Can Charities Claim Under the Small Business Grant Fund?
The Small Business Grant fund is aimed at businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and is primarily based on the rateable value of a property. The problem for charities is that many are already claiming charity business rates relief and so are not eligible for this grant.
However, on the 2nd of May the Government announced that an additional £617 million of grant funding was being made available through Local Authorities. The guidance for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund has now been published.
The grant fund is available to small businesses that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure fund.
Local authorities may disburse grants to a value of £25,000, £10,000 or anything below £10,000. The value of each payment will be entirely at the discretion of the local authority. There is no reason why charities should not be able to access this funding given they are ineligible for the Small Business Grant Fund. Each charity will have to put its own case forward to the relevant Local Authority.
The government has asked Local Authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses with this funding pot:
- Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;
- 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; and
- Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
Each local authority will need to publish their own clear guidance stating which types of businesses they will be prioritising.
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