A COUNCIL finance boss has warned a government coronavirus grant scheme to support small businesses is likely to run out of cash.

The Covid-19 Discretionary Business Grants Programme was set up to help firms which missed out on two other schemes - the Small

Business Grant Fund and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

So far Blackburn with Darwen Council has paid out more than £36.5million to more than 3,300 borough businesses from these two programmes.

Now the borough's finance boss Cllr Vicky McGurk has told colleagues in a report: "The government has determined the council will receive a maximum discretionary funding allocation of £2.25m.

"The expectation that local business demand for discretionary grant support will outstrip the £2.25m made available by government."

The payments are aimed at bed and breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates; businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces; charities with properties which receive rates relief; and regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.

Pendle Council's leader Mohammed Iqbal is urging borough businesses which employ less than 50 people to apply for the new discretionary grants.

Small and micro businesses have until midnight on Wednesday June 10 to apply for up to £10,000 as a cash payment.

Pendle has a total funding pot of £1.25m for the Covid-19 Discretionary Business Grants Programme.

Cllr Iqbal said: "These grants will be a lifeline for small businesses and help them to survive as the government starts to expand the number of businesses which can start to re-open."