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Council opens £1m Discretionary Grant Scheme for applications

News release issued:

Wyre Forest District Council is now inviting applications from small and medium businesses for the Government-funded Discretionary Grant Scheme.

The grants are intended to assist small and medium businesses whose income has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and which have not received funding from certain other Government support schemes.

Qualifying businesses may include small businesses that have fixed property costs in shared offices or other flexible workspaces (which do not have their own business rates assessment), regular market traders that have building costs such as rent, and Bed & Breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates.

The grant scheme also includes charity properties that receive charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Cllr Graham Ballinger, Leader of Wyre Forest District Council said: “We are now inviting applications from small and medium businesses based in the Wyre Forest district. Under this scheme, we are anticipating giving out grants of varying amounts – most will be for £5,000 but we are ready to give grants of £10,000 to businesses, such as some pubs and restaurants that did not receive a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant because their rateable value was over £51k.

“The eligibility criteria are clearly set out on the council’s website and in the online application form.  To save everybody’s time and effort we want to emphasise that if a business has received a COVID-19 Government grant already, it won’t be eligible for the Discretionary Grant Scheme.

However, businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme are eligible to apply so long as they meet the criteria for the council’s scheme.  Only businesses which were trading on 11 March 2020 are eligible for this scheme.”

Application is via the council’s website using an online form. The deadline for businesses to apply is Tuesday 30 June.

The council is using funds provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in order to pay the grants. It is for each council to devise its own scheme taking account of the guidance that has been issued.

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