Warrington Borough Council is one of the first local authorities in the country to begin handing out funds under a new government grant scheme, providing an immediate lifeline to a number of small businesses.

The council is working hard to get vital grants to local businesses and has moved quickly to begin processing applications for the Local Authority Small Business Discretionary Grant. 

This is additional COVID-19 funding which has been made available by the government to further support small businesses, and the council has already completed over £200,000 in claims, with grants of up to £10,000 being awarded to each businesses.

The new discretionary grant, which follows the Small Business Grants Funds and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, announced last month, is prioritised for:

• Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as 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 and 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

Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “We are committed to making sure every single penny of available funding reaches our businesses as quickly as possible. I’m delighted that we are one of the first councils in the country to begin processing – and awarding – this vital grant.

“We were one of the councils who lobbied the government to bring this discretionary grant forward. I hope it will make a real difference to many small businesses and provide them with the financial support they need to get through this crisis. It’s part of our ongoing work to ensure our business community can quickly access the funding they need at this difficult time.”

The council is now urging small businesses to apply for the grant, clearly demonstrating evidence of the following:

• Occupying property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.
• Demonstrating that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
• Having fewer than 50 employees
• Trading on or before 11 March 2020.

For more information and to apply for funding, please visit warrington.gov.uk/sbdg

For the latest information on coronavirus in Warrington, please visit warrington.gov.uk/coronavirus