News release from 02/06/2020
New funding to aid small South Cambs businesses in COVID-19 recovery
Over £1.25m in grant funding is now available to help hundreds of small South Cambridgeshire businesses – who have not been eligible for Coronavirus support so far – to secure jobs and recover.
Eligible businesses such as charities, market traders, B&Bs and those in shared offices or flexible workspaces are invited to apply as soon as possible to the District Council for the new funding, and no later than midnight on 22 June.
The one-off payments under the Government’s discretionary grants scheme range from £2,500 for small firms, £10,000 for charities and up to £10,000 for other businesses connected to the retail, hospitality and leisure industry. Firms that have already benefited from previous Government grants do not qualify.
The Council has set up a special team to assess applications and distribute funding fairly and efficiently to eligible businesses that need support as the lockdown eases. This includes:
- Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces with a minimum rent of £250 per month
- Regular market traders who are based in the same physical location with fixed building costs and registered with the Council’s Environmental Health / Licensing Service
- B&Bs that pay Council Tax and are registered with the Council’s Environmental Health Service
- Charities that pay business rates to the Council and would meet the criteria to receive Small Business Rates Relief if they were an equivalent sized business.
These businesses will be notified of the Council’s decision as soon as possible.
The Council has introduced a fifth category for businesses not included in the above, which form part of the supply chain for the retail, hospitality and leisure industry and can demonstrate they have lost around 75% of their income as a result of COVID-19. With funding limited, the over-riding factor for grant determination will be the number of people employed. These businesses will be advised of any decisions after 22 June.
Among the qualifying criteria, businesses must have been trading on 11 March 2020, have a turnover of no more than £10.2m and employ less than 50 people.
South Cambridgeshire District Council Leader, Cllr Bridget Smith (pictured - above), said the new funding was designed to ease the immediate challenges for local small businesses and help them to secure jobs.
She said: “These businesses may be small, but they play a vital role in the future of our local and national economy. Collectively they employ significant numbers of people across the generations and we want to help them to continue to trade out of these difficult times, secure jobs and look to a brighter future.
“If you think your company is eligible for one of these grants, then apply via our website as soon as you possibly can. We know how much of a lifeline this funding could be for businesses who have not been eligible for support so far today, so will get the money out to them as fast as we can.
“I’m very proud of how quickly we have managed to get previous grant funding into the hands of South Cambridgeshire companies and we’re looking to act fast once again here.”
The District Council has already handed out over £22m of Coronavirus support grants to almost 1,900 local businesses under previous Government schemes.
In this latest funding round, South Cambridgeshire District Council has worked closely with its neighbouring authorities – Huntingdonshire District and Cambridge City Councils – to ensure all three grant schemes closely align.