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Blackpool Council launches final round of applications for Discretionary Grant Fund

Blackpool Council is inviting a final round of applications for financial support as part of a discretionary grants scheme, which goes live from Friday 31 July.

The Government has determined a closing date for all of the COVID-19 grant schemes of 28 August. This means that the council must receive final applications for all schemes by 5pm on Monday 10 August to allow assessment, processing and payment of the grants. Eligible businesses are therefore encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund was announced by the Government in May to support small businesses and charities that have fallen outside of the scope of current grant schemes (the Small Business Grants Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund).

To date, Blackpool Council has paid out £1.08m in support grants to 157 businesses through the first round of applications to the Discretionary Grants Fund. As part of the fund’s final round, approximately £1.3m has been made available by the Government.

The final round of the Discretionary Grant Fund will provide support for active small businesses and community centres that have not received or been eligible for a grant under the other schemes. They must be able to demonstrate on-going fixed property-related costs, as well as having evidence of a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis. Businesses that have incurred significant costs to enable COVID-secure operation will also be considered.

In Blackpool, the final round of grants will be aimed at small businesses with business rates valuations between £15,001 and £51,000. Applications are also invited from businesses outside these parameters, but grants will only be paid to such applicants if funds remain once target applicant grants have been paid.

The level of grant will vary from £2,500 - £10,000, according to property costs.

Cllr Mark Smith, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Business, Enterprise and Job Creation, said: “Our business teams are now ready to distribute the final round of funding received by the Government. However, if business owners don’t apply, then they won’t get the help they need.

“If you think you may qualify for support, please complete an application – this is the final chance for anyone who thinks their business may be eligible, so it’s extremely important that business owners take action before it’s too late.”

For further information, including full eligibility criteria, and details of how to apply, business owners should visit www.blackpoolunlimited.com/C19DGF