Help on the way for businesses that have fallen through the cracks

    A new grant scheme is being set up by the council to give much-needed support to businesses that have so far fallen through the cracks.

    The Government has given Milton Keynes Council £1.97 million to distribute to small firms which have not been eligible for previous grants but still have to pay for property.

    They think that it won’t be enough to help everyone and have asked Whitehall for more cash so that they can support small and growing firms. They see the sector as vital to the economy.

    On Tuesday, the council’s cabinet will be asked to make an urgent decision to approve the setting up of the discretionary grants scheme.  It received confirmation of the money it will be receiving from the Government on May 20.

    The report says the council wants to ensure that meaningful support is provided to those businesses that fell outside of the original funding schemes but still have to meet fixed property costs.

    Grants between £1,000 up to £25,000 will be available.

    They will include:

    Firms in business parks which don’t have individual business rates assessments.

    Regular market traders with costs such as rent.

    Bed and breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates; and

    Charities in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

    The firms will have to prove that they meet the rules but the council says they will be able to do this online.

    Applications for the first phase of the scheme will be accepted between Wednesday (June 3) and Sunday, June 14. There will be a link on the council’s website where applicants will be able to submit supporting documents.

    The council will be reserving the right to lower the amounts if the fund is oversubscribed.

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