A new £2m grant fund has been announced by New Forest District Council to support small and micro businesses through the Coronavirus crisis. The fund, aimed at those businesses who were not able to access other government funding, is open to applications from eligible businesses until 12 June.
The Local Authority Discretionary Fund, which will make allocations of up to £10,000 per business is specifically aimed at small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund linked to the Business Rates system. The grant is instead targeted at businesses with fixed property related costs which can demonstrate significant financial losses as a result of the Coronavirus restrictions.
In line with national government guidance four key business types will be prioritised in this fund;
- Bed and Breakfasts which pay council tax,
- small businesses in shared or flexible workspaces,
- market traders with fixed building costs, and
- charities which did not qualify for the Small Business Grant Fund.
Subject to availability of allocated funds beyond these business types, further priority will be given to;
- businesses in the retail and hospitality sector,
- businesses impacted by the cancellation of events and
- those who have been unable to trade but without an online presence.
Councillor Michael Harris, New Forest District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development said “Despite unprecedented Government funding for UK businesses during this pandemic it is not without limitations. This new Discretionary Grants Fund is aimed at helping those New Forest businesses that might have fallen through the gaps.
“I am grateful therefore to Officers for arranging this scheme so quickly. As the funds are limited, I urge businesses that qualify to apply as quickly as possible.”
Applications can be made on the New Forest District Council website and will remain open for a period of two weeks until 5pm on Friday 12 June 2020. At the end of this period, all applications will be individually assessed with priority given to the key business types.
The application form and guidance can be found at http://newforest.gov.uk/Discretionary