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The Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors. Small businesses occupying properties for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes are likely to be particularly affected by Covid-19 due to their reliance on customer footfall, and the fact that they are less likely than larger businesses to have sufficient cash reserves to meet their high fixed property-related costs. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund is intended to help small businesses in this situation.
On 1st May the Government that it would allocate up to an additional £617 million to Local authorities to enable them to make discretionary grants to businesses which have been excluded from the existing grants schemes because of the way they interact with the business rates system. Local Authorities can also choose to make discretionary grants to other kinds of businesses, such as coach operators, if they feel there is a particular local economic need. However, the priority of all the grants schemes continues to be to help the smallest businesses, and small businesses which are facing significant property-related costs and operate in sectors which have been particularly hard hit by the steep decline in customer footfall.
Businesses that are not eligible for grants should still be able to benefit from other measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of economic support, including: