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Councils release details of “top up” grant scheme

Both Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Councils have now announced details of their “Top Up” grant schemes following the earlier Government announcement of additional grant funding for those businesses that missed out on the original round of grant funding for smaller businesses and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.  The central funding is available to local councils who then set the criteria on which distribution of the funds will be based.  
 

Shropshire

The funding will be allocated on a competitive basis and will be focussed on the following businesses:
 
• Small businesses in shared offices or flexible workspaces (such as units in industrial parks and incubators) which do not have their own business rates assessment. Grant funding available of £2,500 per business in office accommodation (B1), up to £10,000 if located in industrial / warehouse facility (B2 & B8).
• Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment. Grant funding of £2,500 per trader.
• Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates. Grant funding of £2,500 available for businesses operating premises with less than 6 beds, which is the expected number to pay Council Tax.
• Charities that are based in commercial properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which has not been eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant can apply for £5,000 grant funding.
 
Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis and close at midnight on 7 June.  The council hopes there will be further funding rounds to follow – more details to be available in due course.
 
Full details including a link to the application can be found here:
 
 

Telford & Wrekin

Telford & Wrekin have based their criteria directly on the guidance issued by Central Government and grants will be awarded, again on a competitive basis, to businesses that meet the following criteria:
 
• Small and micro businesses, (broadly those up to a turnover of £10.2 million and gross assets of £5.1 million)
• Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs (i.e. rent/lease/mortgage on commercial property)
• Businesses with fewer than 50 employees
• Businesses that were trading on 11 March 2020
• Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
 
Applications for this grant will close at 5.00 pm this Friday (29 May) so businesses wishing to apply need to act quickly.
 
Full details are set out here:
 
 

Welsh grants

This additional funding was made available to English councils only.  A further pot of money was provided to the Welsh Government – this has been focussed on rate paying organisations qualifying for Charitable relief and Community Amateur Sports Club relief.  The scheme provides for a £10,000 grant to all ratepayers eligible for these reliefs, operating in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors occupying properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. Local authorities have the discretion to provide grants to not-for-profit bodies they consider to be operating for charitable purposes but aren’t currently receiving charitable relief or CASC relief. This discretion will only apply to not-for-profit organisations who are in receipt of or have entitlement to discretionary rates relief and operate in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors.
 
Full details of this scheme are provided here:
 
 
The grants will be handled by the relevant Welsh local authority and full details will be available via the above page as and when they become available.  
 
28 May 2020 | Written by Paul Brown, Tax Partner 

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