LGA statement on IFS report on COVID-19 business grant scheme

“If all eligible businesses can be contacted and paid, and funding for the discretionary scheme is spent in full, we estimate there could be an underspend of £600 million."


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Responding to the report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on the COVID-19 business grant scheme, Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:

“Government grants have been a vital lifeline to businesses struggling and worried about the future.

“Councils have worked at pace to distribute more than £10 billion of this funding with almost 9 in 10 eligible small businesses now having been paid. They continue to try and identify businesses and distribute the rest as soon as possible.

“If all eligible businesses can be contacted and paid, and funding for the discretionary scheme is spent in full, we estimate there could be an underspend of £600 million.

“The Government should redistribute any unspent resources from this scheme, including any clawed back, to councils to be spent on local efforts to help further support businesses and reboot local economies as we move into the next phase of this crisis.”