Hastings Borough Council has finalised its discretionary business grant scheme, and applications are now open.

The government announced on Friday 1st May 2020 that they would be making additional money available to local authorities to support businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Hastings Borough Council received just over £1.1 million for this.

This funding scheme is for small and micro businesses with fixed property costs whose income has dropped due to the pandemic.

PICTURE: Dave Young

As there is a limited amount of money, it has been decided that the fairest way of allocating the funds is to have a two-week application window rather than do it on a first come first served basis. This means the amounts distributed, and the number of grants made, will depend on how many eligible businesses apply.

Applications opened on Wednesday, 10th June, and are only open for two weeks. Applications will close at 9am on 24th June 2020. The council encourages businesses to visit the council’s website and check if they are eligible as soon as they can. Go to hastings.gov.uk/discretionary.

Cllr Kim Forward, leader of the council, said: “We have developed a policy based on the government’s rules which reflects the needs of our local businesses. We created an initial expression of interest form so we could assess demand for the scheme, and we also reached out to local business networks for their thoughts on which businesses should be prioritised.

“As a result the council has made the decision to prioritise the following:
• Larger small businesses who rent a space within a single property
• Business incubators who provide assistance to new and start-up businesses
• Businesses in the tourism sector (including suppliers who rely on tourism for more than 50% of their turnover), including language schools who were ineligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
• Non profit-making organ-isations providing support to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.

This funding scheme is for small and micro businesses with fixed property costs

“The funding we have been given from government for this scheme is limited and we are trying to ensure that businesses that receive the funding are those who need it most.

“It’s also worth reminding people that they can’t apply if they’re eligible for either the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes. Please check if you are eligible for either of these other grants before applying for the discretionary funding. Go to hastings.gov.uk/sbg for more information.”

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