Published June 15, 2020 at 10:58
A new support scheme for small businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis is now open in Rossendale.
The Government has made £877,750 additional funding available to the Council to allow us to further support small businesses through this grant scheme.
The scheme is aimed at small and micro businesses across the borough who didn’t receive help through the initial Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.
We are inviting applications to determine the number of businesses that are eligible for the scheme, subject to meeting the criteria. We aim to award grants of £25,000, £10,000 or between £500 and £10,000 but this will depend on the number of applications received. It is anticipated that grants will be primarily £10k or lower in order to maximise potential qualifiers.
The scheme is designed to pay businesses as quickly as is possible but also to avoid paying out grants on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. This is particularly important given the fixed amount of funding available.
Applications are being accepted now. It is important to submit your application by 21st June 2020 to allow for assessment and analysis of take-up. If after this assessment process there is still funding remaining the Council will consider applications received after this date.
The application form can be found here.
Who is this grant for?
The guidance issued by the Government states that Initially priority should be given to:
- Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators, 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 and Breakfasts 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 with a rateable value below £15,000
Am I Eligible?
Eligible businesses must demonstrate that they fall into all of the following categories:
- Have relatively high ongoing fixed property related costs
- Have suffered a significant fall in income due to Covid-19
- Meet the definition of a small or micro business as set out in the Companies Act 2006 and reproduced in paragraphs 21 and 22 of the government guidance.
- Are an eligible business which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value, or annual rent, or annual mortgage payment below £51,000, and
- They were trading as at 11 March 2020
Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the the Self-Employed Income support scheme (SEISS) are eligible to apply for this scheme.
Councillor Alyson Barnes, Leader of Rossendale Council, said:
“Applications are open now for these new grants and we would encourage any small business that fits the criteria to apply. We are focusing on small and micro businesses in Rossendale that have been affected by the closures following the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a separate fund from the previous Government grants, and there are different rules and guidelines to follow. Our teams are here to help with any queries or issues you might have.”
The full guidance notes can be found here: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding .
Our local policy can be found here: https://www.rossendale.gov.uk/downloads/download/11327/covid_19_local_authority_discretionary_grant_scheme_policy_202021