Small Businesses: Discretionary Grants

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason (a) day nurseries and (b) children's indoor play centres were not identified as priority business types in the Discretionary Grant programme.

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

The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund was primarily and predominantly aimed at:

  • Small and micro businesses, as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006;
  • Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs;
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

A number of priority groups were identified, including small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, following consultation with local authorities.

Recognising that economic need varies across the country, local authorities have had the discretion to exercise their local knowledge and have been responsible for defining the precise eligibility for this Fund. Mandatory criteria requires that a business was trading as of 11 March, however local authorities have been allowed to determine which cases to support within those criteria.

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