Businesses urged to urgently access coronavirus funding before deadline

Mark Hughes

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham today (April 17) led calls for businesses to urgently apply for a share of the £629m coronavirus grant funding available from local authorities in the region.

Businesses that are the main rate payer of business rates can be eligible for grant support of between £10,000 and £25,000 and may miss out on vital financial support if they do not apply by the end of April.

It is vital that eligible businesses contact their local authority to apply for a grant.

Funding is available for eligible companies but councils administering schemes may not have contact details for businesses, many of which are temporarily closed due to coronavirus.

The Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) will provide businesses with a grant of £10,000 to help support them during the COVID-19 crisis.

This grant is for businesses, with a property, that as of March 11, 2020, were in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) will offer businesses in these sectors across Greater Manchester a grant of up to £25,000.

This grant is for businesses in those sectors with a rateable value of less than £51,000 and who would have been eligible for the Expanded Retail Discount Scheme.

For businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less the grant will be £10,000. For businesses with a rateable value of £15,000-£51,000 the grant will be £25,000.

Businesses need to apply via the local authority where they are located.

Businesses can also find out if they are eligible by going to and

Mayor Andy Burnham, along with Greater Manchester local authority leaders, members of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, and the Growth Company, is working to ensure that businesses are accessing the support that is available for them.

Mayor Burnham said: “Colleagues in all of Greater Manchester’s local authorities are working flat out to get this money out to businesses who so desperately need it to survive.

“I would encourage you to apply if you think you might be eligible.

“We think there are more businesses eligible than have yet applied and we want to make sure this support reaches those businesses who need it.

“We know there are some gaps in the grant scheme available, such as for small firms that operate from shared working spaces.

“I am working closely with local leaders to raise these gaps with government and to ensure the Chancellor delivers on his commitments to do whatever it takes to support businesses and hard-working citizens through this crisis.”

Lou Cordwell and Mo Isap, co-chairs of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We know there has been some confusion about the grants available to businesses but we urge any small business that are the main business rate payer and so may be eligible to get in touch with their local authority as soon as possible.”

In addition to local authority grant funding, £3m of loan funding is available for qualifying businesses via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for Greater Manchester.

Greater Manchester LEP, working with the Growth Company, has unlocked an initial £3m package of urgently needed financial support for Greater Manchester businesses via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for Greater Manchester.

Administered by GC Business Finance, the scheme for Greater Manchester is now ready to provide loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 to qualifying companies.

Business advisors at the GC Business Growth Hub are also working extended hours to support businesses and individuals, while information and advice is available via the GC Business Growth Hub coronavirus support hub, part of the #HereForBusiness initiative.

Visit or call the Hub on 0161-359 3050 to speak to an advisor. Extended hub opening hours are now Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9am-1pm.

And national support is available via government initiatives to support businesses during the coronavirus crisis. (

Mark Hughes, chief executive of the Growth Company, said: “This is an incredibly difficult time for businesses, and it is of vital importance that they know that they can access the funding support and advice that is available to them.

“Our commitment to supporting the business community has already been demonstrated through the Employ GM and #HereForBusiness initiatives and it is important that businesses know that there is somewhere they can turn for help.”

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