Grants scheme launched to help small businesses throughout Scarborough area

Small businesses throughout the borough of Scarborough will, from today (June 4), be able to benefit from a grant of between £500 and £10,000 to provide much-needed financial support.

Thursday, 4th June 2020, 4:45 pm
Cllr Janet Jefferson

Scarborough Borough Council launches its Discretionary Business Grant Scheme today. and the £3.23m scheme, funded by the Government, is the second major funding scheme to be administered by the council during the pandemic.

It has already paid out more than £55m to local businesses since it started administering the Business Support grants earlier in the spring.

Certain small and micro businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed-property related costs that were not eligible for the Business Support grants will be able to apply for the new discretionary scheme.

There will be a fixed window for businesses to apply online via the support for businesses section here by Sunday June 21.

The council may seek additional information from a business to support their application form.

After the closing date, the applications will be assessed to determine levels of grants payable.

The grants will be awarded in three bands, up to £2,000, up to £5,000 and up to £10,000 and will vary dependent on factors such as business size, levels of fixed property costs payable, and the financial impact coronavirus has had on the business.

The scheme does allow for grants of up to £25,000 in exceptional circumstances.

To be able to apply for a grant, a business must meet criteria largely set out by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS):

* Small and micro businesses, as set out 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 costs

* Businesses that can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant drop in income

due to the coronavirus pandemic

* Businesses which occupy a property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000, or businesses with a rateable value of greater than £51,000 that would have been eligible for a Business Support grant had their rateable value been less than £51,000

* Businesses must have been trading on March 11, 2020

The Government has permitted councils to add additional criteria to tailor the scheme to their local areas.

Applicants must be registered with HMRC or the Charities Commission and either have their sole or main residence in the borough and be liable for council tax, or operate from a business premise within the borough that is subject to non-domestic rating.

When determining payments, priority will be given to the following businesses:

* Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces

* Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment

* Bed and breakfast premises which pay council tax instead of business rates

* Businesses where the landlord pays the non-domestic rates but is not eligible for grants

* Suppliers to the leisure and hospitality sector

* Businesses operating in the tourism sector, including the arts, entertainment and recreation

* Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief, suppliers to the leisure and hospitality sector

Cllr Janet Jefferson, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, said: “We are really pleased to have the opportunity to launch this scheme, which will provide much-needed financial assistance to some businesses that operate within the borough and may have slipped through the net of earlier schemes.

“If you are a small or micro business and haven’t already had money from another government grant scheme, it would be worth looking at the criteria to see if you might qualify.”