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Published: June 1, 2020 | Updated: June 1, 2020

Don’t delay in applying as BCP Council receives £4.3m extra funds to support small businesses

By Andrew Diprose, editor

BCP Council has launched its local discretionary grant scheme after being allocated £4.3m of additional government funding to support small businesses.

The new fund is aimed at small businesses that can demonstrate they’ve suffered a significant fall in income because of Covid-19, have ongoing fixed property-related costs and occupy property or shared office space with a rateable value below £51,000.

The government has advised the council that it can use its discretion to award grants to those that are eligible.

The scheme will allow for varying grant amounts of up to £10,000 and will allow discretion, taking into account local priorities and impact on the residents, to consider awards of £25,000.

To be eligible, businesses must have been trading on March 11 2020 and so far been considered ineligible for grant support.

The council will prioritise businesses identified by government and those it has identified based on local needs.

These include:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces.
  • Regular market traders.
  • Bed and breakfast premises which pay council tax instead of business rates.
  • Charities in receipt of charitable rate relief who otherwise would have received Small Business Rate Relief.
  • Tourism & Hospitality Sector – specifically small event management/catering firms and businesses with licences to trade on pontoon or similar.
  • Nurseries e.g. day nurseries, nursery schools.
  • Financial Sector – small mortgage broker businesses.
  • Local care and health practitioners

Applications for the Local Discretionary Grants Fund must be made before 9am on Monday June 15 via the on-line application process.

Once the applications have been received BCP Council will carry out a review to determine the allocation of available funding and final grant values based on the number of applications received.

Payments will be made as soon as possible after this period of analysis and assessment.

To check your eligibility and apply, please visit: https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/DGSbusiness

To date, BCP Council has paid £72.8m in grant support to 5,706 businesses eligible for either the Small Business Grant or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants.

This represents 83 per cent of the total number of businesses known to be eligible for this support from the council’s records.

The application process for these grant support schemes remains open.

Businesses can check their eligibility and apply online here: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/covid19businesssupport