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Grant Eligibility Relaxed For Small Yorkshire Coast Businesses

Grant Eligibility Relaxed For Small Yorkshire Coast Businesses

Published by Karen Liu at 7:00am 11th July 2020.

Businesses on the Yorkshire Coast are being reminded to apply for a government scheme for money.

Small businesses throughout the Borough of Scarborough are being given another opportunity to apply for grant of between £500 and £10,000 to provide much needed financial support to help them manage the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Scarborough Borough Council launched the first round of its Discretionary Business Grant Scheme last month. Out of the £3.23m of government funding allocated to the scheme, the council has paid grants to 185 businesses with a total value of £1.95m.

In particular, struggling businesses in the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors, which slipped through the net of the government’s original grant schemes, have been helped, including visitor accommodation, attractions and suppliers.

For the second round of the scheme, the eligibility criteria has been relaxed to include all small and micro businesses with fixed property costs in the borough, not just the specific business types included previously.

The criteria has also been expanded to pay grants where people have more than one business and they have not received one of the government’s original small business or retail, hospitality and leisure grants for that additional business, provided that the total already received doesn’t exceed £50,000.

Just over £1.2m remains in the pot so the council is inviting businesses that have not previously applied for a discretionary grant, to submit an application now, irrespective of their business type.

The grants will be awarded in three bands, up to £2,000, up to £5,000 and up to £10,000 and will vary dependent on factors such as business size, levels of fixed property costs payable, and the financial impact coronavirus has had on the business. The scheme does allow for grants of up to £25,000 in exceptional circumstances. 

Applications must be made online via the support for businesses section at scarborough.gov.uk/coronavirus by the deadline of Monday 20 July. The council may seek additional information from a business to support their application form.

To be able to apply for a grant, a business must still meet criteria set out by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS):

  • Small and micro businesses, as set out in Section 33, Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006
  • Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property costs
  • Businesses that can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant drop in income due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Businesses which occupy a property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000, or businesses with a rateable value of greater than £51,000 that would have been eligible for a Business Support grant had their rateable value been less than £51,000
  • Businesses must have been trading on 11 March 2020

The government permitted councils to add additional criteria to tailor the scheme to their local areas. Applicants must be registered with HMRC or the Charities Commission and either have their sole or main residence in the borough and be liable for council tax, or operate from a business premise within the borough that is subject to non-domestic rating. 

After the closing date of 20 July, the applications will be assessed to determine levels of grants payable. To ensure that the grant payments can be maintained within the remaining funding allocation, the level of grants payable might not be the same as those awarded in the first round.

The council is unable to guarantee a grant to every business that submits an application.

Cllr Janet Jefferson, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources said:

“It’s been really encouraging to hear the positive difference we’ve made to those businesses that received funding from us in the first round of the scheme.

I would like to thank the officers who have worked tirelessly to award the grants and help as many business owners as they can.

With more than one million pounds still to award and a relaxation of the application criteria, we are now in a position to help more of our borough’s small businesses mitigate some of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Councillor Richard Burton, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:

"We believe there are still some businesses in the East Riding in need of grant aid at this difficult time, so that is why we have decided to extend the deadline for applications.

If your business hasn’t yet received cash help from the Government, and you think it may qualify for a Discretionary Grant, I would urge you to apply for this financial help right now.”

For more information, details of the criteria for the discretionary grant scheme as well as the application forms go to www.eastriding.gov.uk/discretionarygrantscheme

Businesses across the East Riding looking for more advice and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic can contact the council’s business support team by emailing startup.business@eastriding.gov.uk

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