Small firms demand changes to grant scheme

Some 12,000 small businesses have signed a petition asking the government to look again at its grant scheme, as anger mounts that many SMEs and micro businesses are missing out on £1bn worth of Covid-19 Small Business Grants.

Office expert Jonathan Ratcliffe explains: “Put simply, if you don’t have a business rates account for your business with your local authority you get nothing. It’s a very unfair situation.”

The loophole means that if you occupy serviced office space where rates are included (bundled in the serviced package) you are not eligible for the support.

Ratcliffe claimed: “Small businesses across the UK are absolutely fuming; and at no fault of their own, because their choice of office type dictated whether they got a £10,00 cash grant or not.”

He stressed he was in no way criticising Chancellor Rishi Sunak; the issue is that these small businesses have slipped through the system, missing out on the cash lifeline that could mean all the difference between insolvency and having a business ready to trade when the shutdown is loosened.

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