Council pays out over £600k in discretionary business grants

Oldham Council has announced that it has paid out more than £600,000 to Oldham businesses in the first phase of discretionary grants.

The fund was launched to support certain businesses not eligible for the small business and retail, leisure and hospitality grants.

Businesses in the following priority sectors will be first to receive support:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces,
  • regular market traders with fixed building costs,
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Cllr Sean Fielding, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “We’re delighted to process the first discretionary fund payments to eligible businesses who found themselves unable to access the initial coronavirus cash grants.

“We’ll be issuing payments as quickly as possible and hope the grants will help to protect jobs and businesses at this difficult time.”

The discretionary grants fund totals £2.5 million and demand is expected to outweigh funds available.

Grants are to support businesses fund on-going fixed property costs directly relating to the business/charity such as rent, rates, mortgage payments, utilities and insurance costs.

Grants of £2,000, £5,000 and £10,000 are available proportionate to property costs.

The council says it is still accepting applications for phase two which will prioritise businesses in manufacturing, digital and creative, construction, logistics and events management sectors.

Businesses in the above sectors must apply by Monday 22 June at 5pm when the funding window will close. Phase two applications will only be awarded if there is funding available after phase one. 

Cllr Abdul Jabbar, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Green, said: “In addition to the £600,000 discretionary grants paid out to date, I’m please to confirm we have also issued small business and retail, leisure and hospitality grants totalling £43.74 million to over 3,800 businesses.

“We have received around 500 applications to date for the discretionary grants fund but this fund is limited, and we are lobbying government to provide additional financial support.

“We are issuing payments in a phased approach - this will enable us to deliver funding based on national and local priorities. We will announce the opportunity for further phases if funding allows.”

Visit www.oldham.gov.uk/discretionarygrantsfund for more information.

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