Thousands of SMEs will be unable to secure emergency grants meant to help them survive lockdown because the Government has allocated too little money, according to local authorities and business groups.
A report in the ‘Financial Times’ pointed out that the Government in early May offered £617m for businesses that missed out on an earlier scheme for those registered for business rates. The grants of up to £10,000 will be distributed by councils to companies in shared workspaces, market traders, charity shops and bed and breakfasts. But the funding is insufficient to meet the needs of all those who are eligible.
Craig Cheney, deputy mayor of Bristol, said the city had at least 1,700 businesses in shared workspaces but only £3.5m to allocate. “To give them all £10,000 we would need £17m. It is going to be hard to administer,” he said.
Bristol has 21,000 businesses with less than 50 employees and only 7,000 have received financial support so far.