Additional financial support available for small local businesses

Funding is available for eligible small local businesses with high fixed property costs and loss of income due to COVID-19 through a new grant launched by Tameside Council.

The Discretionary Grants Fund was announced by the government in early May and is aimed at small businesses which did not qualify for the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant due to not having a rates liability or failing to meet criteria set by the government.

Government guidance issued on 13 and 22 May 2020 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding) has given Tameside Council some discretion when allocating grants so they can be issued based on local insight and economic need.

Central government has made £2.3m in limited, fixed funding available to the council for this scheme and funds will be used to support as many businesses as possible with mainly grant allocations of up to £10,000* (grants of £25,000 will be made only in exceptional circumstances).

So that all eligible businesses have the opportunity to apply for the scheme, the council will be allocating the funds in rounds. This will run for two rounds to assess how much demand there is from local businesses that are in priority areas, are eligible for the grant and can provide evidence of this.

Once Tameside Council has processed and decided on grant allocations for all applications from round 1, there will be an assessment of any government funding left for round 2. If there is no funding remaining round 2 will not take place.

Round 1 is open to businesses in the following categories:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include mills, units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment. Exclusions include businesses operating from domestic settings (including Airbnb operators) or those that do not have fixed, property related costs.
  • 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.

Tameside business owners should check the local guidance https://www.tameside.gov.uk/discretionarygrantfund before applying to check eligibility and all the details of the scheme, the guidance also includes more information on Round 2.

The timeline for round 1 of the scheme is:

  • Applications open – Thursday, 4 June, 4pm
  • Applications close – Thursday, 18 June, 5pm
  • Payment of grants – from Monday 22 June onwards.

Cllr Oliver Ryan, Tameside Council Executive Member for Finance and Economic Growth, said: “Through the Discretionary Grant Fund we’ll be able to provide financial support for businesses across the borough which weren’t eligible for the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant. The pandemic has been a challenging time for our local economy but it’s been fantastic to see such resilience and community spirit from businesses.

“I encourage owners of small businesses to apply for this funding from today so we can begin allocating the funds to eligible businesses.”

Applications for the grant can be made online at https://www.tameside.gov.uk/discretionarygrantfund. Businesses are encouraged to check guidance to ensure they have the correct evidence before making an application. Those unable to apply online should email tamesidegrant@tameside.gov.uk or call 0161 342 8355 to request an emailed or printed copy.

 

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