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Small businesses in South Cambs and Cambridge urged to apply for grants

South Cambridgeshire’s small businesses have just more than a week left to apply for a share of around £1.25 million in government grant funding to help them recover from the impacts of coronavirus.

And Cambridge City Council is making more than £1.1million available in grant funding to eligible small and micro businesses that missed out on the Small Business Grants paid out earlier this year.

Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council. Picture: Keith Heppell (36533507)
Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council. Picture: Keith Heppell (36533507)

South Cambridgeshire District Council is administering the Discretionary Grants Scheme, aimed at the hundreds of companies who have so far not been eligible for support. The one-off payments range from £2,500 for small firms, £10,000 for charities and up to £10,000 for other businesses connected to the retail, hospitality and leisure industry. The deadline to apply is Monday, June 22 - visit scambs.gov.uk/discretionarygrant to apply or find out more.

Eligible businesses include small firms in shared offices or flexible workspaces with a minimum rent of £250 per month; regular market traders based in the same physical location with fixed building costs and registered with the council’s environmental health/licensing service; B&Bs that pay council tax and are registered with the council’s environmental health service; and charities that pay business rates and would meet the criteria to receive Small Business Rates Relief if they were an equivalent sized business.

The council has a fifth category for businesses which form part of the supply chain for the retail, hospitality and leisure industry and can demonstrate they have lost around 75 per cent of their annual income. The overriding factor for grant determination will be the number of people employed.

Council leader Bridget Smith said: “We’ve contacted all the local businesses who registered an interest in this scheme and have been receiving applications since it opened. This is about making sure local companies can stay in business and secure jobs. However, we know there will be some businesses which are eligible but have not applied yet. It’s quick and easy to do this via our website. We’ll process the applications and make payments as soon as possible.”

In Cambridge, payments range from £1,000 to £10,000 depending on the size and nature of the organisation. Details of the funding and how to apply are all available at cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-discretionary-grant-fund.

Payments will be made on a first come, first served basis and officers will ensure all priority groups receive a reasonable share of the discretionary funding. Once the money is all allocated, the scheme will close.

Cllr Richard Robertson, executive councillor for finance and resources, said: “This is a really tough time for organisations that cannot trade or have suffered big reductions in income. The government’s rules meant some smaller businesses were not eligible for the Small Business Grants but we are targeting this new funding at them.

“I would encourage anyone who feels their organisation may be eligible to check the details on our website and send us an application for funding that could help them through this crisis.”

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