Some UK companies still waiting for £10k coronavirus grants, NI firms may be left out

  • The £10k coronavirus grants have been extended to small businesses in managed offices in England, with no word yet on Northern Ireland getting the same support.

    When the coronavirus outbreak began, one of the first lifelines thrown to small businesses was an immediate £10,000 cash grant. The grant was initially offered only to firms which had accounts with their local council rates office as these payments could be made quickly with the information on-hand, but this restriction prevented most of the UK's tech startups from accessing the support.

    HM Treasury announced plans to fix this gap by offering the grant to companies that pay rates as part of their rent of an office, and later extended that to companies in shared offices with the announcement of a new £617m fund. This change was welcomed by the serviced office industry, and by the UK's tech startups that operate out of co-working spaces and innovation centres across the country.

    Despite the announcement over a week ago, firms in England have reported that grants haven't been made accessible to them yet. "£10,000 was going to be paid to those who missed out," explained Jonathan Ratcliffe from Serviced Offices company, adding that "the majority haven’t had any positive feedback from their Local Authority saying that they are going to pay out." One local authority said that it was waiting on funding allocation and guidance on how to deliver the scheme.

    While startups in England may eventually be able to access the 10k small business grants to help them survive the coronavirus lockdown, many businesses in Northern Ireland might miss out on the grants entirely. HM Treasury's announcement doesn't apply to Northern Ireland, so small businesses in the region are waiting to find out whether they'll get similar support.

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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