Business grants available to help struggling Woking firms

CRITICAL financial support is now available to Woking’s small and micro businesses which operate with fixed property-related costs and are financially struggling due to the coronavirus lockdown regulations.

Woking Borough Council has been awarded £671,750, under the Discretionary Grants Fund, by the government to allocate grants to local small and micro businesses which did not qualify for previous business grant funding schemes.

Cllr Ayesha Azad, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance

Grants of up to £25,000 are available where it is judged that businesses would have received the same grant amount if they had been eligible under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available where it is judged that businesses would have received the same grant amount if they had been eligible under the Small Business or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Funds.

Local businesses eligible for this grant include:

•   Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment.

•   Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment.

•   Bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) which pay Council Tax instead of business rates.

•   Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Businesses must be able to demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the coronavirus crisis, have fewer than 50 employees and been trading on 11 March 2020 to be eligible for the scheme.

Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme are eligible to apply for this scheme.

Grant applications from local businesses must be submitted via the council’s website before 11.59pm on Sunday 21 June 2020.

Cllr Ayesha Azad, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “We appreciate that the current climate is a very unsettling time for all and for businesses without an income.

“If you’re a business owner which meets the criteria for the Discretionary Grants Fund, please don’t delay and submit your application online. We’re keen to provide this financial support as quickly as possible and, for that reason, we ask for all applications to be submitted by Sunday 21 June.”

“Due to the limited amount of funding available, it is likely that the number of applications will exceed the funds available. Woking Borough Council will be issuing grants based on each business’s eligibility in line with the criteria set by the government and to those which transact a high proportion of their business within Woking Borough.”

To find out more about the Discretionary Grants Fund and apply online, visit www.woking.gov.uk/discretionarygrants

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