Discretionary grants applications open across Gloucestershire
By Rob Freeman | 9th June 2020
Businesses across the county can now apply for funding under the Government's business support grant scheme.
Giving priority to businesses not eligible for support under previous schemes, the fund offers discretionary grants up to £25,000.
Cotswold District Council and Forest of Dean District Council have been accepting applications online since June 1 and now Gloucestershire's other authorities are opening up requests for funds.
Gloucester City Council, Stroud District Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council have formally approved the collaborative organisation which is now live.
Discretionary grant funding is primarily aimed at:
- Small and micro businesses
- Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
- Businesses which can demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
- Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.
The councils' shared policy allows for some discretion, but the Government has prioritised the following types of businesses:
- Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces such as units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
- Businesses in the hospitality industry with grants for businesses with a rateable value between £51,000 and £105,000;
- Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
- Bed & 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.
A joint statement from the authorities' finance officers said: "We want to ensure a consistent approach for businesses across our region so that they have clarity and certainty that this money will go to where it is needed most, in line with the guidance provided to us.
"We have limited funds for this scheme so the application window will be limited to a two-week period.''
Applications can be made online via the council websites until June 21 with applications in the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean open until June 14.
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