On 1 May the Government announced a top up grant available via local authorities in England to assist small and micro businesses who were not eligible for previous support via the Small Business Grant Funding and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funding.
The Government provided guidance to local authorities outlining how the funding should operate in late May. Councils were then asked to develop and implement schemes which would meet the needs of the local economy, whilst still remaining within this national guidance and eligibility criteria.
Northumberland County Council (NCC) are now taking applications for this Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund from small businesses including:
- B&Bs or guest houses with three bed spaces and above and which pay council tax instead of business rates*
- businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, which do not have their own business rates assessment
- hotels & Pubs with a premises rateable value exceeding £51,000
- small charities which receive charitable rates relief which would have otherwise been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief; and
- regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.
* not including self catering properties or Airbnb
For your application to be considered you must be a small or micro business and:
- be based in England
- have relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
- occupy property (or part of a property) with a rateable value or annual mortgage/rent payments below £51,000
- was trading on 11 March 2020
- be able to demonstrate that your income has seen a significant fall due to the COVID-19 crisis.
NCC will consider a business to be ‘small’ if it meets two of the three following criteria:
- less than 50 employees
- a turnover no more than £10.2 million
- a balance sheet total no more than £5.1 million.
NCC will consider a business to be ‘micro’ if it meets two of the three following criteria:
- less than 10 employees
- a turnover no more than £632,000
- a balance sheet total no more than £316,000.
The maximum grant available will be £10,000, however NCC are advising that they believe the majority of grants paid out will be less than this.
The government have provided a fixed funding limit to each local authority and therefore it may not be possible for NCC to help every business. Applications will close at midnight on Sunday 14 June 2020. For both of these reasons we recommend that you submit an application as soon as possible.
You will be required to provide financial details to demonstrate your drop in income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, along with other documentation including, but not limited to the rateable value of premises, annual rent and fixed property costs. You will also need to confirm that you are eligible to receive any funding under state aid rules.
If you require any clarification on the application process or would like to speak to us in relation to preparing an application please get in touch. We will do all possible to ensure this is done efficiently and accurately in order to put you in the best position for funding consideration.