Grants available for small businesses in shared offices or flexible workspaces

Updated: May 19

A discretionary fund, the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF), has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the Business Grant Funds Scheme.

In response to Coronavirus, the UK Government has provided two main methods of support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors:

  • Small Business Grant

  • Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant

On 1 May, the Government announced a 5% top-up to these, aimed at small businesses who were not eligible for either grant. This has become known as the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF). Guidance for local authorities on the LADGF has now been issued.


Size of grants

Local authorities may provide grants to the value of:

  • £25,000

  • £10,000

  • Any amount under £10,000

The value of the payment to be made to a business is at the discretion of the local authority.


Businesses that the grant aims to support

These grants are primarily and predominantly aimed at:

  • Small and 'micro' businesses

  • Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs

  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Coronavirus

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


The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has asked local authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants, though this list is not intended to be exhaustive:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces.  Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which 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


Eligibility

This grant funding is for businesses that are not eligible for other Coronavirus related cash grants, such as:


However, if your businesses has applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme then it is also eligible to apply for LADGF.


Only businesses that were trading on 11 March 2020 are eligible for this scheme.

Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.


Application

It is recognised that local authorities will need to run some form of application process as the potential beneficiaries are highly unlikely to be known directly by the local authorities.  This will allow each local authority to:

  • Undertake proportionate prepayment checks to confirm eligibility relative to their local scheme

  • Determine how to use its discretion in relation to the appropriate level of grant


Establishing an application process is likely to to take local authorities some time, but we recommend that eligible businesses contact their local authorities to register their interest.

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