Southwark Council has announced a further £3.4 million discretionary grants fund for local small businesses and market traders.
The funding is for small businesses that have suffered a fall in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic but did not qualify for other government support schemes, or were unsuccessful in applying for the Southwark Business Hardship Fund in April.
Grants will be allocated on a rolling basis, according to the need and size of successful applicants, until the fund is exhausted. Payments will be made as soon as possible after successful applications.
Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for jobs, business and innovation, said: “Southwark is home to thousands of fantastic small businesses, many of which fell through the gaps in earlier central government support schemes. I wrote to the Government in April to call on them to do more and I’m glad they seem to have listened, albeit belatedly.
“Our Business Hardship Fund launched a month after lockdown – one of the first in London to do so – and received an overwhelming volume of applications so I am pleased that businesses that were unsuccessful applying to that scheme can apply to the new discretionary grants fund. Local businesses are at the heart of our communities and I will continue to do everything I can to help them through this ongoing crisis.”
The funding for the discretionary grants scheme has been provided by central government to be distributed by local authorities to eligible local businesses. This funding from central government follows calls by Southwark Council and others for more financial support for small businesses including market traders and businesses in shared workspaces.
Businesses that received the Government’s Small Business Grant, the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant, or Southwark’s Business Hardship Grant, will not be eligible for the new scheme. However, businesses or traders that that have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, are eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, or were unsuccessful for the Southwark Business Hardship scheme, are welcome to apply for the new scheme.
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