Q: Training Grants - are they only open to businesses based in premises with business rates?
The grant is for training employees of a business so could be open to home based businesses. But it wouldn’t cover the self employed.
Businesses without a rate account are not excluded, for example if they operated from shared office space.
(If the self employed person was intending to expand the business and was to employ staff that would need training then that would be an acceptable application).
Q: What supporting evidence are you expecting?
The evidence requirements are all set out in the application forms and vary from grant to grant.
Q: How can I find out if a property has been notified to the Council’s business rates team as being empty?
The previous tenant/owner would have notified the Council that they have left the property so we can check when an application is made. Also landlords are obliged to tell us if their property is empty so we can bill them correctly. For a new tenant they can also check with the landlord that they have notified the Council that the property is empty.
Q: My shop front is in a poor state of repair and needs replacing - can I use the maximum grant towards the cost of a new shopfront?
No, the grant conditions from Government mean that it can only be used for repairs and not a full renovation/replacement of shop fronts.
Q: I’d like to apply for a grant to help pay rent and running costs in the first couple of years but I won’t have completed negotiations on the lease until after 30 November. Can I still put in an application?
No you cannot make the application until you have a rent agreement in place. You will be able to apply in subsequent rounds of the scheme.
Q: What sort of criteria will be used to judge each application. Will the assessment panel decide whether an application has passed a threshold and then be paid or will applications be competitively assessed?
All applications (except for business interruption which are paid automatically on meeting the criteria) will be checked for eligibility and that will form part of the consideration by the Panel. The Panel have the discretion to moderate an award down from the maximum based on their assessment of the outcomes being proposed by the applicant. The grants may also be reduced overall if the applications exceed the total funding available. This follows our process adopted for Community Grants.
Q: If the grant funding isn’t all allocated in the first round - will there be a further round?
Yes, it is expected that further rounds will be run if there remains sufficient funding. Once the first round is done a further round will be opened and end of January is a likely date for the next Panel.
Q: Could the rural business grant be used to pay for a consultant to support moving a business online?
In theory yes, but the grant is to help business expansion and increased employment so these would have to be delivered to secure a grant.
Q: Could a business put in two claims - one for empty shops and one for training?
Yes, there is no reason why a business cannot make applications for the different grants.
Q: If my application is unsuccessful, can I ask for the decision to be reviewed.
There is no appeal process provided for under this scheme, the decision of the Panel is final.
Q: How will I be paid the grant?
Payments of grants will be made by BACS.
Q: Training Grants - What training providers can I use?
This will differ from sector to sector and is therefore up to the applicant but it should be a verifiable training provider.
Q: Is the application form available in other Languages?
The application form is currently only available in English, however if language is a barrier to accessing the grants, the council can look to make a translation service available