New funding of £617m is being made available to co-working space tenants, market traders and other businesses in England who aren’t being given funding through the coronavirus business rates grant scheme due to not being in full-time commercial properties. This funding will be assessed and paid out by local authorities, these being Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, and Vale of White Horse District Council in the area that O’Brien Media operates in.
The government has said that the fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and local authorities have been asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief. It also covers bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.
There is some discretion given to local authorities in the use of this new funding, and they may choose to make payments to other businesses “based on local economic need”. To qualify for support, businesses must have under 50 employees and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in revenue due to coronavirus restrictions.
More guidance and details of the amounts being provided to each council and should be available very soon.