A new grant scheme aimed at small businesses who have not been eligible for support during the coronavirus pandemic has opened in North Devon and Torridge.

The Government’s discretionary grant scheme launched on Monday June 1 and will be administered by North Devon and Torridge district councils.

The grants, which will range from £1,000 to £25,000, are aimed at helping small and micro businesses, and includes all those that have not been eligible for any other grant – with the exception of the self-employed income support scheme, or the furloughed Job Retention Scheme – and were trading on March 11, 2020.

Both the Government and the district councils have identified business types which will be prioritised for funding support.

North Devon and Torridge councils have identified manufacturing, food and drink and creative and digital industries for support, as well as businesses whose main customer base is in retail, hospitality and leisure.

Business types prioritised in line with government requirements include small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces; regular market traders with fixed costs who do not have their own business rates assessment; bed and breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates, and charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief which would otherwise have been eligible for other relief schemes.

Torridge District Council (TDC) leader, Councillor Ken James, said: “We are glad that through this latest initiative we will be able to provide further, much needed support, to important sectors of our local economy.

“As before our teams will be working as quickly as possible to allocate and pay out funds as we appreciate the money will be vitally important to anybody applying. Hopefully this will sustain many more businesses through these difficult times.”

TDC will accept applications in three separate tranches, with those not successful in the first rounds rolled forward for another chance until all funds have been allocated.

North Devon Council leader David Worden said: “This has been an extremely testing time for many of the district’s small business owners, especially those who found they were not eligible for financial support outside of the Government’s furlough scheme.

“We are grateful to our officers, who have been working extremely hard in preparation to administer this new discretionary grant in a very narrow time frame.

“We’re pleased that we’ll be in a position to take applications for the grant from June 1.”

To apply in North Devon, visit North Devon Council’s coronavirus discretionary grants page.

To apply in Torridge, visit Torridge District Council’s discretionary business grant page.