News release from 07/04/2020
Grant funding for local businesses on the way
Businesses in South Cambridgeshire, that are eligible for grant funding under two Government Coronavirus assistance schemes, are being contacted by the District Council and invited to apply.
In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government announced there would be support for small businesses and those companies in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes:
- The Small Business Grant Fund. This fund provides a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses that already pay little or no business rates to help them meet ongoing business costs
- The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. This fund provides businesses in these industries with a rateable value of under £15,000 with a grant of £10,000. Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000
The Council estimates that a total of around 1,700 businesses in South Cambridgeshire are eligible for one of the grants. These companies are being emailed with instructions on how to apply for the grants online. If the Council does not have an email address for them, they are being sent a letter containing details about applying.
The money for the grants was received from Government last week. Immediate software development and testing, necessary to administer the grants, then took place and the Council is starting to pay the funds into the bank accounts of local companies this week.
Any business owner who does not receive an email or letter within the next week – but believes they are eligible for one of the grants – should first check the criteria in the ‘Coronavirus information for businesses’ section of the Council’s website, then follow the links to contact the Council if necessary.
Cllr Peter McDonald (pictured), who is leading South Cambridgeshire District Council’s efforts to assist local businesses that have been impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, said: “Our team at the Council is working flat out to get these grants into the bank accounts of local businesses as quickly as they possibly can. Every day I hear stories of local companies doing all they can to stay in business and we will support them. Please do bear in mind though that when administering these grants, there are checks that we need to carry out to guard against fraud and we are doing this as quickly as we can. Also, I’d urge all local businesspeople to sign-up for our newsletter that is produced specifically for them – you can do this via the business section of our website. We are regularly sending out the latest advice and guidance and know that clear, concise information is needed. Alongside all of this, we are driving forward the recruitment of an expanded business support team and talking with as many local businesses as we can to find out what they need from us to help them through this crisis.”
Local companies can sign up for the Council’s business newsletter, and get the latest Coronavirus information for businesses, within the dedicated Coronavirus information for business section of our website.
In addition to the above grants, South Cambridgeshire’s retail, hospitality and leisure businesses have so far been awarded around £13.7 million through the Government’s expanded retail business rates relief scheme. This means eligible businesses, that would have been due to pay Business Rates for 2020/21, have had their Business Rates waived so that they won’t need to pay any for next year. Businesses added to this scheme by the Government since its launch, such as estate and letting agents, will also be receiving the credit on their rate bills.