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Business Support Grant: Local Authorities

Volume 682: debated on Tuesday 20 October 2020

If he will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the potential merits of reopening business support grant funding schemes for allocation by local authorities. (907768)

I hold regular discussions with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The original national business grant schemes provided support to small businesses that faced fixed property-related costs during the strict lockdown period.

I thank the Minister for his reply, but is he aware that in Enfield only 189 small businesses received a discretionary grant, even though 330 applied for one? In view of further restrictions in London, will the Minister commit to urgently releasing extra funding to Enfield Council to ensure that those businesses that previously missed out can reapply for financial support?

The previous grant was for businesses that had been forced to close. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor has allocated additional funding through the local restrictions support grant scheme for businesses that are forced to close, with an additional £1,500 per two-week closure period. As the hon. Lady said, the previous grant was discretionary and local authorities therefore had discretion as to how many firms benefited from it.