Almost 70,000 SMEs risk missing out on government coronavirus grants

Thousands of eligible SMEs may miss out on the Government's coronavirus emergency funding ahead of the deadline on August 28th

A massive 69,543 of eligible SMEs in England have yet to claim for the government coronavirus grants announced back in March.

This amounts to almost £1.5bn worth of funding, as revealed by new figures from

So far the government has given almost one million small to medium-sized businesses in England an emergency coronavirus grant – either in the form of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund (RHLGF)

Earlier in August, figures showed that £10.8bn had been paid out to businesses, highlighting that a significant sum of this money has gone unclaimed.

The deadline for claiming these grants is this Friday, August 28 and any unassigned funding will be returned to the government.

>See also: You have just one month to claim up to £1.6bn in unspent grants

How much grant funding has my local authority given out?

The average grant provided by English councils is £12,269. Camden is giving out the most per grant, providing SMEs an average of £18,852. This is closely followed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (£18,740) and Westminster Council (£17,615).

Out of the top 20, three quarters (75 per cent) of local authorities paying out the most are in London.

Hyndburn Borough Council (£10,360), Forest of Dean District Council (£10,722) and Rossendale Borough Council (£10,740) are paying out the lowest value per grant.

Cornwall Council has the highest number of eligible businesses who are yet to receive a grant, but has paid out the largest sum in emergency funds, dishing out £236,670,000. This is followed by Birmingham City Council (£210,110,000) and Leeds City Council (£153,765,000).

Local authorityNo. of hereditaments the LA has identified as 'may be in scope to receive a grant'No of grants paid to hereditamentsNo of grants unclaimed per LA that have been identified as 'may be in scope to receive a grant'Amount of money allocated to each LA unspent
Cornwall Council23,82820,8682,960£44,782,000
Birmingham City Council19,27817,4801,798£21,466,000
Dorset Council10,4058,8841,521£28,250,000
South Lakeland District Council6,4685,0241,444£15,679,000
Wiltshire Council8,8797,4741,405£17,203,000
East Suffolk Council6,7985,4351,363£39,361,000
Sheffield City Council9,3348,0781,256£17,483,000
Buckinghamshire Council7,5826,4291,153£7,546,000
Wealden District Council4,6673,5361,131£7,017,000
Shropshire Council7,8106,7971,013£11,445,000

Meanwhile, the Council of the Isles of Scilly (£4,075,000), Oadby and Wigston Borough Council (£11,630) and Epsom & Ewell Borough Council (£9,945,000) have provided the lowest amount of grant payments across England.

Last opportunity

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at says: “Back in March, the Chancellor announced a whole host of emergency measures to try and protect the economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the deadline for grant applications fast approaching, it is imperative that businesses that need support and are yet to claim, assess their financial situation and if needed submit their claim urgently.

“While there has been much confusion in the past with regards to eligibility, now is the last opportunity for businesses to find out if they are eligible and how much funding they could apply for.”

Find out more about the emergency grants and how to apply over at Find your small business coronavirus grant – list of UK councils. This includes councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For other funding opportunities, check out our guides to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Microbusiness Bounce Back Loan.

Read more

Revealed – 6 worst councils for handing out coronavirus business grants

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.