The City of London Council has said that it will fund businesses affected by a loophole in the Small Business Rates Relief grant scheme.
Chloe Shakesby

London council funds businesses affected by government grant loophole

A London council is making a commitment to help fund businesses that may have missed out on government grants.

The City of London Council has said that it will fund businesses affected by a loophole in the Small Business Rates Relief grant scheme.

The council said that small businesses who occupy serviced office space initially missed out on £76m worth of COVID-19 cash grants.

Office expert Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk commented: “Put simply, if you don’t have a business rates account for your business with your local authority you don’t get the £10k grant support. It’s a very unfair situation.

“City of London Council is apparently accepting applications from businesses who do not pay their rates directly to the authority – we have information this is the case.

“We shall have to see if Local Authorities class paying rates centrally to a serviced provider is classed as an “error” – it seems London City Council do and are helping those small businesses in need at their discretion.

“We have calculated if all businesses in this loophole claim it could cost them £76m in total.

“The message for everyone stuck in this loophole is pester your local authority!

“There might be light at the end of the tunnel, it is at their discretion, there is obviously some flexibility – it will be down to the individual authority to make decisions.”

City of London Council member Peter Dunphy pointed out that this move was made through the council’s own jurisdiction and that it would be down to each local authority as to whether they follow suit.

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