Winchester City Council launches new discretionary COVID-19 fund and urges businesses that were not eligible for previous grants to apply

The city council is calling on local businesses to apply for a new £1.4m fund, which is now available for those that have not been eligible for previous COVID-19 support packages.  

Details of which businesses may be in line for a grant of up to £10,000 have now been published by the council, alongside guidance on how to put in a request for funds.

The Discretionary Grant fund has been awarded by the Government to the city council to distribute to as many eligible businesses as possible. Applications will be open from 9am 1st June 2020 until 9am 15th June 2020 – the council is calling for businesses to submit initial expressions of interest.

The fund is aimed at small businesses and charities, with under 50 employees, that were trading on 11 March 2020 and that can demonstrate both a significant drop in income and significant ongoing fixed property-related costs.

Priority will be given to:

  •         Small businesses and charities in shared offices, or other flexible workspaces;
  •         Market traders with fixed building costs;
  •         Bed & Breakfasts that pay Council Tax instead of business rates;
  •         Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for    Small  Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

Cllr Paula Ferguson, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Local Economy, said:

“There is no question that many local businesses, charities and other organisations across the district are struggling at this time, so I am pleased that the city council has been awarded this £1.4m discretionary fund. I am really keen that we help as many businesses as possible recognising that the government has only made limited funds available. This will play an important part of our work to help the district’s economy to recover.

“The fund will offer much-needed support to organisations that were not eligible for the other COVID-19 business grants to date and I urge anyone eligible to apply quickly. Already since the outbreak, the city council has distributed over £23.5 million in grants to 1900 businesses. This strong performance means we are well-equipped to distribute this latest package of financial support quickly.”

Businesses that were unsuccessful for either the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant will be contacted by the city council to assess their eligibility for this grant.

For more detailed guidance and to make an application visit: https://www.winchester.gov.uk/business/discretionary-grant-fund. For further information or guidance please contact ecodev@winchester.gov.uk or telephone on 01962 814915. 

Once applications from businesses from the initial priority groups have been assessed for an award, applications from eligible businesses in other groups will be considered for any remaining funds.