Fareham Borough Council is encouraging businesses that, to date, have not met the criteria for any of the other Government’s business support package, to apply for a slice of a £1M pot that will be used to fund a new Local Authority Discretionary Business Grant scheme.
The scheme is now live on the Council’s website following an Executive Decision by Cllr Seán Woodward, Leader of the Council, earlier today. Details of the scheme, which is for small and micro businesses with ongoing property-related costs, were first published on the Council’s website on 26th May and businesses were encouraged to register an interest as there is a very tight timeframe in which to apply.
Grants will be awarded to businesses based on local needs, priorities and circumstances. In general, it is aimed at:
- Small and micro-businesses
- With fixed, property-related overheads in the borough
- That were trading on 11/3/20
- Have not applied for other Government Support Schemes other than the Self Employment Income Support team or the Job Retention Scheme
- And have suffered a significant loss due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Applications will be accepted from today until 16:30 on Tuesday 16th June. All businesses that have already expressed an interest, 82 in total, will automatically be sent an application form. Other business owners can download the form from the Council’s website: LIVE Fareham Discretionary Business Grant Application.
It is not yet too late for businesses to apply; however, time is of the essence as the scheme is only open for two weeks and businesses will need to provide a range of documents to support applications.
Following the scheme closure all applications will be considered and an email will be sent, advising whether businesses have met the criteria. If they have, they will receive an email advising they are eligible and the business name will be added to a list for ‘potential’ grants.
In the event the scheme is over-subscribed, the Council will apply priority criteria to identify which businesses will be successful and how much each will receive. Any grants that exceed £5,000 will be forwarded to Cllr Woodward for approval by Executive decision.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘I am aware that many businesses in Fareham have not been able to benefit from the Government’s various schemes to date and hope the Discretionary Business Grant will make all the difference for those having to cope with ongoing property-related costs, such as small and micro businesses that share an office space.
“I know that each application will be carefully considered and officers are aiming to let businesses know whether or not they are eligible to go on a list for consideration within a week.”
In addition to the above scheme, many eligible businesses in the Borough have not yet applied for the Small Business Grant of £10,000 or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants of £10,000 or £25,000. As at 29th May, the Council has paid out £16.9M but is still waiting for around 185 businesses that might well be eligible, all of whom have been contacted by the Council, to apply.
For details of all Covid-19 business support schemes, including the Discretionary Business Grant, the Small Business Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, visit the Council’s website: www.fareham.gov.uk/coronavirus/businesses.aspx.