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New £1.3m Eden small business grant scheme launches on 1 June 2020

A new discretionary grant fund has been introduced by the UK Government to help more small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Grants will be available for some firms in Eden which have been outside of the scope of existing grants’ criteria, mainly the Small Business and Retail Leisure and Hospitality Grants. Eden District Council in charge of administering this scheme locally.

Local authorities across the country have each been allocated different amounts of Government funding, and it is recognised that each area will have its own individual economic make-up and needs. Eden District Council’s aim of the discretionary fund is to support the largest number of businesses possible within the funding provided.

The discretionary scheme in Eden will prioritise support for small businesses in shared offices or flexible workspaces; regular market traders with fixed building costs; small charity properties; and B&Bs which pay council tax instead of business rates, in line with Government guidelines.

Grants will be provided on a sliding scale between £2,500 and £10,000. How much a business receives will depend on their individual circumstances, including amount of fixed costs, number of employees, and financial loss arising from the lockdown.

Applications are also invited from small manufacturing businesses; suppliers to the hospitality or leisure sectors; and other businesses which can demonstrate exceptional hardship relating to ongoing fixed property-related costs. These will be assessed in the above order subject to sufficient funding being available.

Applications for the discretionary grant scheme open on Monday 1 June 2020 at www.eden.gov.uk.

The first application window closes at midnight on Sunday 14 June 2020. Applications after this date may not be considered.

A spokesperson on behalf of the Cumbrian Councils said, "we are genuinely grateful that Central Government has enabled local Councils to be able to support their areas with further business grants. In Cumbria alone, we have provided grants totalling over £160 million since the pandemic struck.

It’s also reassuring to know that Government has listened and acted upon partners’ calls to include those businesses who may have not met the criteria for the scheme. Initially ruling out those who were eligible for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme could have led to many of our most affected businesses missing out through no fault of their own.

Unfortunately we realise that a number of our businesses may still not be eligible and the finance provided won’t support all those in need. We will continue our dialogue with Government to ensure our Cumbrian businesses get the vital help they need."

Apply for the Discretionary Business Grant Fund before midnight on Sunday 14 June 2020 when applications close.