BUSINESSES hoping to tap into City of York Council’s £2.21m discretionary support fund will be able to apply next week.

The authority will open applications for the enhanced grants from Monday, June 1 to help businesses which have so far missed out on government aid.

These grants aim to benefit small businesses including those in shared offices and flexible work spaces, science parks and incubators.

Regular market traders without a business rates assessment, nurseries, B&Bs paying council tax instead of business rates, and charity properties which all missed out under previous schemes will also be eligible.

The council has distributed £110m of grants and rates relief to more than 3000 York businesses, and created its own £1m grant scheme to benefit around 800 more which did not qualify for government support.

Under the discretionary fund, local authorities have received an additional five per cent of the total value of grants already distributed - £2.21m for York - and some outline guidance on which businesses should benefit.

Councils have the discretion to decide how to fairly distribute the money to benefit as many businesses as possible.

Depending on the volume of applications and the amount of additional checking and verification required, the council aims to start making payments from June 8, and hopes to pay all grants within four weeks.

York council has agreed to use the £2.21m to support small and micro businesses.

The grants will be staggered between £2500 and £10000, depending on the size and nature of the business.

Small business and childcare nurseries are set to receive £10,000. Micro businesses will be able to receive £5,000. B&Bs and market traders who live in York are able to apply for £2,500.

Businesses must have been trading before March 11, 2020.

They must also have a rateable value or annual mortgage of below £51,000, and demonstrate an ongoing fixed property cost and significant financial impact of the coronavirus.

It is not available to business eligible for other government Covid grants.

Until the council opens applications next Monday, it will continue to process applications for the existing scheme.

All outstanding applicants and previous grantees will be contacted by the council next week, as many will be eligible for a top-up under the enhanced scheme.

Businesses should check the criteria at to prepare key information to apply online.

Cllr Keith Aspden, council leader, said: “This is an exceptionally tough time for so many businesses, especially the small and micro enterprises that characterise York’s creative and independent economy.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and strategic planning, said: “We know there are still many York businesses who need more support, and we will continue to press government for more action on their behalf while looking at the local support we can offer.”

Local authorities are asked to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants from within this funding pot:

• Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;

• Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;

• Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and

• Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

The government definitions of small businesses:

• Turnover: Not more than £10.2 million

• Balance sheet total: Not more than £5.1 million

• Number of employees: a headcount of staff of less than 50

and Micro businesses as:

• Turnover: Not more than £632,000

• Balance sheet total: Not more than £316,000

• Number of employees: a headcount of staff of not more than 10