Council offers second chance to apply for Discretionary Business Grants Scheme.

Date: 
Friday, July 3, 2020

If you missed out on Rochford District Council’s Discretionary Business Grants Scheme, there is another chance to apply from Friday 3rd July.

During the first two weeks of June the Council opened the scheme, allowing businesses who had not previously been eligible for earlier Government grants schemes to make a claim. This was aimed at businesses which could demonstrate ongoing property costs and a significant loss of income due to COVID-19, with the council prioritising applications from small and micro-businesses in smaller premises, due to their critical importance in Rochford District’s economy. 

Following on from a successful first round, in which £640,000 was awarded to 126 local businesses, the Council is opening a second and final round of grant funding, opening at midday on Friday 3rd July and closing on Friday 10th July at 5pm, to distribute the limited amount of remaining funding.

Whilst the first-round prioritised businesses in smaller premises, the criteria for this round will be broader to align with the general Government criteria. However, applicants will need to demonstrate they are small/micro businesses trading in the District, have suffered from a significant loss of income, and have significant ongoing property costs. As with the earlier round, the following types of businesses will be prioritised:

•small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial parks or incubato•regular market traders

•bed and breakfasts paying council tax instead of business rates

•charity properties getting charitable business rates relief, which are not eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief

Grants of up to £10,000 are available. The Council has decided that, for the purposes of this scheme, it wants to support as many businesses as possible and therefore the majority of grants will be an amount up to £5,000. Please note that businesses who have already received funding in the first round, or through the Small Business Grants or Retail, Leisure & Hospitality Grants sches, will not be eligible.

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Enterprise, Cllr Simon Wootton said: “We have been able to distribute a substantial amount of funding to our local businesses to help them get through a difficult few months, we hope this has eased some of the financial pressures and helped them to move forward.

“We are now looking to distribute the final portion of this funding to businesses who may have missed out on applying previously, and who may need the support to enable them to be in a position to trade again as the local economy rebuilds.”

To check your eligibility against the criteria and apply, please refer to the updated policy document at www.rochford.gov.uk/discretionarygrants