Small Business Grants Fund:Written question - 52342

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
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Named Day

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Asked on: 01 June 2020
Treasury
Small Business Grants Fund
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allowing surplus money in local authority Business Grants Funds to be spent as part of their Discretionary Fund.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 04 June 2020

As of 31 May, over £10 billion of Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants had been paid to over 819,000 business premises. We encourage Local Authorities to make remaining payments to eligible businesses as quickly as possible.

We used the best data we had available when allocating grant funding to Local Authorities, however it has since become apparent that in some cases these original allocations were based on imperfect information regarding the number of eligible businesses. Some Local Authorities have an over-allocation of funding, whereas others do not. Therefore, allowing Local Authorities to use their own underspends from the grant schemes to give further discretionary grants would create unfair local disparities in the level of support provided to businesses.

The Government is aware that some small businesses have found themselves excluded from the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund because of the way they interact with the business rates system. That is why the Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to Local Authorities to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation.

Local Authorities are in the process of setting up their discretionary schemes, and we expect many Local Authorities to launch these schemes in the coming weeks. The Government continues to review the economic situation and consider what support businesses and other organisations need.

Grouped Questions: 51833

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