Government announces £617m in grants for co-working space tenants, market traders and more

Government announces £617m in grants for co-working space tenants, market traders and more
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Sat 2nd May 2020

New funding of £617m is being made available to co-working space tenants, market traders and other businesses in England who aren't being given funding through the coronavirus business rates grant scheme.

The grants are in addition to the £12.33bn provided to English councils to deliver £10,000 and £25,000 grants to companies covered by business rates.

Business groups including Enterprise Nation have previously called on the government to extend the grants scheme to cover companies using shared workspaces.

The government said the fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and 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. It also covers bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

But local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses "based on local economic need".

To qualify, businesses must have under 50 employees and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to coronavirus restriction measures.

Grants of £10,000 and £25,000 will be available and local authorities can choose to make payments of any other amount under £10,000.

More guidance and amounts being provided to each council will be released shortly.

'Very welcome support' for thousands of businesses

Gareth Austin-Jones, co-founder of Enterprise Nation member Cocorose London, which is based in the Collage Arts workspace in London, said: "We have yet to see the details of a new grant that is being made available to the thousands of businesses who are tenants in co-working spaces, but it will be very welcome support.

"As a business that didn't qualify for Small Business Grants Fund, it has felt that the solution to getting through this crisis would be debt or deferment of payments.

"Like most businesses we have re-run cashflow forecasts numerous times in the last six weeks. Sales have understandingly fallen during lock down, but its very hard to know what the revenue will be as we come out of this. Debt and deferred payments of VAT and PAYE will have to paid from future profits, and who can be sure what they will look like in six to 12 months.

"We are very grateful of work that has been put in by groups such as Enterprise Nation and operators of creative workspaces to get our voice heard."

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, added: "It is great news that the government has extended grant support to small businesses in shared workspaces and trading through markets.

"This is exactly the move we have been calling for. As with everything, the devil is likely to be in the detail, but we are confident this is a huge step in the right direction."

The latest coronavirus support information

We are keeping you updated on the latest information on how to access the government's coronavirus business support here. You can also find advice and ask a question on Enterprise Nation's coronavirus business advice hub. Follow Enterprise Nation on Twitter too for updates.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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