Thanks to the feedback sent in from many of you out there, I have, along with many of you, been trying to get my head around how Local Councils are handling the Discretionary Business Grants for which they have been given the funds to distribute.
As you would expect if its associated with a Local Council, most of them are playing hardball and having been given the discretion to pay them out to whoever they like in their local business community, many of them are awarding them to those businesses they think are going to, at a later date, if things ever get back to normal, fund their coffers the most.
They can bleat and squeal as much as they like, but facts speak for themselves, and having seen the total shambles most of them are making of distributing those grants I am sure many of you out there have hit a brick wall yourself if you have tried to claim one of them.
Here are some of the problems you may have faced or more than likely will do when claiming a Discretionary Business Grant from your local council.
Council Website Problems – One of the most common problems you will face is the local council website will be poorly designed, and you will have to spend hours trying to find the Business Grant Section. Many have not updated the grants section when you finally find them, and some will not give you the right and up to date information you are seeking either.
Cherry Picking – Make no mistake about it, most councils want to help those that do pay business rates to keep their coffers filled as they are valuable to them, for they get a fair old chunk of those rates paid to them each year. So there is a good chance you will not get a grant if your local council thinks you are not going to be a good return on investment to them so to speak over the long term.
Poor Communication – Trying to get through to someone with a brain at your Local Council is of course difficult for most people, so if you email or phone up expect to be given the run around and told to check their websites for updates, those being the websites many Councils are not updating of course.
Fixed Costs – You will find you are often asked to prove you have fixed costs each month if you apply for a Discretionary Business Grant and will also be asked to prove your income has been reduced due to Covid. So, make sure you upload and send to them every document they ask for, as without doing so they will reject your application.
Declines Based on SEISS – Seen more than enough councils also stating that if you have received an SEISS payment then you can kiss goodbye to any idea of getting a discretionary business grant.
Be aware that Rishi and the gang have told councils they have the total discretion to who they can pay those Discretionary Business Grants to, but he has not given them anywhere near enough cash to help everyone, so it is 100% a post code lottery as to whether you will get one or not.
The above is not a definitive list of the excuses your local council may give you to decline you a grant but will give you some idea of just how prejudiced some of them are. Some councils I must add have been good as gold and have been firing out payments to everyone they can help with no cherry picking or unfair rules.
HSBC Bounce Back Loan Top-Ups
Good news at last if you are one of the huge number of people that are still waiting for HSBC to start firing out their Bounce Back Loan Top-Ups, I have now seen more than enough proof from my Twitter gang to be confident they are finally both sending out EchoSign’s and paying those top ups out too.
Be aware not everyone has been sorted out yet, so if you are still waiting, you are not the only one. Got wind of many people receiving echo-signs yesterday from those who applied in the first few days of the top up facility going live at HSBC, but in no logical order I must add, so there is no rhyme or reason as to when they are processing them as usual.