New coronavirus grant available for businesses who missed out first time round
- Credit: James Bass
Small businesses who “fell through the cracks” of initial government rescue grants can apply for a new lifeline fund.
According to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, priority will lie with small traders in shared offices, market traders who do not have their own business rates assessments and bed and breakfasts who pay council tax instead of rates.
Charities which receive business rates relief will also be eligible.In a statement, the council said: “We have already handed out more than £28m in Government grants to local businesses under the national scheme.
“Additional Government funding of just over £1.7m is now allowing the council to support even more local businesses.
“Using national guidelines, local authorities were asked to develop their own policies on administration of this additional funding. Eligible businesses can apply for grants of £2,000, £5,000 or £10,000, with one grant per business.”
However, there is specific criteria as to who can benefit.
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Businesses must have been trading on March 11 to be eligible, and must provide evidence of a big drop in income caused by the pandemic.
Companies in administration or considered bankrupt will not qualify.
Carl Smith and Trevor Wainwright, leaders of the council’s main political groups, said: “We’ve designed the local scheme criteria to help as many small businesses as possible among those which were not eligible for the previous Government support, and we encourage those businesses to submit their applications swiftly via the website.
But for one business who slipped through the net of initial government relief, the new grants may be “too little” if not “too late”.
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Nick Pegge, owner of The Flower Shop in Market Gates, pays his business rates indirectly through rent, and so did not qualify for funding.
He said: “I’m grateful for any help at this stage to save the business going under, but £5,000, which is what we’re entitled to, simply isn’t enough.
“We’re around £25,000 down in sales since March and our overheads have already passed the £5,000 mark. We’ve had to take out a £25,000 loan which is only interest free for the first year.
“What’s really worrying is that this new grant is discretionary - so we can’t even be sure that we’re going to get it.”