Government introduces new grants to help small businesses

Small businesses that have not been able to benefit from government assistance programmes are being offered a financial lifeline in the form of a new fund.

The Discretionary Business Grant Scheme will be launched by Trafford Council tomorrow (Friday, May 22) to provide much needed help to small businesses.

To date Trafford Council has paid over £40 million of national business rates grants to local companies - but many small enterprises do not directly pay business rates and as a result have so far not been eligible for assistance.

The new fund, which was announced by the government earlier this month, is aimed at small businesses that have not been able to access existing grant programmes.

The eligibility criteria have been designed to ensure that it is businesses in real need which will benefit the most.

The discretionary grants will be up to a maximum of £5000 depending on the category of businesses and will especially target companies operating in shared spaces, regular market traders and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

Cllr Tom Ross, Trafford Council’s Executive member for Finance and Investment, said:

We are doing everything possible to ensure that businesses can continue to operate safely during the current lockdown period – but many businesses have been forced to close and have seen their takings fall dramatically.

This new grant will help those companies with fixed property costs that haven’t been able to access existing assistance programmes.

While the funding is capped by the government, we want to help as many local firms as we can. Businesses should apply for funding online and see if they meet the eligibility criteria, and where they qualify we will make payments as swiftly as we can.”

Full details of eligibility criteria and the application process for discretionary business grants can be found on the Council website.

Posted on Thursday 21st May 2020