Treasury bails out small businesses in co-working spaces

The government has greenlit £617m worth of funding to help co-working space tenants and market traders ineligible for coronavirus business rates grant scheme

UPDATED: The government has bailed out small businesses in co-working spaces and market traders ineligible for coronavirus business grants to the tune of £617m.

This additional £617m will be added to the £12.3bn handed to local authorities for them to distribute to all small businesses, with additional help for those in retail, leisure and hospitality.

Small businesses working out of co-working spaces cried foul that, because they were not directly paying business rates, they were ineligible for either the small business grants fund or the retail, hospitality and leisure grants.

>See also: Nearly 40% of small business grants still unpaid five weeks in

According to research from business rates experts Colliers, more than 10,000 small businesses based in shared offices originally missed out on the grant.

There will be three levels of grant payments from between £10,000 up to £25,000.

However, local authorities can decide to pay amounts of less than £10,000 depending on local needs, if they so wish.

Qualifying businesses

  • Businesses in shared spaces
  • Regular market traders
  • Small charity properties
  • Bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates

Emma Jones, founder small business support network, Enterprise Nation, said: “It is great news that the government has extended grant support to small businesses in shared workspaces and trading through markets. This is exactly the move we have been calling for. As with everything, the devil is likely to be in the detail. But we are confident this is a huge step in the right direction.”

Jonathan Ratcliffe of added: “It’s great news – small businesses who were reaching the end of their cash reserves will be able to save their businesses using this cash grant. They’d missed out because they paid their business rates to their serviced office provider, not direct to the local authority – it looks like this has been put right – we are over the moon – our campaigning worked.”

By April 27, local authorities had allocated over £7.5m or 61 per cent of coronavirus business grants available to 614,000 businesses, leaving almost 345,000 businesses waiting for the grant.

Further reading

Find your small business coronavirus grant – list of English councils

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...