THE owner of a small car care company in Christchurch has been forced to close its doors and leaving their current business property after an unsuccessful application for a small business rates relief grant meant that having their unit was not "financially unviable".

KDM Detailing and Valeting was due to receive a Business Support Grant through the council but due to complications with council assistance in separating the original building into individual units, the company was not successful.

This comes after BCP council have announced over 4,000 businesses across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have received Business Support Grants, totalling over £55 million from BCP Council to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

In a post written on the company’s Facebook page last week, owner Kieran Ray said: “At this time of year I'm meant to be fully booked and getting everyone's beloved vehicles ready for the summer.

“Unfortunately, I'm doing the complete opposite, all bookings cancelled due to the current restrictions and no income for five weeks has and will continue to take much needed funds from the business and my personal finances.

“Due to BCP council not splitting the newly built units up on paper means the grant will be delayed or not paid to the businesses currently in the same building at all.”

As of Friday May 1, KDM Detailing and Valeting be leaving their current business premises.

The business, which has been running for just over two years, is not shutting down and will instead be running as a mobile service.

The grant process is not automatic, and Business Ratepayers which have not yet applied are encouraged to use the online application process at soon as possible.

Providing all the information supplied is accurate, the Council aims to make payments within seven working days.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said: “To date we have processed 4279 claims for the Business Support Grants and paid out £55m to eligible businesses in our area.

“We appreciate that not all Ratepayers will meet the government’s set awarding criteria and unfortunately this includes the business in question.

“The government criteria on these grants is very specific and we have no discretion over who the grants can be provided to.

The leader of BCP Council also said that the council believes there are businesses eligible for either the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant and not currently on its records

Cllr Slade added: “As a council we have been lobbying the government to make them aware of the business types that are affected and will continue to do so, both directly and through our MPs and with partners including the Dorset LEP and Chamber of Commerce.

“Should the criteria change we will liaise with businesses so that they can reapply if appropriate.”