Richmondshire District Council has paid out 1,760 small business grants – over £20m of the £24m it was allocated by central government.
They have gone to businesses receiving Small Business Rate Relief, Rural Rate Relief or the Extended Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief.
The council estimates there are around 2,000 businesses eligible in the district and as a final attempt to contact them all, letters are being sent to properties that the council believes could be eligible.
On May 1 the Government announced that a further Discretionary Grant Fund would be established targeting small businesses with high fixed property-related costs but who were not eligible for the small business grants.
The District Council is awaiting further guidance from Government on exactly how this scheme will operate, but national criteria for the grants have already been shared. They will only go to businesses:
- with ongoing fixed building-related costs
- which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
- with fewer than 50 employees
- that were trading on 11 March 2020
Businesses that are eligible for the existing grant schemes, or the self-employed income support scheme will not be eligible. We will review any applications that have been rejected for not being eligible for the small business grants scheme and check if they will be eligible under this new Discretionary Grant Fund once the fund has been established.
Further announcements will be made when the District Council is in a position to take applications. Until we have further information we are unable to take enquiries about this additional fund.