rae Evans, Cabinet Member for Council Finance and Governance, said: “We’ve still seen borough businesses desperate for help falling through the net of the government’s support schemes, even with the Discretionary Business Grants funding recently launched.
“So as a matter of urgency we’re now launching a second phase of this grant and have extended its scope outside the Government’s priority list.
“This will open it up to many businesses which previously couldn’t benefit, such as smaller borough-based manufacturers, which form the backbone of Telford’s economy, as well as children’s nurseries, which are key to helping ensure many parents of young children can go back to work.
“We encourage all those and many others who fit the criteria to submit their applications by 12pm on 12 June”.
Cllr David Wright, Cabinet Member for Economy, Housing, Transport and Infrastructure said: “While the funding we have is still very limited, we’ve done our best to extend the criteria beyond Government’s priority list and get more businesses supported.
“However, some may still be disappointed as the level of support we can provide may not be enough to keep their business going.
“We will continue to lobby the Government for more funding as many businesses are still struggling from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak which is likely to last for a long time to come.”
Details of the new fund will also be published at www.telford.gov.uk/coronavirus - where other business support information and assistance is available.