In early June Kirklees Council will launch a new Government grant fund to help more small businesses in Kirklees that have been impacted by Covid-19 but do not qualify for financial support under the existing Government schemes. Subject to Cabinet approval, the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund in Kirklees will provide grants of up to £10,000 to help eligible small businesses through this challenging period.
Designed specifically to help small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs, the new fund has been set up by the Government and is being administered by Kirklees Council for all local businesses. The Council is now developing the required online application process in order to make sure payments can start being made as quickly as possible in June.
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “ I know that this current unprecedented crisis is an extremely difficult time for all our businesses in Kirklees. We haven’t seen anything like this before.
“We have already helped thousands of local businesses and will continue to do whatever we can to support them moving forward. Our small businesses are an essential part of what makes Kirklees such a great place to live and work.
“I hope that this new Local Authority Discretionary Fund will bring some financial relief to many of the small businesses in Kirklees who may have missed out on Government funding until now. Alongside the fund, we are working with our public, private and voluntary sector partners to develop an economic recovery plan for Kirklees to support business resilience and growth, help people back into work and ensure future investment by the Council and our partners supports the recovery.”
Over 7500 local businesses have now received grants totalling approximately £85million through the existing Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes that launched in April. Hundreds of applications continue to be processed every day and these schemes will remain open alongside the new fund.
Eligibility criteria for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund
The new Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund has been launched to help small businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus but are not eligible for the other grant schemes and have ongoing fixed property-related costs. Grants of up to £10,000 will be awarded based on submitted evidence of actual property-related costs incurred by applicants, including rent, service charges, contribution to landlord rates and other specified property costs. The Government has prioritised businesses in the following groups for support:
• small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces which do not have their own business rates assessment
• regular market traders with fixed building costs, that do not have their own business rates assessment
• bed and 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 or Rural Rate Relief.
Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will also be eligible to apply for this scheme, but those who have already received support from the Small Business Grant Fund; Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant; Self-employed Income Support Scheme or other Government coronavirus support schemes will not be able to apply. Further information and the online application form will be available from early June on the Kirklees Council website at www.kirklees.gov.uk/coronavirusbusiness
These grants are just one element of a package of financial support the Government has launched for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Businesses can check what financial support they are entitled to using the GOV UK checker tool on the Government website. For further information visit our website.
The Cabinet report about the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund is available here: