Dorset Council launches Discretionary Grant Scheme

Dorset beach huts

Dorset Council has now launched the Discretionary Grant Scheme, which is a pot of money available to businesses that could not receive the other types of the Government’s COVID-19 support.

Dorset businesses are invited to apply for a discretionary grant from lunchtime today (1st June) until the closing date at midnight 14th June.

Dorset Council stated that grant amounts will range between £1,000 and £25,000.

The grants do not need to be paid back and businesses that have already applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are eligible to apply as well as people who are eligible for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Eligibility criteria for Dorset’s Discretionary Grant Scheme is:

  • 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 & 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.
  • Businesses operating in the Visitor Economy (i.e. tourism and hospitality) and the supply chain of this industry that did not qualify for the previous funding.

It is most welcome to see additional Government funding for businesses that have not been eligible for financial support up to now and I am heartened by this move by Government to further help businesses.

In my council role I have encountered a number of businesses that failed to qualify for the previous grant scheme, but clearly need help and up to now I have found it distressing to be unable to offer anything other than sympathy when action is required.

I would encourage any business owner who thinks they may be eligible for a discretionary grant to apply as soon as possible in order to meet the 14 June deadline.

Councillor Gary Suttle, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Skills
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