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Gloucestershire Business News

Joint grant scheme launches soon to support local businesses

Four local councils will soon be launching a new business support grant funding scheme, to support businesses which weren't eligible for previous funds.

With support from local BIDS and GFirst LEP, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Stroud councils are working together to create a scheme to ensure effective and fair distribution of discretionary grant funding.

They are looking to launch the scheme in as little as three weeks, event though a detailed scheme of this scale would usually take up to six months to implement.

The partnership is in direct response to the recent government announcement that, due to Covid-19, there would be an additional discretionary fund aimed at small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business grant fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grant fund.

The councils will be applying the criteria for eligibility as laid down by the government but will also, where government funding allows, look to support some additional businesses within the discretional element.

This new grant builds on the significant rapid support to local businesses over the past few weeks, with the four councils collectively paying out £79.5m in grants to 6,722 businesses.

The authorities' chief finance officers agreed: "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 are united in our view that businesses deserve a scheme that is straightforward, transparent and supports the economy across our districts.''

David Owen, chief executive at GFirst LEP said: "The discretionary fund from central government is to be welcomed, it will certainly help a number of businesses who we know were ineligible for various grant schemes previously announced. We are fully supportive of a joined up, countywide approach to this fund, thereby ensuring businesses across the county are treated equally.''

Further details of the scheme, including a go live date, will be published soon.

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