The Government is making additional funding available to allow Buckinghamshire Council to further support small businesses in Buckinghamshire.
The fund can award up to £10,000 to eligible businesses that have not received financial support through other schemes such as the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. So far, Buckinghamshire Council has distributed over £78 million to businesses in Buckinghamshire under these schemes. Buckinghamshire Council teams are working hard to process the remaining applications and get money out to businesses who qualify for financial help.
The additional new discretionary funding will help eligible small businesses with high fixed property-related costs such as rent, utilities (water, heat and light) and broadband provision.
The fund is now open to accept applications online at bbf.uk.com/discretionary-grants
To access the fund, businesses must be a small or micro business with under 50 employees as defined by the Companies Act 2006 and must have been trading on 11th March 2020. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.
It is expected that demand for these grants will be exceptionally high, and as such, priority will be given to:
· Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could
include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators that do not have
their own business rates assessment;
· Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their
own business rates assessment;
· Bed & Breakfasts that pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
· Charities in receipt of charitable business rates relief that would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
If your business is not on the above list, you may still apply and will need to supply evidence that it meets all the following criteria:
· Businesses that occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000
· Businesses that can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
· Businesses with fewer than 50 employees, turnover of not more than £10.2 million, and a balance sheet of not more than £5.1 million
· Businesses that were trading on or before 11th March 2020
Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, Cllr Martin Tett, said: “Small and medium-sized businesses are the economic and entrepreneurial beating heart of Buckinghamshire. They have risen to the challenges of the current crisis in resourceful ways by adapting to serve local communities and support frontline work both locally and nationally. We’re doing everything we can to back our local businesses in Buckinghamshire and support them through these challenging times. We’re working to help them not only survive the economic impacts of Covid, but to position themselves for strong recovery.”
Philippa Batting, Managing Director of Buckinghamshire Business First said: “Businesses are going through an unparalleled series of challenges due to COVID-19. This additional funding will help those businesses that were ineligible for other funding streams and will help them meet ongoing costs that have not stopped even though their day-to-day business operations may have ceased or slowed down.”
The discretionary grants are administered and allocated by Buckinghamshire Council, which is working in partnership with Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF). BBF will handle the grant applications on behalf of Buckinghamshire Council, which will check and process the grant payments.
To find out more and apply visit bbf.uk.com/discretionary-grants
Any business can join Buckinghamshire Business First for free and get access to support, advice, resources and useful webinars. To find out more about the full range of support to help businesses recover from covid-19 visit bbf.uk.com/covid-19