Small charities 'could be excluded from £10,000 small business grants scheme'

A letter from Richard Robertson, a councillor at Cambridge City Council, to his MP, Labour's Daniel Zeichner, makes the claim

A local politician has raised fears that small charities will be excluded from the government’s £10,000 small business grants scheme, aimed at supporting organisations through the coronavirus outbreak.

The government had announced that small businesses would be eligible for grant funding of £10,000 to help them weather the Covid-19 pandemic.

But a letter from Richard Robertson, executive councillor for finance and resources at the Labour-controlled Cambridge City Council, to his MP Daniel Zeichner, also from Labour, claims that small charities will be excluded.

The letter says only businesses that receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief will be able to apply for the grant.

Charities receive the 80 per cent mandatory business rate relief rather than either of the two eligible schemes, so would not be entitled to the £10,000 grant, the letter points out.

“This is grossly unfair and presumably not the intention of the government,” says Robertson. 

“Small charities will in most cases still be trying to carry out their function and serve the people who benefit from their work. They certainly should get help from the grant.”

Third Sector is trying to verify whether small charities would be excluded from the grant scheme.

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