New ‘top-up’ grants available for left-out firms

The government has made an extra £617m available to a range of businesses not previously covered by business rates holidays or support grants.

The new discretionary ‘top-up’ fund caters for small businesses with ongoing fixed property costs. The kinds of businesses that may now qualify for help include those in shared workspace offices, regular market traders and small charities, along with bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

To receive the grants businesses must have fewer than 50 employees and be able to show a significant drop in income due to coronavirus restriction measures.

The maximum grant size will be £25,000, with an option for £10,000 or other payments depending on local circumstances, the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy said.

Local authorities will have full discretion to allocate funds and make payments to other businesses not specifically mentioned in guidance if need be.

As of the time of writing, no further details are available as to how to claim nor when claims will be paid, so, it’s another case of “wait and see” pending further announcements. You may wish to keep checking your local authority website or email them to ask for more details.