Discretionary Grant Scheme Launched for Businesses in Leeds

Leeds City Council looks to award grants to businesses and charities across the city who have not already benefited from Covid-19 funding.

The discretionary grants fund, announced by the government earlier this month, will be administered by the council in line with government instructions to those small and micro businesses and local charities in the city who have not received other Covid-19 grant assistance from the council and can demonstrate that the pandemic has had a significant impact on their activities, as well as having relatively high ongoing fixed property related costs.

Eligible applicants will need to occupy a property, or part of a property, with a rateable value of below £51,000 or have annual rent or mortgage payments below £51,000.  Applicants must have fixed property costs of at least £8,000 per annum.

Businesses and local charities will be able to apply for up to 50% of their fixed property costs (up to a maximum of £10k) over a six month period starting from the 11th March.

The grant scheme will see £7.795m made available (5% of the original amount the council was given for the initial business grant scheme)10% of the funds available will be ring-fenced for applications from local charities who occupy one property with a rateable value up to £15,000.

All businesses and charities will be required to make an application for a grant via bit.ly/TopUpGrant when the scheme officially launched on Monday 1 June.

The scheme will be open for four weeks, and may be closed earlier should the demand and interest from eligible grants outweigh the pot of money the council has been provided to distribute. The council will aim to process applications within 20 days, but this will depend on the levels of demand experienced, and on all the correct information being submitted by applicants.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“We realise how trying times are for businesses as they continue to be affected by the pandemic and therefore we have worked to bring together a scheme which covers the key criteria, as set by the government, and also allow for a number of businesses and charities in particular who have previously missed out on funding to benefit this time round.

“It is important to stress that we have not been provided with a big pot of money for this round of funding – it is just 5% of what we had for the initial business support grants and therefore the money will run out a lot more quickly.

“I would encourage all businesses and charities to make themselves familiar with the eligibility criteria and what paperwork they need to fill in for a successful application ahead of the launch of the scheme next week.”

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