Coronavirus

Government announces new £617m scheme for SMEs in shared office spaces

The Business Rates loophole which meant small businesses in shared office space missed out on a £10,000 cash grant has been plugged with a new £617m funding scheme.

The Department for Business, Energy, Innovation & Skills (BEIS) confirmed the new £617m scheme to support businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders and small charity properties.

Business secretary Alok Sharma and the minister for regional growth and local government Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England about the £617m fund, with the grant given at the discretion of the local authority.

To access the scheme businesses must be under 50 employees and must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a “significant drop” of income due to coronavirus restriction measures

The official statement from BEIS read: “This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33bn funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, so up to £617m. We will confirm the exact amount for each local authority next week.”

Office expert Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk, said: “It’s great news – small businesses who were reaching the end of their cash reserves will be able to save their businesses using this cash grant.

“They’d missed out because they paid their business rates to their serviced office provider, not direct to the Local Authority – it looks like this has been put right.”

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