To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to small businesses that are unable to access business grant schemes during the covid-19 outbreak because they share premises with a larger business and are not therefore registered as business ratepayers.
For those business who fall outside of the business rates system support may be available through the Additional Restrictions Grant. The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) continues to enable Local Authorities to put in place discretionary business support and target businesses who may not be eligible to receive Grant Support under the mandatory schemes. Local Authorities are responsible for the administration for the Additional Restrictions Grant.
My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced an additional £425m will be made available via the Additional Restrictions Grant meaning that more than £2bn has been made available to Local Authorities since November 2020. Local Authorities are responsible for the administration of the Grant Scheme.
Businesses and entrepreneurs that have not been able to access support, or who are unsure about the support that may be available, can also contact their nearest Business Growth Hub. Government has supported the establishment of a network of 38 of these hubs, led by each Local Enterprise Partnership area in England. Expert advisers can offer businesses of all sizes free, tailored 1-1 guidance on areas such as planning, building resilience, and funding. The hubs can also signpost further resources such as webinars and networking opportunities. LEP and Growth Hub contact details are listed online: www.lepnetwork.net/local-growth-hub-contacts/. Firms based in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales can access similar business support through the devolved governments.
The Government’s free Business Support Helpline FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098 also provides impartial advice and can often signpost firms to further specialised sources of information.