Almost 200 Thanet businesses approved for Discretionary Grant Scheme

Financial news

A total of 193 businesses based in Thanet will each receive a payment of £7,500 this week under the Discretionary Grant Scheme.

The scheme was aimed at those businesses in Thanet, affected by COVID-19, that didn’t qualify for the previous round of business grants.

There were almost 320 applications of which 62% were successful. The council will make a fixed and equal award to the successful applicants by tomorrow (June 26). Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification in writing.

The funding comes from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and was administered by Thanet District Council in line with guidance set out by the department. Open for applications from Monday, June 1 to Monday, June 15, the scheme encouraged eligible businesses to apply online for the payment.

The council used discretion when designing the scheme to try and distribute the money to benefit as many businesses as possible, while still meeting the Government guidelines. Eligible businesses included:

  • Businesses in shared workspaces

  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates (this excludes properties that operate on the AirBnB platform)

  • Regular market traders

  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief

  • Boat charters

  • Thanet priority businesses including Design, Film, TV, Radio, Photography, Music, Performing Arts and Visual Arts.

Applicants also needed to operate from premises in Thanet; have less than 50 employees and a turnover below £10.2 million; evidence that they had suffered a significant reduction in income and show that they had ongoing fixed costs.

Council leader Rick Everitt said: “We understand just how important it is to support our local businesses so that as and when things begin to open up, they are able to get back on track. These latest grants are targeted, in particular, at the small and micro enterprises that characterise Thanet’s creative and independent economy.

“No scheme is likely to be perfect in these circumstances but I hope that these payments will come as a welcome contribution to the costs the eligible businesses have had to cover in recent months.”

In addition to the Discretionary Grants, a previous funding round has so far seen £30.9million allocated to 2,809 businesses in the district.

A small business grant of £10,000 was made available to businesses from any sector with a rateable value of £15,000 or below. To qualify they had to have been receiving Small Business Rates Relief and needed to provide a bank statement from the past three months.

Grant funding of £25,000 was made available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property where the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000.