Dorset Council have provided the following important information:

Businesses that were not eligible for Government funding through previous COVID related financial support schemes are being invited to apply for business support funding through the discretionary grant fund, from lunchtime today, Monday 1 June until the closing date on 14 June.

The funding is designed to help small businesses which did not meet the criteria for the first round of funding which targeted Small Businesses in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector.

There will be a two-week window in which businesses can apply for the additional funding and as the number of applications is expected to exceed the available funding, businesses are encouraged to fill in the online form before the deadline at midnight, 14 June.

The grants do not need to be paid back and businesses that have already applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are eligible to apply as well as people who are eligible for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The discretionary business grant scheme was announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak in early May and is designed to support small businesses that were trading on 11 March 2020. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate the adverse financial impact of Coronavirus on their business. Grant amounts will range between £1,000 and £25,000.

The broad categories of businesses which are eligible are:

  • 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.
  • Businesses operating in the Visitor Economy (i.e. tourism and hospitality) and the supply chain of this industry that did not qualify for the previous funding.

Cllr Gary Suttle, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Skills, said:

“It is most welcome to see additional Government funding for businesses that have not been eligible for financial support up to now and I am heartened by this move by Government to further help businesses.

“In my council role I have encountered a number of businesses that failed to qualify for the previous grant scheme, but clearly need help and up to now I have found it distressing to be unable to offer anything other than sympathy when action is required.

“I would encourage any business owner who thinks they may be eligible for a discretionary grant to apply as soon as possible in order to meet the 14 June deadline.”

It is hoped that those businesses who have not benefitted from Government financial support already, will now do so under this additional funding. These businesses will be required to demonstrate a significant fall in income with ongoing, fixed property related costs.

The application process launches at lunchtime today. Check eligibility and apply here. 

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