More than 10,000 small businesses in England are missing out on government grants to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus lockdown because they are based in shared offices. The findings from a study by Colliers International, a commercial estate agency, highlights a gap in a key element of the emergency rescue package for smaller companies rolled out by chancellor Rishi Sunak since mid-March. The government made available £12.3bn in small business grants, with a payout of £10,000 available to businesses operating out of premises that have a ratable value — a measure of the rental value of the property — up to a maximum of £15,000.
Companies in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a ratable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 can apply for a £25,000 grant. But the decision to base eligibility solely on that one measure has excluded thousands of businesses that use managed offices from the scheme. The regular reconfiguration of workspace in buildings, managed by companies such as WeWork and IWG, means individual units often do not have a ratable value assigned by government’s Valuation Office Agency.
Hundreds of small businesses in the West of England will now qualify for the government’s coronavirus grants after a successful lobbying campaign by two Bristol entrepreneurs who were missing out on funding.
The government has since decided to award an extra £617million to local authorities to fill the cracks created in the system.
Grants will be allocated through local authorities.
As more information on these grants becomes available – we will update this page and also share on our social media platforms.