SOME businesses struggling with the impact of the coronavirus lockdown are missing out on £10,000 grants because they do not realise they are eligible, it is claimed.

Dorset Chamber says some firms mistakenly believe that the government help is only for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

But companies with a rateable value of under £15,000 that receive some form of rate relief can claim £10,000 from the Small Business Grant Fund whatever sector they are in.

Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “This money could make the difference between survival and failure for some businesses.

“The local authorities are doing a great job at administering the grants and making it as easy as possible yet some firms are not aware of the schemes or are not applying.

“It may be because they are not tuned into social media or think that they don’t qualify, but the support is there and I would encourage all businesses to seize every penny they are entitled to.”

The chamber and one of its platinum business partners, PKF Francis Clark, have been encouraging business to seize the support.

Firms still qualify for the £10,000 grant even if they pay no business rates at all because of rate relief, have temporarily suspended trading due to coronavirus or use premises solely for storage.

James Robinson, partner with chartered accountants and business advisors PKF Francis Clark in Poole, said: “There are some common misconceptions whereby some businesses believe that they are not eligible for grants when in fact they are.

“We have helped a variety of such clients who have been able to successfully claim the £10,000 grant.

“I’ve also been working closely with Ian and the Dorset Chamber, the BCP Council economic development team and my contacts in the engineering base to get the message out.

“This is about business advisors and support networks working together to help Dorset businesses through this extremely challenging time and emerge in the best shape possible.”

Businesses can go to the Dorset Council and BCP Council websites to apply for the £10,000 grant via a one-page form.

Dorset Chamber is also providing support including the Dorset Gateway, delivered by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership which provides free signposting to business advice and support.