Friday, August 14, 2020

£176m still to be distributed from Government Small Business Grant System in Yorkshire

Business rates experts at Colliers International are urging the Government to revisit its grant scheme for businesses – set up to help with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – and to consider re-deploying some of the funds to help those businesses and the three million workers so far “excluded” from receiving any Government financial help.

According latest Government figures, of the £12.33 billion originally allocated to Local Authorities to pay to businesses via the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF) some £10.65 billion or just over 86 per cent has been paid out, leaving £1.7 billion or 14 per cent still undistributed to businesses.

In the Yorkshire and Humber region alone, there are £176.17 million of outstanding grant payments still to be distributed which is 10.5% of the national pot waiting for distribution and over 13.5% of the region’s initial allocation of just over £1.3 billion, despite the fund being set up 15 weeks ago on March 23rd. Several local authorities have still not distributed millions of pounds.

Looking at individual councils

  • Sheffield City Council has paid out £92.2 million (81.6%) of its £113 million allocation.
  • Kirklees Council has paid out £93 million (82%) out of its £113.6 million allocation
  • City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has paid out £119.4 million (88%) of its £135.9 million allocation.
  • Leeds Council has paid out one of the most in the region, distributing £148.7 million (92%) of its £162.2 million allocation.

John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers International, said: “I find it incredible that £1.7 billion of the Government’s grant scheme has still not been distributed to businesses despite the scheme being set up four and a half months ago. And this seems to be the pattern across the country. The Yorkshire and Humber region is not an exception. Even Leeds City Council, one of the best performing local authorities, still has £13.5 million to distribute.

“One can conclude that either certain Local Authorities have been too short staffed or inefficient in handing out much needed grants, or – and what may be more likely – State Aid rules are stopping some businesses who have multiple properties from accessing all the grants. This might particularly apply to multiple store retailers. If this is the case, then there will still be some funds going begging.”

Webber continued: “We have a bizarre scenario where on one hand we have 3 million workers and businesses ‘excluded’ from receiving Government help in terms of grants, or the discretionary fund, many of which may soon be pulling the plug on their companies.

“And on the other hand, we have £1.7 billion of grant money sitting there and not claimed after four and a half months. Perhaps it would be sensible to conclude that if after 15 weeks; a number of businesses still have not claimed funds, it probably means the grant allocated is very unlikely to be used.

“The Government might consider clawing back any grant monies not distributed by certain local authorities to use in those areas where businesses do need greater support.

“The current set up is just not working. There are hundreds of businesses that need grant help which are still being denied it – particularly in our English cities. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and we urge the Government to look again at the way it is provides support to those ‘excluded’- or ‘forgotten’. Properly utilising £1.7 billion that nobody seems to be claiming would certainly seem to be a good start.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.




Latest news

Former Scunthorpe Market site to be transformed

The future of Scunthorpe’s High Street is revealed as a radical redevelopment plan for the former market is unveiled. North Lincolnshire Council has submitted the...

150 jobs to be created as gas power station gets expansion go-ahead

More than 150 jobs are to be created after a new open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) power station was granted approval. The Department for Business,...

£1.2m renovation of heritage sites in Hull’s Old Town complete

A developer breathing new life into old buildings in Hull has completed the £1.2m renovation of two historic riverside properties. Allenby Commercial has converted Danish...

Flexible packaging manufacturer expands into new Grimsby facility

Ultimate Group is expanding into another facility at Europarc in Grimsby. The independent flexible packaging manufacturer focused on the food industry has signed a lease...

Work begins on new homes at former hospital site

Lindum has started work on 36 new homes on the site of a former hospital in Spalding. Longhurst Group is developing the former Welland Hospital...

IT firm expands into new York offices

An IT and security specialist has expanded into new office space at Escrick Business Park in York. PowerON, which provides managed IT services and cloud...

Related news

Former Scunthorpe Market site to be transformed

The future of Scunthorpe’s High Street is revealed as a radical redevelopment plan for the former market is unveiled. North Lincolnshire Council has submitted the...

150 jobs to be created as gas power station gets expansion go-ahead

More than 150 jobs are to be created after a new open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) power station was granted approval. The Department for Business,...

£1.2m renovation of heritage sites in Hull’s Old Town complete

A developer breathing new life into old buildings in Hull has completed the £1.2m renovation of two historic riverside properties. Allenby Commercial has converted Danish...

Flexible packaging manufacturer expands into new Grimsby facility

Ultimate Group is expanding into another facility at Europarc in Grimsby. The independent flexible packaging manufacturer focused on the food industry has signed a lease...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close