Dartford Borough Council has launched a new cash fund to support small
businesses and charities with fixed or building costs which may have been impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak and which did not qualify for earlier government schemes.   

The Dartford Discretionary Grant scheme is designed to be a rapid-response fund with applications open from Monday 1st June until 14th June, so businesses have 14 days to apply.   The total DBC fund is £680,000 and is designed to provide one-off non-repayable cash grants. Further application rounds may be launched if the fund is not fully dispersed but the Council warns this could be unlikely.

Each application will be assessed against the Council’s Discretionary Business Grants Policy and grants will be awarded according to need. Due to expected
significant demand, most awards will be below £10,000 in order to ensure the
Council can support as many businesses as possible. 

All applications will be verified and considered before any decisions are made, with grants paid from mid June..

The following business will be prioritised for grants:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces
  • Regular market traders with fixed costs
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax rather than business rates
  • Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief rather than Small Business Rates Relief

All businesses applying for the grant will need to meet the following criteria: 
They must be:

  • Small Businesses as defined by the Companies Act 2006
  • Businesses that were trading on 11th March 2020
  • Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs ( or evidence of other fixed costs in the case of market traders )
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis 
  • Businesses which, if they occupy property, or part of a property, must evidence that the property has a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000

Leader of the Council, Jeremy Kite said, “This is no time to hold back. If we don’t get support out to our smaller businesses I’m afraid it’s likely that a number of them won’t be around when we all need them again. A failure of small businesses would be bad for employment, bad for competition, bad for customer service and bad for the ability of a characterful local economy to fight against a big multi-national one.  We’ve already managed to pay approaching £12 million in  business support grants to eligible firms in Dartford but this new fund is designed to help those smaller businesses and charities who are struggling with ongoing property costs. These firms could not apply for the Governments initial grant funding criteria but we know it’s an exceptionally tough time so are pleased to create this new fund now.”

To apply for the grant or for further information go to https://www.dartford.gov.uk/discretionary-grant