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Edinburgh businesses urged to apply for £4k Discretionary Grants

Posted: 30th March 2021

Eligible businesses in the Capital who have seen a minimum 20% shortfall in their income as a result of Covid-19 restrictions since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 can apply for a one-off £4,000 grant from today.

The City of Edinburgh Council has been awarded just over £10 million in the second tranche of Discretionary Grant funding and applications are open on the Council’s website from today.

This fund is aimed at reaching businesses who have otherwise ‘slipped through the cracks’ in terms of funding initiatives, meaning those who have not already been eligible for other financial support from central government since October (other than the furlough scheme, the self-employed income support scheme or the newly self-employed hardship fund).

To apply for a £4,000 grant, businesses must submit a self-declaration of their business’s income in January and February 2020 as well as January and February 2021. A 20% decrease in the average income over the two time periods will be required in order to be eligible.

In addition, businesses with employees that have successfully applied for Discretionary Grant funding, either in this or the earlier tranche in February, will have access to extra funding specifically to help them  retain their staff. This will be applied through a tiered approach, depending on the number of people they employ, and for those businesses with employees on PAYE (not owners, directors or partners).

Councillor Kate Campbell, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convener, said:

This year has been incredibly difficult for businesses in our city, and we know how hard people have had to work to keep going. We now have £10 million available to help businesses in Edinburgh and we just want to get the funds out to them as quickly as possible.

We want to make sure nobody’s missing their chance at accessing financial support so I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t already applied to visit the application page on our website, check the eligibility criteria, and apply today.

Councillor Mandy Watt, Vice Convener said:

We know businesses have been hit desperately hard in this pandemic and it’s crucial that we’re able to get this funding into the accounts of everyone who’s eligible and who hasn’t been able to access previous schemes due to not meeting the criteria. Please apply today and let us give you the money you’re entitled to.

Today’s launch of online applications marks the second phase of Discretionary Fund awards in 2021.

On 3 February, the Council invited applications for grants from the first tranche of Discretionary Funding allocated to the city, totalling just under £2.8m.

At that stage, grants were for £2,000 and aimed at businesses that could show a significant drop in income due to Covid restrictions introduced since October. Any businesses who successfully applied for this amount earlier in the year will now have this sum topped up to £4,000 to bring them in line with recipients in this second round of funding. They do not need to reapply.

During the first tranche the criteria was initially set at a 30% income loss, however this was later revised to 20% following ongoing dialogue with businesses. It is hoped more businesses will apply and enable themselves to benefit from funding in this second round in light of the revised income reduction threshold.

Applications will be open for a period of four weeks, or until all the funding has been allocated, and will be processed in the order they are received.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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