More than 3,500 businesses across Cornwall will miss out on grant support unless changes made to discretionary scheme
Funding for Cornish businesses unable to access any other form of Government coronavirus grant support will only cover a third of those that need it.
Figures released by Cornwall Council reveal a shortfall of around £27m in the money allocated by the Government for the discretionary business support grant.
The Council expects to have paid out the £13.5m allocated to Cornwall by the end of this week to more than 1,350 businesses in sectors prioritised by the Government.
This leaves more than 3,500 businesses currently ineligible for other forms of Government aid except the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
Tim Dwelly, cabinet portfolio holder for economy, culture and planning, said: “The number of applications for the discretionary fund and expressions of interest we’ve received is overwhelming evidence of the level of need across Cornwall.
“These are otherwise healthy and thriving small and micro businesses which make a valuable contribution to the Cornish economy and they should not face the prospect of bankruptcy or closure just because they fall through the gaps of funding criteria.
“Working with business leaders we have once again contacted our MPs and Government to make the case for more funding for the discretionary business support scheme so that we can offer financial support to Cornwall’s small and micro businesses who have already suffered greatly during this crisis.”
“One potential solution is for the government to allow the Council to use the money that has not been claimed from the funds it allocated to Cornwall for the original small business emergency grant scheme. We contacted around 24,000 qualifying businesses using our business rates database to allocate around £244 million, however around £37m allocated by the Government for that scheme remains unclaimed and is unlikely to be.”
“At present we can only use that money for grants to businesses which meet the original criteria as set out by the government, but if the government will allow us to use that remaining money to fund the discretionary business support grants, we could offer financial aid to all those who so badly need it.”
£37m allocated by the Government for that scheme remains unclaimed