Charity Tax Group (CTG) has led a group of VCSE sector organisations in calling on the government to divert surplus council coronavirus funding to small charities, reports Civil Society.
The group, which includes NCVO, NAVCA and the Small Charities Coalition has proposed that the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reform the Small Business Grant scheme.
The scheme enables businesses in England to apply for a one-off grant of up to £10,000 via their local authority.
However, the scheme is not available to charities as it is only available to those organisations that get small business rates relief – however it is not available to organisations that claim charity business rates relief.
CTG has stated that this has left charities at “serious disadvantage” when compared to businesses.
The reforms would remove the requirement for organisations to receive small business rates relief, effectively opening the scheme to charities.
According to CTG, the reform would not require additional funding as around £4bn of the money allocated to the Small Business Grant scheme remains unspent. If unspent, this money would simply be returned to government.