SMALL and medium-sized enterprises and charities in Leeds affected by the Covid-19 crisis are being offered the chance of help.

Organisations with less than 250 employees are being invited to apply for discretionary grant funding with the fund reopening for a further four weeks, until August 28.

Phase one of the DGF scheme opened on June 1 for a period of four weeks. From then until June 28, the council supported more than 364 organisations, with £2,360,000 of funding being provided to businesses and charities.

Businesses which did not receive funding in the first phase now have until Friday, August 28 to apply. Grants will be available up to a maximum of £10,000.

Applicants have to be an SME or charity with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs, and be able to demonstrate a significant impact of the pandemic on their business. The second phase seeks to support a wider cohort of businesses, including some of those that were not eligible in the first phase. Leeds City Council is encouraging businesses to check the eligibility criteria as they may now qualify

A business or charity can apply for a grant if:

• it has not received any other coronavirus funding – no change.

• it was trading on the March 11, 2020 – no change.

• it has less than 250 employees - changed from 50 employees.

•it occupies all or part of a non-domestic property – no change.

•the property has a rateable value of less than £71,000, or the annual rent or mortgage payments are less than £71,000 – changed from £51k.

•it has yearly fixed property costs of £4,000 or more – changed from £8,000.

•it is expecting to lose 25% of revenue between March and September 2020 due to coronavirus – no change.

Businesses can make an application for a grant via

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “We realise how difficult times are for businesses as they continue to be affected by the pandemic.

“The reopening of the Discretionary Grant Fund is welcome additional support and will allow a number of businesses who may have previously missed out or not been eligible in phase one to benefit this time round.

“I would encourage all businesses who have not yet applied to make themselves familiar with the eligibility criteria and the information they need to submit a successful application before the closing date”.