Cornwall Council revises its criteria for Covid-19 hand-outs, after second-thoughts about self-employed workers

Posted By on 28th May 2020

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall Council has been forced to do a U-turn over how it distributes “discretionary” Covid-19 grants to local businesses. County Hall has admitted its initial approach had…


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This article has 5 comments

  1. I’m sorry Steve the fund is for self employed who meet the other guidance. Version 2 of the Government guidance issued shortly after CC had published It’s guidance changed the rules so self employed could apply and were eligible. CC quickly changed their guidance to reflect the new approach from Government which is welcome but puts pressure on the fund.

    Here is the Government’s version 2 guidance saying the self employed who had claimed SEISS were now eligible.

    Eligibility
    29. This grant funding is for businesses that are not eligible for other support schemes. Businesses which are eligible for cash grants from any central government COVID- related scheme (apart from SEISS) are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grants Fund. Such grant schemes include but are not limited to:
    • Small Business Grant Fund
    • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
    • The Fisheries Response Fund
    • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
    • The Zoos Support Fund
    • The Dairy Hardship Fund

    • Hi Edwina, there’s no need to patronise me by apologising that I’m wrong, but in fact you could apologise for being wrong yourself! I am sorry for the delay of this response due to technical issues.

      Although not entirely accurate, a clue is in the story, viz:
      “Grants of £10,000 are available. Some larger grants of up to £25,000 will be considered for businesses with very high property costs, . . . ”

      Please re-read my comments and compare to your quotation of the guidance, which highlights the scheme is aimed at BUSINESSES not eligible for other schemes, which may be run by people who have qualified for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (but probably many directors of limited companies). Rational when you consider income is profit after expenses, and the scheme itself specifically states that awards should be based on liability for property related expenses, including lease/rent not covered by ongoing trading.

      It might also be useful to inform Mark Duddridge of his misapprehension; the number of self-employed people is not directly relevant in this scenario because it is aimed at businesses! Additionally, (and as I queried with CC previously) as the Council has not incorporated the “Assessment” factor into the application process, it seems unlikely that any request for further funding would be looked on favourably – I hope this does not mean that more Cornish small businesses will miss out due to Council incompetence!

      I would greatly appreciate if you would pass this on to Tim Dwelly and whoever is responsible for this initiative at Cornwall Council, as I have had no response on the issue from anyone!

  2. As clarification to Edwina’s comment:

    This fund isn’t for self-employed – it’s for businesses with property costs who do not pay rates directly, which may be run by someone who IS self-employed!

    The awards are supposed to based on an assessment of these costs, but Cornwall have just decided to make the full £10k grant to any qualifying, rather than UP TO £10k as per the gov’t guidance – hardly surprising they are saying the fund will be insufficient, but questions the competence of CC policymakers.

  3. How does this link in to the claims of 8,000 (?) of the supposed 10,000 second home owners for a slice of this very limited tax-payers cake? Several millions gone to waste there?

  4. CC didn’t make a mistake, the government moved the goal posts Late on Friday night, which is most welcome, but this creates another problem in that it places pressure on the limited fund. Simply we need more money to help the higher than national average number of self employed in Cornwall.

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