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Small Businesses: Government Assistance

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Charlotte Nichols Charlotte Nichols Labour, Warrington North

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to provide support to small businesses not eligible for Small Business Grant Scheme because they are not liable for business rates as a result of not occupying a hereditament.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The Government has announced a package of support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This package of support includes the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

In addition, on 1 May, the Government announced that up to £617 million is being made available to Local Authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants. The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF) is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs but not liable for business rates or rates reliefs.

Local Authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for this fund and may choose to make payments based on local economic need, subject to the recipient businesses meeting the specific eligibility criteria.

Guidance, intended to support Local Authorities in administering the Discretionary Grants Fund, was published 13 May and can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding.

Where businesses have been advised by the relevant local authority that they are not eligible for these schemes, they should be able to benefit from other measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including:

  • An option to defer VAT payments by up to twelve months;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, now extended to cover all businesses including those which would be able to access commercial credit;
  • The Bounce Back Loan scheme, which will ensure that small and micro businesses can quickly access loans of up to £50,000 which are 100% guaranteed by the Government;
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses with their wage bills;
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to provide support to the self-employed.

Further information on the other support available can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.

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