07801 250 668secretary@uckfieldchamber.co.uk

Business Grants & Discretionary policy

Wealden District Council have now paid out £36.4M under the original business grants scheme. Regarding the discretionary grants fund for businesses, they have approved a local discretionary grants policy as the basis for administering the discretionary fund (which is a further £2.65M of funding). The funding is directed at businesses who were ineligible under the original scheme. Due to the limited funding, available under this discretionary scheme, businesses will have a two week ‘expression of interest’ window to apply for the funding until Friday 19 June 5.00pm.

Discretionary Grant scheme 

The government have advised that priority be given to businesses with fixed property-related costs which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 pandemic:
Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment.
Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.
Bed and Breakfasts which 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.

In addition to the national fund priorities, the Council has decided that it will accept applications from local businesses who meet the criteria below. Although it should be noted that as the grant fund is limited, the Council will look to award funding to businesses who meet the national priorities first.

Small / micro business:
• in the leisure, food and beverage supply chain
• providing medical services
• that are non-profit making organisations providing support to the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and who have not received any other funding through SLA agreements with the local authority
• providing Training Services
• that are Agricultural

Applications from these businesses will only be reviewed, assessed and awarded if there is a surplus in funds after awarding grants to the national priorities.

The Wealden Discretionary Business Grant Policy provides detailed information on the government priorities. Apply for the Discretionary Grant HERE.

HMRC Business support videos

Watch HMRC videos on running your business through coronavirus, coronavirus job retention scheme, self employment and income support scheme, statutory sick pay rebate scheme, helping employers support employees and other help available. Find videos HERE.

Working safely

Find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure: Watch recordings of webinars covering eight different type of workplace settings HERE.  And we can provide an additional resource of support & advice for local businesses with this helpful checklist from Wealden District Council, which you can find HERE.

Final date for the furlough scheme

The final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June 2020, in order for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June 2020. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June. Further details can be found HERE.

High Streets fund

Government have allocated Wealden £143.3k in funding to assist with putting in place measures to support high streets re-opening. They are working with ESCC (who have access to additional sources of funding to support this too), and as a local Chamber of Commerce, we met with Wealden last week together with Uckfield Town Council representatives and other stakeholders to discuss how best to spend this money. Main outcomes are likely to focus on an increase in communications to reassure the public that high streets are safe, as well as measures to promote travel to town centres by means other than cars.

SELEP Coronavirus Business Recovery survey

Take part in the SELEP Coronavirus Business Recovery Survey to let them know how you are preparing your business for the next phase in socially distanced and COVID-secure enterprise. Click HERE for the survey.