Deadline to apply for top-up business grants is 5 June

Date published: 28 May 2020


Businesses eligible for the government’s additional coronavirus small business grants have just over a week left to apply before the deadline on Friday 5 June 2020.

These grants are available to help small businesses which could demonstrate a substantial drop in income as a result of coronavirus but were not able to access funds under previous coronavirus schemes.

The government asked councils to prioritise businesses in multi-tenanted units, charities with a rateable value of less than £15,000, which have not already received coronavirus relief, and B&Bs.

The funding for the top-up business grants was made available after lobbying from local authorities (including Rochdale), business representative bodies like the GM Chamber of Commerce and MPs.

Just ten days after the funding was announced by government, Rochdale Council had information and an application form available on its website; since then, over £450,000 has been paid out by the local authority to 55 businesses across the borough.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which represents thousands of small businesses across the country, has highlighted Rochdale Council’s work and has shared Rochdale’s application form with other councils after picking it up as an example of best practice.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration, business and skills at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We know how important this lifeline is to businesses and their employees so our officers worked round the clock to get the cash out to them as quickly as possible using our faster payments system. Applications from eligible businesses where all the information is provided are usually paid out within just a few days. It’s been a real team effort across the council and RDA and our staff have also used their knowledge to identify businesses which may be eligible and contacted them proactively.”

But Councillor Blundell sounded a note of caution over the process, adding: “While we’re pleased that the government listened to our concerns about businesses which were falling through the gap, our hands are tied in terms of who we can allocate the grants to, as there is some quite specific criteria.

“We would have preferred to use this money more flexibly, as we understand the local economy and our individual business needs better than Whitehall. We’re pleased that we’ve supported so many businesses, but we will also have to say no to certain applicants who really need help because of criteria dictated from the centre.”

The deadline for applications for the additional business grant is 5pm on Friday 5 June.

Businesses can’t apply for the grant if they have already benefitted from the existing coronavirus business grants or the business rates holiday, or are receiving help through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

Businesses can apply if they have used the furlough scheme or received a coronavirus loan. Businesses will need to demonstrate significant financial impact as a result of coronavirus and evidence of property costs.

Businesses can find out more and apply for the grant here:

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