In response to the Coronavirus, COVID-19, the government announced there would be support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, delivered through the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF) is an additional scheme aimed at small and micro businesses  who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
Fareham Borough Council will receive £1,019,000 in additional funding for the LADGF which will be dispensed as payments under this Scheme. It is not anticipated that further government grants will be awarded once the funding has been used.
Section 1 of the Localism Act 2011 provides all local authorities with the vires to make these payments.
These grants will be given on a sliding scale, in line with the monthly fixed overheads of the business that will typically be incurred during April to June 2020, as follows:
|Fixed Monthly Overheads*
|£750 or below [*]
|£751 to 1,500
|£1,501 to £2,500
|£2,501 or above
* Fixed monthly overheads for the purpose of this grant includes business rates or council tax (for B&Bs only), rent, business mortgage or loan interest payments, electricity, gas, water, oil and business insurance.
This fund is aimed at businesses in the borough with ongoing fixed property-related costs. To be considered for funding the following criteria must be met:
have a business premises based in the borough which will not include their home (unless the business is a B&B based in part of the applicant's main residence. The criteria to qualify for this is: the owner must live there, and accommodation be provided for six or fewer guests. These B&Bs will be assessed on the percentage of their overheads which relate to the B&B aspect).
Other businesses which are operated solely from domestic premises are excluded from this scheme.
If during the assessment process, it becomes apparent that an applicant may be eligible for one of the above grants/funds, their application should be assessed for that grant/fund instead, and the applicant informed.
Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme are eligible to apply for the Discretionary Grants Scheme.
Applicants must complete an application form which will be available on the council's website for 1 week from Tuesday 2nd June 2020 at 12:30 to Tuesday 16th June 2020 at 16:30. The Council reserves the right to make further enquiries to clarify or confirm the information provided in the application.
All relevant applications will be assessed, and the grant recommended for award if approved. However, in the likelihood that the Scheme is oversubscribed, allocations from the fund will be prioritised using the following criteria:
The fund is limited therefore once the fund has been used there will be no additional grants paid. A further round of applications may be offered if, following the first round of applications, the funding has not been fully utilised, until the funding limit is reached.
All applications will be reviewed against the eligibility criteria and on fixed property overheads and checked against information provided. Awards will then be given based on the priorities noted above. All applicants will be contacted to be informed if grant has been awarded or declined with an explanation.
Only one grant per business will be awarded regardless of the number of properties they occupy.
All payments will be made via BACS (as soon as practicable) and the business must provide bank details for payment, including a bank statement.
Grant income received is taxable therefore funding paid under the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund will be subject to tax.
The United Kingdom left the EU on 31 January 2020, nonetheless under the Withdrawal Agreement the State aid rules continue to apply during a transition period, subject to regulation by the EU Commission. Fareham Borough Council must be satisfied that all State aid requirements have been fully met and complied with when making grant payments, including, where required, compliance with all relevant conditions of the EU State aid De-Minimis Regulation, the EU Commission Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak, the approved COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities, and any relevant reporting requirements to the EU Commission.
Fareham Borough Council have a discretion to make payments to eligible recipients under either the De Minimis rules or the COVID-19 Temporary Framework for UK Authorities (provided all the relevant conditions are met).
Payments of up to and including £10,000 can be provided under the De Minimis rules, meaning applicants can receive up to €200,000 of aid within a three-year period.
The council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud - and any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.
All applicants' information will be shared with the Government Grants Management team to enable any fraud to be identified. All applicants will confirm this by ticking the box on the application.
There are no further appeals rights for the grant, the Council's decision is final.