Second round of financial help for businesses

Small businesses have a second chance to claim vital cash grants after more than £1million was given out in the first round of funding.

The second wave of grants from the discretionary grant fund are available, with sums of £2,000, £5,000 or £10,000 based on the type and size of the business.

Last month Dudley Council shared £1.1million with small businesses to help tackle the impact of coronavirus. It follows £54million already handed out to businesses under the separate small business grant fund and retail hospitality and leisure grant fund.

The discretionary grant fund supports businesses that have suffered a significant fall in income as a result of coronavirus and have relatively high on-going fixed property costs. Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance, said:

"We have managed to match thousands of businesses up with millions of pounds worth of financial help, but there is still more work to do. These grants will be a vital lifeline for many small businesses, who will no doubt be struggling to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

"My advice is simple, if you think you might be eligible, just ask so that we can get that financial support to you."

Criteria for the discretionary grants is based on guidance provided by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. Businesses will have to fill out an online form before eligibility is checked and then funding is allocated.

Small businesses are defined as having a turnover of no more than £10.2million, with a balance sheet total of no more than £5.1million and employing no more than 50 people.

Micro businesses have a turnover of no more than £632,000, with a balance sheet total of no more than £316,000 and employing no more than 10 people.

More than £54million in grants has already been handed out to 4,600 businesses including those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. On top of that £47million has been wiped from Business Rates bills in retail, hospitality, leisure and nurseries as an extra layer of financial support.

The online forms for the small business grants are available now and the second round of applications will be open until August 2.


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