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Council ready to support businesses with new government lockdown grant schemes

Cornwall Council is launching the application process for the Government’s new Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme to support businesses registered for business rates that have been forced to close as a result of the second coronavirus lockdown.    

Details are on the Council’s website www.cornwall.gov.uk/businesssupportgrant

The Council will be directly contacting around 20,500 businesses on its business rates database that could be eligible and encouraging them to apply. 

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Eligible businesses include those that have been told they must shut by law under the national lockdown such as non-essential retail shops, restaurants, holiday accommodation, cafes and bars as well as hairdressers and beauty salons.  You will also be eligible if you run a retail business that is still offering click and collect or a restaurant or café that has moved to take-away only during lockdown. 

Businesses who have not been forced by law to close will not be eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme. 

Depending on whether a business meets the eligibility criteria set by the Government and their rateable value, grants range from £1,334 to £3,000 for the 28-day lockdown period.  

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council cabinet member for culture, economy and planning said: Businesses are under tremendous strain as it is, so it’s important that the application system is as straightforward as possible, and businesses know from the outset if they qualify or not. 

We have been allocated £24 million from the government to support eligible businesses who have been told they must close, or who are only allowed to offer take-away, delivery or click and collect services, because of the latest coronavirus lockdown. 

There is a promise from the government that if this money is not enough to pay all eligible businesses, then there is a top up available. 

As with the previous government business support scheme, those businesses eligible to receive the Local Restrictions Support Grant are determined in accordance with the criteria set by the government, not Cornwall Council.  These include holiday lets registered for business rates that have been forced to close due to lockdown. 

Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “These grants will be a lifeline for many businesses who have had to close their doors again because of the second lockdown, many of whom were only just getting back on their feet. We are urging any business that has been told to shut by law to check their eligibility with Cornwall Council and if eligible apply for their grant without delay.” 

Ann Vandermeulen, Cornwall Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said: “These grants will be welcomed by small businesses across Cornwall whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the latest lockdown. It’s important that they check the criteria and if eligible apply as soon as possible.” 

Tim Dwelly adds: This support for businesses that are forced to close is welcome.  But there will be other businesses who have had to close but will not be eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant.  If they are not registered for business rates, they don’t meet the government’s criteria.  There are also businesses in the supply chain, such as some of our local food and drink producers, that will be severely affected as, although they are able to stay open, they are not able to supply to restaurants which have been forced to close during lockdown.  

To offer some support to those businesses not eligible under the Local Restrictions Support Grant, the Government has allocated £11.4 million to Cornwall Council for Additional Restriction Grants.   

The Council is working with Cornwall’s business leaders to ensure the application process we put in place for these Additional Restriction Grants is targeted at those who need it most.  Details of the Additional Restriction Grant scheme will be announced next week. 

Businesses can also find out more about other support available by contacting the Growth Hub.  Their service is free, independent and impartial and their friendly team of locally based experts work directly with businesses to help identify and access the support they need no matter what their circumstances.  Contact Growth Hub on 01209 708 660 from 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday, or visit the website for a webchat with the team or to request a call back. www.ciosgrowthhub.com 

 

Posted 13 November 2020