TWO councils have urged businesses who missed out on earlier coronavirus grant schemes to apply for a share of more than £3million of government support.

Blackburn with Darwen and Ribble Valley boroughs have now received their cash allocations for the Local Discretionary Fund aimed at small and micro-businesses.

The new scheme is aimed at those ineligible for the Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funds.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has £2.25million to give out and Ribble Valley £867,750 .

The grants will support small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces; regular market traders without a business rate assessment; bed and breakfasts that pay council tax instead of business rates and charity properties receiving charitable business rates relief.

Cllr Phil Riley,Blackburn with Darwen Council 's growth boss, said: “This has been an incredibly difficult time for businesses in our borough. We are encouraging local businesses that meet the criteria guiding our new discretionary grant to apply to the council from today. The additional funding from government to support our local businesses is welcome. We will seek further government funding if we are unable to support all eligible businesses in acute economic need”.

Ribble Valley Council leader Cllr Stephen Atkinson said: “We are pleased the Government has recognised that a number of businesses missed out on support under the previous grant schemes.

“We will be using our knowledge of the local economy to assist those small businesses that fall within the new criteria and can demonstrate they are most in need of support.”