We have just received the following information in relation to the next round of support for businesses impacted by recent flooding.
Please be aware that this has not been formally announced yet. The final detail could change up until the application process formally opens, however it is likely to be a good indication of the direction of travel.
The key point here is that there appears to have been a change of heart in relation to claims for stock. It now looks likely that these claims will be included, which is something we had lobbied hard for.
See update below:
- The application process has been delayed due to a reconsideration of the criteria announced in December. This is good news, as it has been done to allow businesses to make claims for stock (which was originally to be excluded), in addition to fixtures/fittings, equipment, relocation & clean-up costs).
- The Department for Economy now hopes to open applications towards the end of next week.
- The Department will be bringing in an independent loss assessor to verify all claims. This will add time onto the processing of applications but also hopefully widens the scope of what can be claimed for, as long as relevant invoices and/or quotes can be provided.
- The Department has received some assurances from Treasury that they can run the scheme into the next financial year. Whilst this suggests claims will take some time to process; it also means the process won’t be rushed and they will be able to tailor the criteria to ensure fairness and inclusion of as many businesses as possible.
- There will be a two-tranche model for the next round, with £10k available relatively quickly to aid cashflow where applicable, and the remainder (up to £100k) paid at a later date subject to Departmental loss assessment.
- There will be a parallel claims process for businesses previously excluded from the £7.5k grants.
- We do not have much information on how this will work, but understand that the Department will be looking at this on a case by case basis, and that they will try to use as much of the remaining £15m for this (after claims to those currently eligible are paid).
- We understand the Department has a list of people who have appealed or raised concern about not being included previously. If you have not already done this please contact the BID office for support as we are working with local representatives to review several declined applications from the first round of funding (£7.5K).
- The Department recognises there is a need for bridging finance if, as anticipated, the assessment process takes several months, and whilst the Department would not be providing this, we are in the early stages of conversations to see if we can create local solutions with local lenders on this.
If you have any questions on the above please don’t hesitate to get in touch.