Statement- Small Business Grant
In the first half of 2020, the Parish Council received the £10,000 Small Business Grant.
Though administered by local authorities, this was money received from central Government in order to assist organisations and businesses with additional costs due to Covid. Across the country over 900,000 payments of this grant, and a similar grant, were awarded.
The Parish Council has been questioned, numerous times, by members of the public as to why we did not pass on this money to good causes in the village.
This was not the purpose of the grant and it would not have been legal for us to spend it in such a manner. As a public body, we receive two audits every year and our auditors must be satisfied that we have spent money in an appropriate way.
We have a long-established procedure for the awarding of grants from the Parish Council and each year we give many thousands of pounds to local groups. Any organisation can still contact us for assistance in the usual manner.
Given the majority of our income comes via Council Tax, the Parish Council has not been as hard hit by Covid as normal businesses, though we have incurred Covid related costs and Covid related loss of income and could continue to do so for some time to come. We have, however, contacted the East Riding and Northern Lincolnshire Local Councils Association (an advice body that we are members of) to enquire as to what the situation would be if we did not have £10,000 of Covid related costs. They confirmed that the money would just become part of our general funds to be spent on our normal functions (which does include the awarding of grants).
For the 2021/2022 financial year the Parish Council kept it’s charge on households via Council Tax, which is already one of the lowest in the country at about a third of the national average, the same as it was in 2020/2021. We would not have been able to do this without the safety net the grant provided.