The Business Rates loophole which meant small businesses in shared office space missed a critical £10,000 cash grant has been plugged with a new £617 million funding scheme announced today.
A petition to the Government asking for help reached 22,500 signatures earlier today – showing the level of frustration from small businesses across the UK.
“It’s great news – small businesses who were reaching the end of their cash reserves will be able to save their businesses using this cash grant. They’d missed out because they paid their business rates to their serviced office provider, not direct to the Local Authority – it looks like this has been put right – we are over the moon – the campaigning worked!”, explains office expert Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk
The Department for Business, Energy, Innovation & Skills (BEIS) has confirmed a new £617m scheme to support businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders and small charity properties.
Alok Sharma (Business Secretary) and the Minister for regional growth and local government Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England today (May 2) about the £617m fund.
Ben Bradley MP (pictured) let it slip last night on a Facebook post, and although the cash grant will be at the discretion of the Local Authority –it’s still fantastic news for thousands of the UK’s smallest businesses who will benefit from the cash grants available.
The exact terms of the grant will be confirmed over the next few days, however the following criteria must be met by those claiming it:
Businesses must be small - under 50 employees, they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to coronavirus restriction measures
“We expect more details on Monday – but from what we gather it plugs the loophole which meant if you didn’t have an account with your local authority business rates department, you got nothing – it was very unfair and very stressful for all involved”, explains Ratcliffe.
The official statement from BEIS read: ‘This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33bn funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, so up to £617m. We will confirm the exact amount for each local authority next week”
“We got behind this campaign from Day 1 because our clients were being punished through no fault of their own – we would like to thank the Government for listening and supporting the UK’s start-up community and saving thousands of entrepreneurs who drive grass root businesses throughout the UK”, concludes Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk