A NEW cash pot for small Blackburn with Darwen businesses will be available from early next month to help them recover from the coronavirus crisis.

The new Local Discretionary Fund will offer limited financial support to help businesses in specific sectors which have not received any public funding support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is designed to support small businesses in defined sectors with less than 50 employees. The maximum grant available will be £25,000, though most payments are expected to be £10,000 or less.

Hospitality businesses, small manufacturers, shared business accommodation, bed and breakfast establishments, and some charities will be eligible.

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council's growth boss, said: "This fund is separate and different from the previous government grants, and there are different rules and guidelines to follow.

"There are different eligibility requirements for this round of funds. It has taken a while to pin down the rules for this.

"Most grants will be under £10,000 and we expect that there will be more demand than there are funds.

"Unfortunately, there is not anywhere near as much money in this pot by a long shot and it can only go so far. Certain businesses will have priority based on ultimate need and impact. We are developing a new way to apply for these and believe businesses will be able to apply from early June.”