|Press Release from Buckinghamshire Council 12 August 2020
|COVID-19 business grants scheme to end ……… Last call for coronavirus business grant applications
|Buckinghamshire small businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors that haven’t already applied for coronavirus business grants have two weeks left to claim before applications for business grants close on Friday 28 August. In addition, applications for a second phase of discretionary grants will close at midnight on Sunday 16 August. Buckinghamshire Council has already paid out £83.9 million to 6,399 eligible businesses so far since the business grants scheme was launched over three months ago in response to the coronavirus crisis. The finance team worked weekends to process the flood of applications when the scheme was first launched, and have continued to respond quickly as the number of applications has tailed off. The grants’ importance was flagged up by Cllr Katrina Wood, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member Resources for Buckinghamshire Council, who said: “These grants have been vital to our economy – helping ensure the survival of shops, cafes, hotels, restaurants and many other businesses. “They have helped local businesses meet expenses during unprecedented times when there was very little money coming in and kept them going until things started to return to a new normal. “We received just over just over £91.8 million from government, meaning we have paid out over 91% of the available funding. There is almost £8 million still available and I urge any businesses who may be eligible to apply before the closing date.” Unallocated funds will be returned to the government after Friday 28 August. Go to www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/businessgrant for details about eligibility and to apply for business grants. These grants are available to all eligible businesses and, as they are grants and not loans, do not need to be repaid. There is also still time to apply for the second phase of Local Authority Discretionary Grants which can help businesses with fixed property costs such as rent, utility and broadband bills. Information and the application form is available here https://bbf.uk.com/business-support/local-authority-small-business-discretionary-grant We are working in partnership with Buckinghamshire Business First who can help businesses with general support, advice, free webinars and information. Visit the website at bbf.uk.com or email BusinessSupport@bbf.uk.com
Buckinghamshire Recovery Investment Fund
New grants of between £3,000 and £120,000 are now available to support businesses in Buckinghamshire looking to invest in resilience, repurposing or recovery initiatives as they prepare to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.
The Buckinghamshire Recovery Investment Fund, provided by Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), is part of a coordinated support programme for businesses, with Buckinghamshire LEP working closely alongside Buckinghamshire Business First and Buckinghamshire Council.
Andrew M. Smith, Chair of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“These grants are being made available to support any eligible business based in Buckinghamshire who have started to make plans for how they can recover from the current Covid-19 crisis and are looking at activity to ensure their recovery, future resilience and growth. In addition, these grants are intended to complement those national measures already in place, to support Buckinghamshire businesses during this challenging time.”
Michael Garvey, Chair of Buckinghamshire Business First, added: “Over the past few months we have heard from many Buckinghamshire businesses impacted by COVID-19. We are working hard to do everything we can to support them through these challenging times and help them not only survive but position themselves for recovery. This new fund has been set up to provide support for local businesses whose future viability has been adversely impacted, to support them to grow and flourish post-COVID.”
Match-funded grants of between £3,000 and £120,000 are available to support businesses with innovative projects that contribute towards any of the following: new income streams / product development; improvements in productivity / profitability; jobs growth; accelerated COVID-19 recovery; and future resilience.
Businesses must match-fund 25% of the total project value. For example, the minimum project value which can be supported is £4,000 (the business invests £1,000 and the grant can fund £3,000). The maximum grant value is £120,000 (meaning the match-funding required will be £40,000 for a project value of £160,000 or more to achieve the maximum grant).
Grants are available to organisations that: meet the definition of a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME); have two or more PAYE employees; are registered in the Buckinghamshire LEP area; have not received over €200,000 of de minimis aid in the last three years; and were in good financial health prior to 29th February 2020.
For further details on these grants and an application form, please go to: www.bbf.uk.com/BRIF.
In addition, any business that is being affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus), or has concerns about its future impact on business, can visit the website www.bbf.uk.com/covid-19 where the most up-to-date advice and support is available.