Councils will be able to use excess grant funding to support additional local businesses not covered by other financial support packages, the Treasury has announced. The move could benefit local businesses in industries like dentistry and osteopathy, with councils able to give grants of up to £25,000 to help at this difficult time.
The announcement comes after an initiative led by Hitchin & Harpenden MP, Bim Afolami, who worked with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Treasury to ensure that councils across the country have the flexibility to support more local businesses.
Bim said, “Over the past month I have been contacted by constituents with businesses in a whole range of industries who have not thus far been covered by many of the government’s extensive financial support packages.
I developed a way in which local authorities could meet this gap, to help out local businesses who are falling between the cracks of the government’s schemes of support. I’ve worked very hard with Government ministers and the Chancellor’s team to make this a reality. This new measure will allow councils to provide grants of up to £10,000 or £25,000 to support additional local businesses and I look forward to working with our local councils to ensure that Hitchin & Harpenden’s businesses can get the help they need. Many of them need it desperately, and the money can start to be given to businesses from next week.”
Local Government Minister Simon Clarke MP said about Bim’s involvement: “Bim’s initiative and passion to give local councils more flexibility to help deserving local businesses has been hugely important, and appreciated. A really good result.”