Latest business grant fund up and running in Lewes district

Lewes District Council is processing applications from small and micro businesses for grants of up to £10K from the government’s latest Covid-19 business support scheme.

The council has a £1.3m funding allocation and is accepting applications from qualifying businesses until June 19. In exceptional circumstances £25K grants will be considered. All payments will be made once the window for applications closes.

Eligible businesses can apply online at: https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/community/covid-19/help-for-businesses/discretionary-top-up-fund/

Councillor James MacCleary, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Prosperity, said: “The government’s business grants scheme in April had some very large holes in it and left many local businesses without any support. By allowing the District Council to distribute funds to different kinds of businesses we will be able to support more of our local economy.

“The government guidance for implementing this latest fund has changed and been updated on several occasions, making the process of configuring the platform for applications very complex. However our officers have worked incredibly hard to ensure local businesses can go online and submit their details quickly and easily.”

The government has set eligibility criteria for the scheme. Councils have been told to prioritise businesses with fixed property-related costs that can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces 
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • B&Bs and guest houses that pay council tax instead of business rates
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief that would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

While each scheme is unique to local economic and business need, the council has worked closely with neighbouring councils in East Sussex to develop the funding framework.