More organisations affected by the coronavirus outbreak may now be eligible for a grant under a new round of Allerdale Borough Council’s discretionary grant scheme.
Cash grants of up to £25,000 are now available to eligible businesses, with other amounts paid out on a sliding scale dependent on the number of employees, the property costs or the amount of income lost. The scheme is designed to help those with property costs that have seen a significant fall in income due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Like previous schemes, this third round of the discretionary grant scheme is aimed at helping as many businesses as possible, by further widening the eligibility criteria. In the first round the council focussed on the sectors it had been asked by the government to prioritise.
As with the second round, the grant is available for small and micro businesses as defined in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006. However, the council has lowered the annual property cost criteria by £1,400 to £1,000 a year – meaning that many more businesses are now eligible to apply so long as they meet the other criteria.
The scheme has also been widened to include medium-sized businesses.
Registered charities and Community Interest Companies and bed and breakfast providers that pay council tax instead of business rates can also continue to apply for the grant if they meet the criteria of the scheme.
To be eligible businesses and organisations must be able to confirm a drop in income of at least 25 per cent from April 2019 to April 2020.
Full details on the eligibility criteria is available on the council’s website: https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-grants-claims/discretionary-grant-scheme/
There are some types of businesses specifically excluded from the scheme, such as housing associations. These are outlined in the policy document.
As with other rounds, businesses cannot apply if they are eligible for any of the other grant schemes or financial support initiatives announced by the government, except the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (for furloughed staff) or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. They also need to be able to show that they were trading on 11 March 2020.
Due to a government deadline of the end of August for the closure of all discretionary grant schemes, applications are open until 5pm on 26 August. Completed applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis. Therefore, eligible organisations are encouraged to submit their application, complete with all the necessary accompanying documentation, as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
The council is contacting by email all applicants whose property costs were too low to be eligible for the previous grants, but may now mean they are eligible for this grant. A separate application is not required from these organisations.