East Cambridgeshire District Council opens applications for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund

May 29, 2020

East Cambridgeshire District Council will be launching its discretionary funding scheme from Monday 1 June for businesses unable to access other COVID-19 grant funding.

Applications for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund open from 12 noon on Monday and the Council is urging businesses to check their eligibility and apply as soon as possible as funding is limited.

The deadline for applications for the fund is Tuesday 30 June 2020.

An additional limited fund of £828,000 has been made available to the Council by central Government to support small businesses who have not been eligible for previous grants provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund provides an additional five per cent of funding to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF).

The Local Authority Discretionary Fund will prioritise the following four types of businesses:

  1. Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces which do not have their own business rates assessment. e.g. units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators
  2. Regular market traders on East Cambridgeshire Market with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
  3. Bed and Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  4. Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Businesses must meet all the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Have relatively high ongoing fixed property related costs
  • Occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000
  • Can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Have fewer than 50 employees
  • Have been trading on or before 11 March 2020.

Businesses who are eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are also eligible to apply for the Local Authority Discretionary Fund.

Who is not eligible?

Businesses which are eligible for cash grants from any other central government COVID-19 related scheme are not eligible for the Local Authority Discretionary Fund.

If you believe you are eligible for one of the other grant schemes and have not yet been in touch with us, please contact us by email or by telephone on 01353 665555.

Councillor David Brown, Chairman of the Finance and Assets Committee said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, central Government has announced various financial support schemes to help small businesses survive and to try and limit the impact of the pandemic on business.

“The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund relies on businesses checking their eligibility against the criteria and applying to the Council. Anyone who thinks they may be eligible should visit the Council’s website, assess the criteria and apply.”

Councillor Anna Bailey, Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Market traders, bed and breakfasts and charities are, by and large, well known to the Council, and we will be contacting them about this fund.  However, I would like to emphasise that this fund is also open to small businesses in shared premises, who are not necessarily so well known to the Council and we urge them to also come forward.

“We are having to operate this on a first come first served basis, so please get your application in early, and please complete the application form fully with the information requested so we can check eligibility, verify your claim and get the money out to you.”

Apply online by visiting: https://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/business/local-authority-small-business-discretionary-grant-coronavirus-update

For more information about the financial support for businesses, visit the East Cambs coronavirus information for businesses page.