South Oxfordshire District Council are now accepting applications from small businesses for a share of around £1.9 million of government support following the coronavirus outbreak.
The council are urging all eligible businesses that were ineligible for the Small Business Grant scheme and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Schemes to apply but stressing that the government fund available will only provide enough meaningful support for a very small percentage of eligible businesses.
The government has provided the mandatory national criteria for the funds, but to assess the applications fairly and transparently, the councils have created a detailed discretionary grants scheme to try and identify the businesses most in need.
To apply businesses must have been trading on 11 March 2020 and must meet certain criteria. The full details of the scheme and eligibility criteria are on the councils’ business support website at svbs.co.uk.
Business owners have until midday on Wednesday 17 June to apply for the Discretionary Business Fund at svbs.co.uk/top-up-scheme
To be able to assess the applications fairly, the council will need to wait until the application process has closed before applications can be ranked, and so no decisions will be made on applications until after the deadline. It is likely to take a week or two after the deadline to carry out the ranking process and the necessary final checks.
Once that process has been carried out, the council will notify all applicants whether they’re successful or not. Successful businesses will be provided with an acceptance letter that they’ll need to sign and return before the payments can be made.
While waiting for the decisions, the councils are urging applicants to look at and consider the alternative support for funding in case they’re not successful – this information is all available at svbs.co.uk/ineligible-for-grants