Government announces ‘top-up to local business grant funds scheme’

Further to this post, the briefing paper we recently posted online (Covid-19 Social Economy Update) refers to eligibility criteria for the government’s Small Business Grant Fund.

On p.4 (point [a]), we explain that the key eligibility mechanism for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) – that of qualifying for either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) – disadvantages social enterprises because some (especially smaller ones) may be renting shared spaces where inclusive monthly fees remove their eligibility for Small Business Rates Relief and prevent their qualifying for this grant support.

This may be about to change.

On the 2nd May the government announced that it has made a further £617m in discretionary funding to local authorities so that they can address these exclusions. Further guidance to local authorities is yet to be issued but what is available at the moment suggests that the discretionary funding applies (amongst others) to ‘businesses in shared spaces’ and ‘small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief’.

It may therefore be relevant to some in the sector. Specific detail about how Birmingham City Council will apply this discretionary funding is not yet available, however.

Read the announcement here on

→ Read our Covid-19 Social Economy Update briefing paper.

Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website

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