Welcome to the latest edition of our South and Vale Business Support newsletter!

UK Government has published guidance on the Discretionary Grant Fund Scheme for local authorities.

The new fund is aimed at businesses that were not eligible to claim the initial government COVID-19 grants linked to rates relief.

When will the scheme go live?

We are currently using the criteria provided by government to set up a user-friendly application system. Whilst it's not possible to provide a firm time line of when applications will open at this stage, we anticipate that the first payments made under the scheme may be made to businesses by early June.

This application process will take a short while to set up, but it will ensure the process is straightforward and that we’re able to efficiently process applications and pay the funds to successful applicants quickly.

Who will be eligible?

These grants are primarily and predominantly aimed at:

  • Small and micro businesses, as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006

  • Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs

  • Businesses that can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in
    income due to the COVID-19 crisis

  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or
    annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

As much as we would like to be able to offer financial support to every single business in both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse, less than 2 per cent of eligible businesses are likely to receive a grant, due to the limited amount of funding available. 
  • The funding is limited, so Council's will need to prioritise sectors and businesses who are most in need.

  • This grant funding will be for businesses that are not eligible for other support schemes. Businesses which have received cash grants from any central government COVID-19 related scheme are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grants Fund. These include the Small Business Grant Scheme, the Expanded Retail Discount Grant Scheme and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

  • Only businesses which were trading on 11 March 2020 will be eligible for this scheme.

  • Discretionary Grant Funds received will be subject to tax. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Please remember NOT TO apply for this grant via the form on the district councils’ business rates pages, which are only for the
Small Business Grant Scheme and the Expanded Retail Discount Grant Scheme.

We will provide details on how to apply for the new discretionary grant scheme in due course.

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