On 2 May, the government announced that a further £617 million would be made available to local authorities in England.
The additional funding is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. The government have requested local authorities to prioritise the following:
- Businesses in shared spaces
- Regular market traders
- Small charities operating from properties which meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief
- Bed and breakfast businesses paying council tax rather than business rates
It should be noted that local authorities may choose to make payments to other business based on local economic need.
In order to be eligible, businesses must be small (under 50 employees) and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.
There will be three levels of grant payments; the largest is £25,000, the next level down is £10,000 and local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.
Further guidance is expected to be issued shortly to local authorities; we will publish details once they are available.