New grant available for shops and businesses in West Suffolk impacted by Covid restrictions

Small and independent shops and other customer-facing businesses providing essential goods and services which are open but have seen their takings devastated by Covid-19 restrictions, may be eligible for a grant under a West Suffolk scheme.

West Suffolk Council has launched the new Additional Restrictions Grant Open January and February scheme to help customer-facing businesses that have been allowed by government to remain open during Tier 4 and the national lockdown restrictions as they provide essential goods and services.

The grant will be available for those West Suffolk businesses that can demonstrate that they have either been impacted by reduced footfall or other associated changes resulting from more people working from home.

John Griffiths, the leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “In recent weeks, we have been speaking to many different businesses about the various grants that are available. One common theme from those conversations is that while there are grants to help many businesses that are closed, there are a great many other businesses selling essential goods and services that are still allowed to open, but are also struggling from the impact of lockdown and the pandemic. We have created this new grant to try to help support some of those businesses during this current period of national lockdown.”

The new Additional Restrictions Grant will be available to businesses in this list that can show a significant loss of income alongside continuing fixed business costs.

They include:

Food retailers with a rateable value of below £51,000, including small supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops. This includes butchers, bakers, greengrocers, fishmongers, and delicatessens;

Market traders selling essential goods;

Off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol;

Mobility and disability support shops;

Newsagents;

Food takeaways;

Post offices;

Laundrettes and dry cleaners;

Bicycle shops;

Vehicle repair and MoT services;

Petrol stations;

Taxi and vehicle hire businesses (with premises);

Meeting room and conference facilities;

Non-urgent medical or health services, including services relating to mental health;

Businesses supplying repair services as their main business;

Day nurseries and pre-schools;

Pet day-care facilities.

Eligibility criteria applies. The grants will be available predominantly but not exclusively to businesses in the rates system. Other businesses in home, mobile or shared premises that are open and delivering customer facing services can still apply.

Businesses will be required to demonstrate the severe impact of Tier 4 and lockdown on their business. Applications must be made on the council’s website before February 15.

West Suffolk Council has also identified a list of businesses that it would not expect to be eligible, but who can apply if they can demonstrate they meet the eligibility criteria. The full list is available on the council’s website.

Businesses in the manufacturing, construction, professional services and other sectors whose main business is not dependent on customer contact will not be eligible to apply.

West Suffolk Council was allocated £3.6m by the government in November 2020 to use for Additional Restrictions Grants to businesses, not just during restrictions and lockdowns for 2020 and 2021 but also the subsequent recovery phase – and it had already paid out £1.2m of this as part of the November lockdown, when the government topped up this funding by another £1.59m earlier this month.

This money is now being used to deliver the Additional Restrictions Grant Closed January and February launched on January 12 as well as the new Additional Restrictions Grant Open January and February which has now been launched.

To apply for the new Additional Restrictions Grant Open January and February grant or any of the other grants visit www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business

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