SMALL businesses across Reading have a two-week window to apply for new grant funding to help support them through the Covid-19 crisis.

Local firms have until Sunday, June 14, to apply for Reading Borough Council’s new Discretionary Grant Fund Scheme.

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They can check if they meet the eligibility criteria and complete an application form here.

Reading expects to be given around £1.4 million by government, as part of a new national scheme created to support certain small businesses which previously fell outside the scope of the main business grant funds scheme.

The council’s scheme closely follows central government guidance in terms of criteria and which businesses are eligible.

Due to the limited funds available, the council fully expects demand for grants to significantly outweigh supply.

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Grant values will therefore only be finalised once the two week application window has shut, at which point the council can establish demand, carry out the relevant checks and ensure financial support reaches the maximum number of small local businesses in Reading.

A two-tier payment approach has been designed by the council based on the estimated rateable value (RV) of businesses.

No grants will be awarded without an application being made and incomplete claims or claims received after June 14 will not be considered.

At this stage, it is anticipated payments to successful businesses will be made by BACS on week commencing June 22.

Councillor Jason Brock, RBC leader, said: "It has understandably been a hugely worrying few months for local businesses in Reading, both large and small.

"Council officers have worked hard to create a scheme for Reading which takes into account national guidance and is consistent with our neighbouring authorities.

"It is also important to emphasise up front that the level of funding available will only be determined on the basis of number of eligible claims.

"If demand is high, and I anticipate that it will be, we will be lobbying government for further funding to help businesses across our town.

“Small businesses now have a fortnight to submit their application, and by June 14 at the latest, at which point the council will be in a position to verify the number of eligible businesses and level of awards.

“We expect to be in a position to start distributing that vital money in a little over three weeks which – alongside the potential easing of some restrictions on local trade from mid-June – will be a welcome boost for small businesses at this challenging time.”

Eligibility criteria for the Discretionary Grant Fund Scheme have been set by Central Government and can be found online.

If any local businesses has questions around the application process, or are unsure if they are eligible, they can email