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Further guidance for businesses eligible for the Local Authority Discretionary Fund

Published on: 14 May 2020

Local Authority Discretionary Fund

The UK Government has published further guidance to local authorities on the types of businesses that should be eligible for the Local Authority Discretionary Fund.

The Fund, which was announced at the start of this month, applies to businesses in England. It is intended to support businesses which were unable to access the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF). 

Local authorities may, through this particular Fund, provide grants of £10,000, £25,000 or, if they wish, any value under £10,000. The value of the payment is at the discretion of the local authority. 

This scheme is designed to help businesses with fixed costs, and those that can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Government is asking local authorities to prioritise small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces which do not have their own business rates assessment. It is also asking authorities to consider bed and breakfast businesses which pay Council Tax instead of business rates a priority, among other businesses. 

Payments through this scheme are expected to reach businesses in early June and British Marine is working with Tourism Alliance to make the case for those marine businesses which were unable to receive the other types grants, to receive a payment under this new Fund.

The guidance published by the UK Government is not exhaustive but is intended to guide local authorities as to the types of businesses that it considers a priority for the scheme.

The advice says that councils should determine for themselves whether the particular situations which are not listed are broadly similar in nature to those which are and consider whether they should be eligible for a payment from this fund.

The advice issued by the Government to local authorities can be found here. 

British Marine would encourage its members to discuss their eligibility with their local authority.

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