New Grant Scheme To Help More Businesses And Charities Affected By The COVID Outbreak

Businesses and some charities in Allerdale that have not been able to benefit from any of the previous coronavirus financial schemes, may now be eligible for a new grant announced by Allerdale Borough Council.

The council’s discretionary grant scheme has opened for a second round, having already helped over 148 local businesses with a total of £830,000 paid out in recent weeks.

Cash grants of up to £25,000 are now available to eligible businesses, with other amounts paid out on a sliding scale dependent on the number of employees, the property costs or the amount of income lost.

The first round of the scheme focussed on those sectors the council had been asked to prioritise by the Government but in reviewing the criteria of the scheme for this second round the council will be able to help local businesses and charities that have been hit financially by the coronavirus outbreak and were not eligible before.     

To qualify for the second round of the scheme, the Council is prioritising small and micro businesses, as defined in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006, that can demonstrate at least a 25 per cent fall in trading income, when comparing their income in April 2019 with April 2020.

They also have to fall into one of the following categories:

  • A registered charity or Community Interest Company    
  • Bed and Breakfast accommodation provider that pays council tax instead of business rates    
  • A retail, hospitality or leisure business with a rateable value exceeding £51,000    
  • A local wholesaler, supply chain business or other business that relies on businesses mandated to close by Government for the majority of their business and has a rateable value above £51,000  
  • Manufacturing businesses with a rateable value above £51,000

There are some types of businesses specifically excluded from the scheme, such as housing associations. These are outlined in the policy document.

As with the first round, businesses cannot apply if they are eligible for any of the other grant schemes or financial support initiatives announced by the government, except the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (for furloughed staff) or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

They also need to be able to show that they were trading on 11 March 2020.

Full details of the scheme and an application form are now available on the council’s website.

The scheme will be open for four weeks, ending at 5pm on 10 August 2020.

Completed applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis.

Therefore, eligible organisations are encouraged to submit their application, complete with all the necessary accompanying documentation, as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Businesses that applied for the first round of the scheme but were not eligible, but believe they are eligible for the second round do need to apply again.

The council has around £1.1m in funding for the scheme.

The council is endeavouring to make payments within 15 working days of a completed application being received.