Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We're launching a Discretionary Grant Fund for small businesses

Friday, 5 June 2020

After a special meeting of our Executive, we're announcing that we'll be launching a Discretionary Grant Scheme on Monday June 8.

The new, government-funded scheme, is aimed to help those small businesses, badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which were not covered by the Business Support Grant Scheme or other financial support.

Grants of up to £10,000 can be made, but if the value of eligible applications is more than the money available, they will be reduced pro rata.

Councillor Richard Wenham, our Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources, said:

This is a fixed pot of money and we want to make sure as many eligible businesses as possible benefit.

We will be contacting businesses we know are eligible but there will be many, as they pay business rates as part of their rent, that aren’t as visible to us. So we urge owners to visit our website and apply as soon as possible as there is only a two-week window for applications.

Six types of business are priorities under the scheme, and each must meet four strict criteria set by the government.

Added Councillor Wenham:

The most important is that a business must have relatively high fixed costs for premises in terms of rent or commercial mortgage. But unlike the Business Support Grants, applicants will not have to show they pay business rates directly to us. This will help the many businesses whose rates are included in their rent.

The six categories of business are: those in shared spaces without an individual business rates assessment, regular market traders, bed and breakfasts that pay Council Tax instead of Business Rates, charity properties, suppliers to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and children’s nurseries.