On Saturday 2 May, the government announced that an extra £617 million will be made available to help small businesses who share office space and didn’t qualify for the business grant funds scheme.
The business rates loophole meant small businesses in shared office space were not eligible for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF).
To qualify for the new funding, businesses must be under 50 employees and able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.
There will be three levels of the grant:
- Maximum of £25,000
- Up to £10,000 at the discretion of local authorities
This is an additional 5% to the £12.33 billion previously announced and is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.
The government is asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities and they may also choose to make payments to other businesses based on their needs.