Business grant funds can now support more business types
December 1, 2020
Northumberland County Council has boosted current support available for businesses impacted by COVID-19 with the addition of further funding to help more companies in the county.
Two grant schemes are currently open for businesses which were severely affected by previous regional restrictions – Local Restriction Support Grant (Open) – and by the current national lockdown – Local restriction Support Grant (Closed) Addendum.
Now the Council has moved to support more businesses with the addition of funding to these pots for further business types.
The funds can now support:
⦁ Businesses which directly supply the hospitality, hotel, bed and breakfast and leisure sectors;
⦁ Businesses in the hotel, bed and breakfast and leisure sectors which didn’t close but were severely affected by regional restrictions between 18 September and 4th November, and which don’t have a rateable value; and
⦁ Businesses in in the non-essential retail, hospitality, hotel, bed and breakfast, leisure sectors, personal care facilities, entertainment and tourism venues and leisure sports facilities, which were legally required to close from 5th November to 2 December, and which don’t have a rateable value.
This additional support has been established using a one-off payment which has been made to local authorities to support businesses in their area impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Cllr Nick Oliver, cabinet member for corporate resources at Northumberland County Council said: “We know that there are certain groups of business which have not been able to be supported by the current schemes, and we have been very keen to support as many of these as possible.
“Businesses in the target sectors which don’t have a rateable value are a key group, and also businesses which directly supply the hospitality, hotel, bed and breakfast and leisure sectors which have seen their markets dry up before their eyes.
“There is not a huge pot of money, but we want to support as many businesses as we possibly can, recognising the immediate level of need within the business community in these sectors.
“I urge those in these three groups to get an application in as quickly as they can. We will assess all applications and after the closing date pay out all the grants to eligible businesses that we can as quickly as possible.
“Covid restrictions are going to be with us for a while longer and we will be constantly reviewing this business support, in line with Government guidance, and looking at other ways we can help businesses.
“We also continue to lobby Government for support for those which have not been able to be helped by these schemes or other Government initiatives.”
This additional funding is limited and the council is urging businesses in these three groups to apply as soon as possible, and by no later than Sunday 13 December 2020.
Initial levels of grant have been set, however if the fund is oversubscribed these grants may need to be reduced on a pro-rata basis so that as many businesses as possible can be supported.
Full details and how to apply on an online form are available at www.northumberland.gov.uk/
Businesses will be asked to confirm that they have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and those without a rateable value will be asked to show that they have fixed non-residential property related costs of at least £200 per month. Bed and Breakfast businesses will be excepted from the non-residential restriction and so be able to apply for a grant.
Full details of what information is required is in the scheme guidance and the application form will guide applicants. Applications will close on Sunday 13 December 2020.
The existing grants cover the period up to 2 December 2020. Government will be announcing how each of the schemes will operate from 3 December onwards, and the Council will review the local approach in the light of this.