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Businesses reminded to apply for small and micro grant scheme

Published Wednesday, 17 June 2020

City of York Council is reminding eligible businesses that there is still time to apply for the upgraded small and micro grant scheme, which has been created to support local businesses.

Payments have already been made to 121 businesses, with more being paid each week. Businesses have until 30 June to apply for the scheme.

Grants payments between £1,000 and £10,000 will support small businesses, including those in shared offices and flexible work spaces, science parks and incubators, regular market traders without a business rates assessment, nurseries, B&Bs paying council tax instead of business rates, and charity properties which missed out under previous schemes are now eligible.

Small business and childcare nurseries

up to £10,000

Micro busines

up to £5000

B&Bs and market traders who live in York

up to £2,500

Self-employed with fixed property costs

up to £1,000

To apply, businesses must have been trading before 11 March 2020, have a rateable value or annual mortgage of below £51,000, and demonstrate both an ongoing fixed property cost and significant financial impact of the coronavirus. It is not available to any business eligible for any other government COVID grant.

Grant payments are being processed in batches, with the first batch paid on Friday 5 June. The council is also telling businesses that have applied not to worry if they don’t receive their payment this weekend – there will be further payments every Friday over the next three weeks.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

“There has been a good take-up of our small and micro business grant scheme.

"We recognise that these grants will be vital for many small businesses across the city, many of whom are key to our city’s special character. That is why officers are working to pay the grants to eligible applicants as quick as possible, whilst simultaneously carrying out the necessary checks.

“As restrictions are eased further, I would encourage businesses that may be busy planning their safe reopening to take the time to apply for a grant if they are eligible, as this could prove a financial boost at this important time.

“From the very beginning of this crisis, we have worked to ensure our local businesses received swift support from the Council, particularly those who did not meet the criteria for government support.  I am pleased that City of York Council has been recognized as one of the fastest local authorities in the country to distribute grants and rates relief, totalling £116m so far.”

“We will continue to make the case to Government, with our partners, to lobby for further financial support to support all our businesses, particularly as we work to put in place the foundations of our economic recovery.”

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and strategic planning, said:

“Staff across the council are working quickly to process grants, with over £500,000 already landing in businesses bank accounts and more payments being processed each week.

“Whilst we are keen to pay the grants to businesses as quick as possible, we are also working to ensure that the required checks are carried out to make sure these payments go to the businesses that are most in need.”

“I would encourage businesses to check the eligibility criteria for these grants and apply as soon as possible if they are able to do so. We are already seeing the positive affect they are having for businesses during this incredibly difficult period.

“Businesses can check eligibility and apply at www.york.gov.uk/COVIDMicroGrant .”

The council is using an additional £2.2m discretionary government fund to expand its own small and micros grant scheme, which has already supported over 3,000 local businesses affected by coronavirus.

The council acted quickly to distribute £110m of grants and rates relief to over 4000 York businesses, and created its own £1m grant scheme to support over 1000 more businesses which did not qualify for government support.

Under the discretionary fund, local authorities have been given an additional 5% of the total value of grants already distributed in York, together with some government rules and outline guidance on which businesses should benefit. However, this means councils have to use local knowledge to decide how to fairly distribute the money, as to benefit as many businesses as possible in the city.

Companies that are in financial difficulties because they fall outside the Government set limits are asked to contact Make it York to discuss their options. They can email business@makeityork.com