Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 14th, 2020

Yesterday, the government published the guidance for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund – this is the information the government provided to LAs. This funding is for those businesses who do not meet the criteria for other grants that have been provided like: Self Employment Income Support Scheme, Small Business Rate Relief Grant, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant – there are further grants listed within the document. Local Authorities will be able to issue grants for £10,000, £25,000 or any value under £10,000 and it will be up to the LA to decide how much they give to a business.

Businesses that this grant is designed to help are those small and micro businesses (as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and Companies Act 2006), those with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs, businesses that are able to demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income due to Covid-19, and businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value/annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000. The government has asked Local Authorities to prioritise businesses in shared offices or flexible working spaces, regular market traders with fixed building costs, bed and breakfasts that pay Council Tax instead of business rates, and charity properties that receive charitable business rates relief. The business must have been trading on 11/03/2020 in order to be eligible.

This is a taxable grant, the money does not need to be paid back but it does need to be declared on your accounts and your tax return as income.

It doesn’t state how you apply for this grant, but as it is provided through the Local Authorities, I expect you need to contact your LA and ask them how you apply.

The full document can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885011/local-authority-discretionary-grants-fund-guidance-local-government.pdf

It was also announced yesterday by John Glenn (the Economic Secretary to the Treasury) that businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and are struggling to ensure they are able to maintain their insurance cover, will get help from the government. The government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance which will help businesses to keep their supply chains moving. The full article can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-support-businesses-through-trade-credit-insurance-guarantee

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/