To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to expand the (a) Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and (b) the business rate holiday due to the outbreak of covid-19 to (a) dentists, (b) osteopaths, (c) physiotherapists, (d) veterinary surgeries, (e) providers of shared office space, (f) financial advisors in retail premises and (g) language schools.
The Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund have been designed to support smaller businesses and some of the sectors which have been hit hardest by the measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The schemes have been tied to the business rates system and rating assessments, which together provide a framework for Local Authorities to make payments as quickly as possible. Businesses in the business rates system are also likely to face particularly high fixed costs.
Through the Covid-19 crisis we have continued to look at the performance of business support scheme and introduce changes, including the recently announced Bounce Back Loans.
On the 1 May 2020 the Business Secretary announced that a further up to £617 million is being made available to local authorities. This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.