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Two week window to apply for special Covid-19 business grants

11:36am - 30 June 2020

North Somerset’s small businesses are being urged to check their eligibility for special Covid-19 funding as the council reopens applications for Small Business Grants Discretionary Fund grants.

Thousands of businesses in the area, including charities, nurseries (child care), retail, wholesalers and street traders could apply for grants of up to £5,000 from a £2.1m pot. Applications are open from Monday 29 June for two weeks until Monday 13 July.

The first application round closed earlier this month, with the over 200 successful applicants having already receiving the money into their business accounts, but it is believed many more businesses could benefit from the grants to support critical cash flow.

North Somerset Council has been working with other local authorities in the West of England, supported by Business West, to determine how the Small Business Grants Discretionary Fund grants are awarded, with the aim to support as many small businesses as possible across the region.

Applications will re-open to local businesses with 49 or fewer employees from Monday 29 June with a two-week window to apply here. Businesses are strongly encouraged to review the application form as soon as possible to ensure they can submit evidence of how the grant would support them within the deadline.

The maximum award is £5,000 – with discretion for less – to ensure as many businesses as possible can be supported, those eligible including small businesses in shared offices, the self-employed, regular market or street traders and charity properties receiving charitable business rates.

Cllr Mark Canniford, Executive Member for Business, Economy and Employment at North Somerset Council, said: “We understand all businesses are finding life extremely hard, but we are looking to prioritise the following types of businesses in our local area:

  • small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces
  • regular market traders who do not have their own business rate assessment
  • bed and breakfasts (excluding Airbnb) which pay council tax instead of business rates
  • charity properties that receive charitable business rates relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief
  • education and child care providers
  • associated with tourism
  • retail
  • leisure and entertainment, and
  • wholesalers

This new round of grants is targeted for organisations that have not received other business support or grants in support of dealing with COVID-19.”

It follows the award of over £42m by North Somerset Council to more than 3,600 small businesses from the Small Business Grants Funds and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. Businesses eligible for these grants will not be able to apply to the Small Business Grants Discretionary Fund, although applications remain live for the other funds here.

To find out more information and to get in touch with the team for support via email businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Full Small Business Grants Discretionary Fund criteria can be found on the 'In North Somerset' website, with the authority having some discretion to award funds where there is a strong economic need to do so.

All applications received from the second round of discretionary grant funding will be assessed against the eligibility criteria, scored and prioritised for award. Businesses will be told of the outcome of the application and receive money in accounts by the end of July. The volume of eligible businesses within the region mean the grant scheme could be oversubscribed.

You can still apply if your businesses is seeking forms of support, such as the Bounce Back Loan , Self-Employed Income Support Scheme  and Job Retention Scheme.

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