We have been asked for information around business grants – over 50% of respondents to our survey have not been able to access any Government funding, so we have prepared this summary of the current situation around business grants administered by Cornwall Council.
Cornwall Council has been administering business support grants for local businesses, using according to criteria specified by the Government. These have been:
1 – Small business grant funding. This is for small businesses that qualify for Small Business Rate Relief, and there are a small number of charities which are eligible. Examples include village halls, and sports clubs. All organisations that were believed to be eligible were contacted when the fund was launched in April, by letter. If you think your organisation is eligible, and you have not seen the letter, then you can contact Cornwall Council to be sent an application form.
The eligibility criteria are published on the Council’s website here, together with the details of who you should contact.
There is still money in this pot, and while Cornwall Council is unable to say how many voluntary organisations have applied successfully through the scheme, it is believed that there are some which are eligible but have not yet claimed.
2 – Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant funding. This is for organisations which are eligible for the Expanded Retail Discount on their business rates, with a rateable value of less than £51,000. This covered some voluntary organisations, but not many, as most do not have shops. Charities were eligible under the details of the scheme, however – see the Gov.uk website for details of the criteria.
Again, eligible organisations should have received a letter, and those who believe they qualify, but have no letter, must contact the council.
3 – Small Business Support Grant. This was for businesses which were not eligible for the first two schemes, and one of the categories was for charitable businesses which would have qualified for Small Business Rate Relief except that they qualified for Charitable Relief instead. These businesses were able to claim a grant, but the process for that has now closed, including the ‘waiting list’ process where Expressions of Interest were sought from organisations which missed out initially. The information about this has been taken down from the Cornwall Council website, as it is no longer current.
Voluntary Sector Organisations which have not successfully applied for these grants are unable to challenge the award, but are invited to contact the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub, which has resources and funding options available for signposting, and advisers who are able to help.