Businesses in West Suffolk that have been forced to close under the latest Covid-19 restrictions are being encouraged to apply for the latest grant support.
Three new grants have been made available.
The first – the Local Restrictions Support Grant is available for all rate-paying businesses required to close as a result of the Tier 4 and/or national lockdown restrictions. Payments are now available for the period covering December 26, 2020, onwards. Government criteria apply.
Alongside this West Suffolk is also reopening the Additional Restrictions Grant January and February 2021 (ARG) to many businesses who were not eligible for other grants but who have been required to close, as well as business who are part of supply chain for closed businesses.
These grants will be paid out of the £3.6m ARG money previously allocated to West Suffolk in November to pay out during lockdowns and restrictions during 2020 and 2021 as well as the subsequent recovery phase.
So far around a third of that money has already been paid out under the first phase although the government has indicated that this grant pot is to be topped up further.
The ARG grant is open to:
Market traders selling “non-essential” goods;
Small bed and breakfast businesses;
Businesses that occupy shared spaces that are required to close;
Home-based businesses that are required to close;
Mobile businesses that are required to close;
Businesses in the supply chain for the retail, hospitality, leisure, events and tourism sectors; and
Community centres attached to places of worship.
The closing date for applications for ARG January/February is February 15, 2021.
The third grant scheme is linked to the national lockdown from January 5, 2021, with the government announcing a one-off Closed Business Lockdown Payment for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure that have been forced to close.
This is subject to government criteria with grants of £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000 available based on the rateable value of business premises.
Finally, businesses who were open during December, but impacted by the Tier 2 restrictions in place can continue to apply for grant support for that period. Pubs whose main business is serving drinks rather than meals can also apply by January 31, 2021, for the government’s Christmas Support Payment.
John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council said: “It is vital that we fight back against the rising number of coronavirus cases and we can all play our part in this by staying at home, keeping safe and protecting the NHS. We, and the government of course, recognise the huge strain businesses are already under after several months of restrictions.
“That is why these three grants are all being made available as contributions towards the costs that businesses will still have to pay with no or low income coming in. Equally people who are eligible can still claim for the grants available in November and December and we would encourage businesses to visit our website to see what support they may be entitled to.”
The council will be using a mix of targeted telephone calls and emails as well as a media and social media campaign to try to make businesses aware of the grants and signpost them to any other grants they may be entitled to.
Businesses wanting to check eligibility or apply for any of the grants can do so at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business