NEW funding is available for small businesses as Cheshire West and Chester Council has now launched its discretionary business grant scheme following the Government’s announcement of additional funding.
The window to apply online to the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is open for two weeks from 18 May to 1 June.
The new fund, which offers grants of £25,000, £10,000 or up to £10,000, is aimed at small businesses that can demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income because of the COVID-19 crisis, have relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs and occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.
The fund is mainly intended to address gaps in the original Government scheme.
Businesses must have been trading on 11 March 2020 and not have received any other Government funding.
The Government is asking councils to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants:
Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces
Regular market traders who do not have their own business rate assessment
Bed and breakfasts (excluding Airbnb) which pay council tax instead of business rates
Charity properties that receive charitable business rates relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief.
Cllr Carol Gahan, Cabinet Member for Legal and Finance, said: “We know so many small businesses in west Cheshire are struggling and it’s good that an extra pot of money has been made available to help.
“We have not yet been told how much of the national fund will be allocated to our borough, but know, from early indications, that it won’t be enough to support all the businesses that we would like to.
“We would appeal to all small businesses to take advantage of the support and advice that the Council offers with its partners to help you manage during this unprecedented time.”
For full details of the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund and to apply visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/businessgrant.
For further information about the support available to businesses, visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk and search for COVID-19 business support.