Covid support: What businesses need to know about the additional small business grant scheme

Posted on behalf of MCC

The Government has made an additional £5.4m discretionary grant funding available to small businesses in Manchester that will help organisations that were ineligible for the initial grant schemes. 

This limited fund will provide discretionary support for businesses such as those in shared work spaces, market traders, and businesses working from domestic addresses – such as bed and breakfasts who pay Council Tax rather than business rates – and can demonstrate a significant drop in income due to Covid-19. The scheme could also support charities that claim charitable business rate relief, but would otherwise be ineligible for previous grant funding. 

In Manchester, this could potentially include up to 30,000 businesses that are registered but have currently not received any government support. 

Unfortunately, as this is a fixed and limited scheme, the fund will not allow grant support to be provided to every business in the city that was not eligible for the previous business rate support schemes. 

Therefore, the Council we will need to consider applications from eligible businesses in a phased way:

  • Start up and micro businesses with fixed property related costs of more than £1,500 per year
  • Digital, life sciences and creative sectors with fixed property related costs of more than £1,500 per year 
  • Business within the Enterprise Zones* with fixed property related costs of more than £1,500 per year. (*Oxford Road Corridor and the Airport Enterprise Zone.)
  • Manchester-based charities and co-operatives with fixed property-related costs of more than £1,500 a year.

Applications from the following eligible businesses will then be considered:

  • Independent permanent food and market halls that are known to make a positive contribution to employment and the economy of the city with fixed property related costs of more than £1,500 per year 
  • Independent retailers
  • Other businesses.

Normally, grant payment will be provided up to a maximum of £5,000 per applicant to ensure the fund can support as many businesses as possible. 

Businesses that require this support will be asked to apply within a two-week period until 10 June 2020. 

Businesses that have applied for other government funding but were found to be ineligible will be required to apply again. 

The fund is not first-come, first-serve. All applications will be assessed for their eligibility using the criteria above. 

Find out more: www.manchester.gov.uk/business

Cllr Carl Ollerhead, Manchester City Council’s executive member for finance and human resources, said: “We are committed to supporting businesses as much as possible during the Covid-19 outbreak and we are continuing to work through the remainder of applications for grant funding as quickly as possible.

“Of course, we welcome the additional discretionary grants that will help us support businesses that were not eligible for support in the initial business grant schemes. However, Manchester has a large number of businesses that fit into this category – potentially up to 30,000 – and it will be hugely challenging to provide financial assistance to every one of them with the level of grant funding that has been awarded to the city. We believe this fund could help us support around 1,000 businesses, so this leaves us with some very difficult decisions to make about how we help as many as possible with the limited resource we have.

“In the meantime, if you have made an application for grant support and you have not received it yet, please check that you have provided all the information required.  if you know that information is missing in our records or you have received a letter asking for more information – such as a lease or bank details – please get in touch as soon as possible so we can update your account and get a payment out to you as quickly as possible.”