Government support for Small Businesses . . . maybe

One element of the government’s support for business is the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)—click here. It is a one-off grant of £10,000. Note it is a grant, not a loan: it does not have to be paid back.

It is provided out of funds distributed to local authorities and administered via their business rates billing procedures. It is understandable that the government wants to use an existing system to make payments as promptly and efficiently as possible.

However, in this case, it has the (surely unintended) consequence that of two businesses, otherwise identical, the one that is paying business rates will receive a grant from the SBGF but the one that isn’t, won’t.

A lot of businesses are thus excluded; as well as those who operate through a limited company run from home, so is any business based in serviced offices, because the landlord pays the rates.

Having put this rates-based process in place, the Government should now extend the funding to those businesses unfairly excluded (as they did with the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBILS). But there is no sign of this happening.

What can we do? 1. Write to your MP, and 2. Support the Petition on change.org.

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Thanks to Peter Younie of Cameron Peters for pointing this out to us.

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