The Forest of Dean District Council has risen to the challenge of ensuring those eligible in the District receive the local financial Covid-19 business support.
In Round 1 of the Government Grants over £18.7M has been paid out through newly created systems. In the Forest some 95% of eligible businesses accessed the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. And the 60 eligible business yet to claim are in the process of being contacted.
Second Round of Support
The next batch of Covid-19 business support, the Local Authority Discretionary Fund will open for applications in the Forest of Dean on Monday 1 June for a two-week period, closing on Sunday 14 June. This a second Round for those businesses that might have been overlooked in the first Round.
Applications will be assessed from Monday 15 June with payments starting during the week commencing Monday 22 June. In line with government guidance, the fund prioritises the following types of businesses:
- Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, who do not have their own Business Rates assessment
- Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own Business Rates assessment
- Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of Business Rates
- Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
In addition, the council is using its local discretion to include 'Businesses that supply goods or services to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses'.
Eligibility for Second Round of Support
You can apply for a discretionary grant if your business:
- Is based in the Forest of Dean
- Has suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
- Has relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
- Is not eligible for any other support schemes. This excludes the job retention scheme (Furlough) and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme
Businesses will not be eligible if:
- They were not trading on 11th March 2020,
- They are in administration, insolvent or had a striking-off notice issued,
- Their business property costs (i.e. Rateable Value, Annual Rent or Annual Mortgage costs) are above £51,000,
- They are eligible for other Covid-19 related grants (e.g. Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants),
- The receipt of a grant would take them over the state aid limit
Applications will be via an online form which will be live on the FoDDC website on Monday.