Leader of the Council – Minutes – 3 June 2020 (Urgt)

6 DISCRETIONARY COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORT GRANTS – The Director: Business Development submitted a report on additional grant support being made available by the Government to small businesses with high fixed property related costs, and set out proposals for a local scheme, incorporating national criteria and locally determined criteria designed to maximise the benefit to businesses in North Lincolnshire.

The matter was urgent in order to enable grant payments to be made to eligible businesses as quickly as possible, in response to and in accordance with Government expectations.

In April 2020, the Government announced several measures to support businesses experiencing difficulties in trading due to the emergence of the Covid-19 virus. In addition to these measures, the Government was now providing Local Authorities with additional funding to target small businesses with high fixed property-related costs that were not eligible for the current grant schemes being delivered.

The Government was making an additional 5% uplift to the grant allocations previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. This amounted to £617m nationally and equated to around £1.862m for North Lincolnshire.

The Director in her report set out the details of the proposed local scheme in Appendix 1, which included the required national and local criteria. An online application portal would be available and would capture all the information necessary to enable applications to be processed fairly and as quickly as possible. Businesses would be asked to submit evidence to demonstrate that they complied with the necessary criteria. The Council must also submit weekly information updates to Government on progress followed by the number of grants issued, with other reporting requirements likely to follow.

Resolved – That the Covid-19 discretionary business support grant scheme contained at appendix 1 be approved.