Brighton & Hove Labour are frustrated with the government’s refusal to adapt its funding rules and allow local businesses to access around £11m of financial support.
Brighton & Hove City Council distributed around £68m in small business grants, and around £3.7m in discretionary grants to support local businesses.
However, inflexible government rules are now stopping the council from allocating the remaining £11m through more discretionary grants.
Labour lobbied the government directly to give local authorities the flexibility to allocate leftover ‘small business grant’ funds to businesses in need through discretionary grants. The council also wrote to government with local business representative groups such as the Federation of Small Businesses and Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership. These appeals have sadly fallen on deaf ears in Westminster.
The leader of the council’s Labour Group, Councillor Nancy Platts, said:
“According to the Local Government Association, across the country more than a billion pounds of emergency Covid-19 funding that was announced to support businesses will not be used to support businesses after all.
“Jobs and livelihoods must always come first. People have put their heart and souls into their businesses, they have invested their own time and money to contribute to the local economy.
“And now more than 600 businesses in Brighton & Hove are being let down by the Government.”