A new small grants programme to support more Nottingham businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched today by the City Council’s Nottingham Economic Recovery Unit (NERU), however the council has warned the fund is not enough to support every business that needs it. The latest round of grants is targeted at businesses who have been missed out of previous Government support schemes. 

Nottingham City Council has been awarded £3.35m from Central Government for a Discretionary Grant Fund, which the council is calling the Nottingham Small Business Fund. The grants will support businesses outside of the scope of the Small Business Rates Relief scheme, especially those small local businesses with ongoing property costs. Those who have previously received the Small Business Rates Relief grant will not be eligible for this grant. 

Grants of up to £2,500, £5,000 and £10,000 will be available for businesses who were trading prior to 11 March and who have been ineligible for other grant funding. This includes those in shared or flexible workspaces, market and street traders, charities and other businesses with a rateable value between £15,000-£51,000 who have been forced to close or reduce trade due to COVID-19. 

Due to the limited funding available and expected over-subscription to the scheme, grant applications will need to be submitted to the City Council for assessment, with payments expected to begin during June. 

Applications can be made via the City Council website here.

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Growth and the City Centre, said: “Additional support is welcome for the businesses outside the scope of the original grants, and we are pleased that our lobbying for support to those businesses in shared or flexible workspaces and market traders has been heard by government. 

“We recognise that the funding allocation is not enough, and are concerned that the funding we have received clearly will not support everyone. The fact that the allocation is relatively small when compared to the number of businesses that require this support means that some may be disappointed. We would like to help more organisations and protect more jobs and so we will continue to lobby Government for ongoing support to local businesses, charities and social enterprises.

“Along with other core cities, we have written to the Chancellor again this week to urge the government to meet the funding gap we are experiencing so we can best support our cities as economic engines during the next phase of recovery from the pandemic.”