Council reveals details of £1 million support fund for York businesses

Photograph: Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
3 Apr 2020 @ 7.29 pm
| Business

City of York Council has released details of further support for York businesses, including its £1m scheme to help York’s small and micro businesses who are set to miss out on government support.

The authority’s micro business grants scheme aims to deliver grants of up to £1,000 into 1,000 self-employed, micro and small businesses who need it most. 

Applications for the grants are now open, and will be available to businesses which:

  • have 50 or fewer employees, including one person business/self-employed;
  • need support adapting to new trading arrangements;
  • are experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus, and
  • do not qualify for any other government grant or rate relief support packages.

People will be able to apply by filling in an online form, to be released shortly.

‘Prepare your applications’

Cllr Keith Aspden

Also by Easter the council will launch a new fund to give up to 1,000 companies free membership of the Federation of Small Business.

Memberships will be available to businesses with 30 or fewer employees. This will give each business access to a range of services, covering everything from legal and advice to cyber protection and insurance.

Council leader Keith Aspden said: “We are continuing to work with York BID and Make it York to support our local businesses so they can secure cashflow, adapt to the current crisis and protect jobs.

“We have successfully lobbied the government to increase support for our 12,000 self-employed residents, deferred rent on all our commercial properties and acted quickly to make sure £110m reaches businesses as soon as possible.

“Business rates holidays have been applied to over 3000 accounts, and the first batch of £44m coronavirus grants set to benefit 3,500 York companies will be paid early next week.

“But there are many businesses who don’t qualify for that support, so I would urge them all to look at our scheme and prepare for applications to open next week.”

Vital part of the economy

Grants will be issued to the first 1,000 businesses which meet the criteria, so businesses are advised to prepare evidence in advance.

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and strategic planning, said: “York’s small, micro and one-person businesses are a vital part of our economy, worth £1bn and employing thousands of people. Not all have been reached by Government packages.

“These local grants and FSB membership will offer well over 1000 businesses the help to do what they do best – innovate, adapt and reach customers with their fantastic products.

“We’re also backing campaigns in the local media to connect those businesses which can still operate to customers across York.”

This includes the YorkMix free directory promoting city businesses.

For details of free advertising with a massive reach, and all other business support in the city, visit