Help on way for more businesses hit by pandemic

More help is on the way for businesses in South Kesteven that have been hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

South Kesteven District Council is set to be allocated £1.54m from the Government's £617m Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund to help certain small businesses that were not eligible for previous business grant schemes. Grants will be set at £25,000, £10,000 and a range below £10,000.

The Government has asked councils to prioritise certain business sectors for the grant, including:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces such as units in industrial parks or science parks and do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Bed & Breakfasts that pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  • Charity properties that receive charitable business rates relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

SKDC Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Cllr Adam Stokes, said: "So far we have paid out more than £26.65m in Government grants to 2,199 businesses in South Kesteven.

"There are, however, some that have not previously been eligible for Government assistance and this will help support a number of them through this incredibly difficult period. Backing local businesses is one of our key priorities to ensure our economy is as strong as possible when we come out of this."

While some local discretion can be applied, applications will be judged against a set of eligibility criteria and, as a minimum, businesses will need to demonstrate they:

  • Are a small or micro business with fewer than 50 employees
  • Have relatively high ongoing fixed costs related to property
  • Have suffered a significant fall in income due to Covid-19
  • Occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value, annual rent or annual mortgage payments under £51,000.
  • Were not eligible for all other Government Covid-19 business support funding

It is intended that the application process, which will be available through the SKDC and InvestSK websites, will go live on 1 June.