Dorset Chamber has urged local businesses to check whether they might be eligible for financial support, after concerns were raised that some may not be applying because they incorrectly believe they do not fit the criteria.
It seems that some businesses may think the grants are only for those in the retail, hospital and leisure sectors. In fact, any company with a rateable value of under £15,000 that receives some form of rate relief can claim £10,000 from the Small Business Grant Fund, regardless of the sector their business is in.
The Dorset Chamber and Poole-based PKF Francis Clark, one of its Platinum Business Partners, have been part of the support networks encouraging businesses to apply for the financial support available to them. Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber, Ian Girling, said: “This money could make the difference between survival and failure for some businesses.
“The local authorities are doing a great job at administering the grants and making it as easy as possible yet some firms are not aware of the schemes or are not applying. It may be because they are not tuned into social media or think that they don’t qualify, but the support is there and I would encourage all businesses to seize every penny they are entitled to.”
Businesses still qualify for the grant if they pay no business rates because of rate relief, have temporarily suspended trading because of the coronavirus, or if they only use their premises for storage.
James Robinson, a partner with PKF Francis Clark and member of Dorset Chamber, said: “There are some common misconceptions whereby some businesses believe that they are not eligible for grants when in fact they are. We have helped a variety of such clients who have been able to successfully claim the £10,000 grant.
“I’ve also been working closely with Ian and the Dorset Chamber, the BCP Council economic development team and my contacts in the engineering base to get the message out.
“This is about business advisers and support networks working together to help Dorset businesses through this extremely challenging time and emerge in the best shape possible.”