​The Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke have announced that an additional fund of £617 million will be made available for small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.

Local authorities have been asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, and small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, (plus bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates). The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities, which may also choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. 

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and also able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

Further guidance for local authorities will be announced soon.