Gateshead Council has opened its applications for the Discretionary Grant Fund today (Tuesday 9 June). Grants of £5000 will be offered to eligible businesses.
The discretionary grant fund announced earlier this month is aimed at businesses that were not eligible to claim the initial government COVID-19 grants linked to a rates assessment.
Gateshead Council has been guided by the criteria provided by government to set up a user-friendly application system, designed to be as straightforward as possible, but to also prevent fraud. The Council aims to efficiently process applications and pay the funds to eligible applicants quickly.
Gateshead Council is now urging small businesses to apply for the grant where they are within one of the following groups:
- Small and micro businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial parks, business parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
- Regular market trader with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
- Bed and Breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates
- Charities in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
In all cases the business must provide evidence of:
- Ongoing fixed property-related costs of at least £250 per month.
- A significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis, and
- They were trading on 11 March 2020
Councillor Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council said: “It is vital that we support our small businesses during this difficult time, so I am pleased to launch the Discretionary Grants Fund. This new grant will help those companies with fixed property costs that haven’t been able to access existing assistance programmes. I encourage any small business owner who is eligible to make an application and access all the help that is available.”
“As much as the Council would like to be able to offer financial support to every business in the borough, the funding is very limited and capped by the Government, so we have prioritised those small businesses identified in government guidelines and that are important to our local economy.”
Please note: businesses that employ more than 50 people, have a business rates assessment or are eligible for cash grants from any other central government COVID-19 related scheme (apart from Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme – SEISS) are ineligible for funding from this scheme.
Business can access the full eligibility criteria and apply at www.gateshead.gov.uk/discretionarygrantfund