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Sarah Cox: Grants available for charities during Covid-19

12 Jun 2020 Expert insight

As charities are taking substantial hits to their income at the moment, Sarah Cox from Ansvar looks at the government support available to charities during this time

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We know that charities are taking a real hit to their income at the moment, with fundraising events being cancelled and donations decreasing due to the economic uncertainty that we are all feeling. Regular donations and fundraising are imperative for the survival of a charity; when these dry up, it can be very difficult to continue functioning and offering the services that make such a difference to people’s lives.

Thankfully this has been recognised by the government and they have put in place two grant funding schemes to help support businesses, including charities, to weather the current storm. These grants are available to charities who are registered to pay rates and they are easier than you might think to obtain. In this article we will be sharing the options available and the key points relating to them, to help you get the assistance your charity needs.

Small Business Grant Fund

The first option comes from the Small Business Grant Fund. From this fund, all businesses in receipt of either ‘Small Business Rates Relief’ (SBRR) or ‘Rural Rates Relief’ (RRR) in the business rates system, will be eligible for a payment of £10,000. This funding will come from your local council and will be a one off cash grant. According to the government’s guidelines your business is eligible if it:

  • Is based in England
  • Occupies property
  • Was eligible for small business rate relief (including tapered relief) or rural rate relief on 11 March 2020

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant 

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) eligible businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 per property.

The eligibility criteria for this grant are as follows:

  • Your business is based in England
  • Is in the retail, hospitality, or leisure sector
  • Had a rateable value of under £51,000 on 11th March 2020

How to Claim

The great thing about these grants is that you do not actually have to apply for them. Your local council will approach you with details of how you can submit your claim. Of course, if you think you should be eligible and you have not been contacted, you can also reach out to your council and let them know, they’ll be able to offer advice and send you the information if they agree you should qualify.

We have heard of charities receiving the grant within a week of application, making a huge difference to their financial situation, so it’s worth exploring.

Not Eligible? Some Other Options

There are a number of emergency funds available to help support charities that are not government schemes. Depending on the nature of your charity, you may be able to find a grant funder who is relevant to your cause who can assist. We highly recommend the National Lottery Community Fund for charities involved in supporting local communities; with grants available from £300 to £10,000.

Another example is Mind – Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund, which is offering up to £2,000 for charities supporting those struggling with mental health difficulty during the pandemic. There are also many countywide community foundations that are offering grants to local charities and causes.

Most funds have a website with information on their criteria of who they are able to assist, so we suggest having a look at relevant searches to see if there is anyone who may be able to help offer some financial relief. 

We are all in this together 

We hope this article has been helpful in sharing some of the ways you may be able to obtain some financial assistance during this time for your charity. You are needed and appreciated now, more than ever.

Please remember that these hard times will pass, and this downtime can’t last forever. In the meantime, we applaud your hard work and hope that you will be able to gain assistance from one of the grants mentioned. 

Sarah Cox is managing director of the charity and faith insurance specialist Ansvar

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