Public Sector

Councils to release £4m more cash support for businesses

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 22 May 2020 12:14

Millions more in funding to help businesses through the coronavirus crisis is due to be madeavailable through Gloucestershire County Council. 

Shire Hall has been working with the county’s four local councils, its business improvement districts and GFirstLep to create the new business support grant funding scheme. 

This will be on top of the £79.5m in grants the local authorities have already paid out to 6,722 businesses over the last few weeks as part of the efforts to protect the county’s economy. 

Apparently “the grants are designed to offer support to some local businesses which were not eligible for previous funds designed to help them make it through the current coronavirus crisis”. 

Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Stroud councils are said to be “working together to create a scheme to ensure effective and fair distribution of discretionary grant funding and are looking to launch the scheme in as little as three weeks”.  

David Owen, chief executive at GFirst LEP, said: “The discretionary fund from central government is to be welcomed, it will certainly help a number of businesses who we know were ineligible for various grant schemes previously announced. 

“We are fully supportive of a joined up, countywide approach to this fund, thereby ensuring businesses across the county are treated equally.’’ 

Unable to resist a little self-congratulation (and why not?) the statement from the county claims “a detailed scheme of this scale would usually take up to six months to implement. 

Its collaborate approach was “recommended” by the BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy). 

The partnership is in direct response to the recent government announcement that, due to COVID-19, there would be an additional discretionary fund aimed at small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business grant fund or the retail, leisure and hospitality grant fund. 

“The councils will be applying the criteria for eligibility as laid down by the government but will also, where government funding allows, look to support some additional businesses within the discretional element,” said the statement. 

Further details of the scheme – including a go live date – will be published soon. Watch this space.

Breakdown of council funding allocation:

Small Business and Retail, hospitality and Leisure grants

 CBC

 Glos City 

 Stroud

 Tewkesbury

Number of grants paid  

 1,678

 1,583

 2,122

 1,339

Total amount paid   

 £21m

 £19.3m

 £23.6m

 £15.6m

Funding allocated  for discretionary scheme 

 £1.12m

 £1.04m

 £1.4m

 £883k