Research shows that small businesses are missing out on vital grants which could help them to get through the ongoing Covid pandemic with greater financial certainty.
A Study by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) found that millions of pounds of grants were still sitting unclaimed in Local Authority coffers.
In fact, £12 billion had been allocated for Covid business grants at a local level with £1.5 billion still sitting unclaimed. The BIRA has warned that claims which aren’t received by the end of October will become void and the funding will return to the Treasury.
Firms affected by the pandemic disruption were able to claim for grant support from their local council as an emergency funding source. BIRA chief executive, Andrew Goodacre, said that the body had been made aware that councils were holding on to millions of pounds of grant money which was available for businesses.
He urged businesses which could submit a claim to do so as early as possible, in order to avoid missing out on their grant. He added that some businesses might not even realise that they were eligible for the support, especially if they hadn’t been contacted by their local council.
Goodacre also made the suggestion that any surplus funding should be made available to businesses which needed support within local areas, rather than it being returned to the Treasury. He explained that if the funding had already been allocated to help struggling businesses, then it was sensible to allow local authorities to be given the ability to further support small businesses which were continuing to experience hardship as a result of the current crisis.
The government said that it continued to work with local authorities to make sure that the funding did indeed reach all businesses that were entitled to it. These support packages include the Small Business Grant Fund, worth up to £10,000, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, worth up to £15,000 and the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, worth up to £25,000.
Businesses owners who wish to find out whether they are eligible for discretionary continuity grants should visit their local authority’s business pages in the first instance.
Accessing vital finance during the Covid crisis
Businesses which need to shore up their financial reserves are also borrowing money from business lenders for a variety of reasons. Century Business Finance offers business loans of £10,000 to £150,000 for any purposes. Our customers are borrowing for a variety of reasons at this time – from making a strategic pivot to launching new websites, boosting their cash contingency funds or launching a new product or service.
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