Less than a tenth of grants paid to small businesses is ‘unacceptable’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Rate relief: the Chancellor announced a packaged of measures to help businesses survive the Covid-19 pandemic in March
Rate relief: the Chancellor announced a packaged of measures to help businesses survive the Covid-19 pandemic in March

Related tags: Coronavirus

Some 9% of the money earmarked for small businesses has been paid out by local councils, which has been slammed by experts as “unacceptable”.

Real estate adviser Altus Group stated all businesses, including pubs in England in receipt of either small business rates relief or rural rates relief in the business rates system are eligible for a cash grant of £10,000, under the Small Business Grant Fund.

Altus Group said there were 720,400 properties liable for business rates with a rateable value of less than £15,000 and in receipt of small business rates relief, while 3,400 properties receive rural rates relief.

Grants announcement

The grants, which were announced by the Chancellor last month (Tuesday 17 March), total £7.24bn for those venues.

The hospitality, retail and leisure sector was awarded further grants and venues with a rateable value under £51,000 take the grant funding measures in England to about £11bn, according to Altus Group.

Altus Group head of UK business rates Robert Hayton called the low level of distribution “unacceptable”, which he claimed was partly due to a change in the way funding was being administered.

Additional pressure

He added: “Businesses were initially told by Government they did not need to do anything but are now being told to complete application forms, slowing down the process markedly and creating additional pressure for small firms, already in distress. The money needs to get to those most in need, far quicker.”

Altus Group said the Local Government Association (LGA) outlined that councils had worked at pace and contacted eligible businesses to support them to apply for Government funding since 1 April and continued to distribute the cash as quickly as possible.

The Morning Advertiser ​contacted the LGA for further comment but had not received a response at time of publication.

Related topics: Property law

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