“A real boost for small businesses in Cornwall” is how Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay has described news from the Government today that it is providing local authorities with additional funding to target small businesses with high fixed property-related costs but that are not eligible for the current grant schemes.
Government is making an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 Billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund.
Commenting, Steve said:
“While this Government has already announced a comprehensive package of support for businesses, I was aware that there were a number of businesses locally that did not qualify for the grants. I am pleased that following representations made by me and other MPs the government have again listened and come forward with a further package of grants.”
“I have been contacted by a number of businesses in Mid-Cornwall, such as B&B’s who are rated for Council Tax rather than business rates, traders at places like Par Market, and others who have otherwise suffered a massive loss of revenue but were not eligible for the support offered.”
“I have been feeding these concerns back on a daily basis to Ministerial colleagues, and am absolutely delighted to see they have listened and made further support available.”
“More so the Government has been clear that this is a discretionary fund and that councils should use their local knowledge to identify which businesses are most affected, particularly important in Cornwall where we have such a diverse range of small businesses operating from all sorts of different premises.”
“This will be a real boost for Cornwall and I look forward to seeing the amount that Cornwall Council will get and then working with them to ensure the support reaches every business that is entitled to it as soon as possible.”
The Government is asking Local Authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants from within this funding pot:
1. Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces e.g. industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc, which do not have their own business rates assessment;
2. Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
3. B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
4. Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
The list set out above is not intended to be exhaustive, but it is intended to guide Local Authorities as to the types of uses that the Government considers should be a priority for the scheme. Authorities should determine for themselves whether particular situations not listed are broadly similar in nature to those above and, if so, whether they should be eligible for grants from this discretionary fund.
The Government also recognises that economic need will vary across the country, and so the precise design of the discretionary fund will be up to each local authority, and authorities are free to make payments to businesses outside of the above list.
For a link to the Government announcement see the link below: