Thursday, November 12, 2020

News: Additional grants for excluded Rotherham businesses


Businesses in South Yorkshire that have been excluded from national grant support during the coronavirus pandemic could be given a lifeline via the Sheffield City Region (SCR).

The SCR Mayoral Combined Authority, comprised of Mayor Dan Jarvis, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the leaders of Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham councils, is in the process of distributing more than £30m of discretionary grants to support those businesses and self-employed traders forced to close or adversely affected due to local and national restrictions, such as leisure, hospitality and accommodation businesses.

Meeting Papers show that the £30m South Yorkshire Business Support Scheme will focus on:

- Businesses forced to close but not eligible for Government support (e.g. no rateable value - share premises)
- Newly self-employed: these are individuals who set up in business after 6 April 2019 and therefore do not have a tax return from the required 3 year period 2016-17/2017-18/2018-19
- Freelancers: those on short-term PAYE contracts cannot claim under the Job Retention Scheme despite being on payroll. Those in this category, whilst working as freelancers, are often required to be on payroll. Nor can they claim under the self-employed support scheme (SEISS) if less than 50% of their earnings comes from self-employment
- Businesses in the local supply chain adversely impacted
- A discretionary fund to enable local councils provide further support where required

Eligible businesses who suffered a loss of trade when South Yorkshire was placed in Tier 2 and then in Tier 3 are set to be supported via a separate fund. All grants will be applied at the discretion of each local authority to the agreed common criteria and all payments will be a one-off.

Mayor Dan Jarvis said: "COVID has caused significant turbulence for workers and businesses, so securing extra financial support when South Yorkshire entered tier 3 in October was of the utmost importance. Local authority leaders and I worked around the clock to secure as much support as possible from Government.

"We have been working hard to develop a scheme which makes every pound count, so it supports as many workers and employers across the region as possible. I’m pleased that this funding is now available, and I would strongly encourage any businesses or self-employed traders to check if they are eligible and apply.

"This package will help our businesses through difficult times as we look to recover from the pandemic as quickly as possible. I continue to press Government to support South Yorkshire through COVID restrictions, and to invest in long-term economic renewal at the Spending Review, by backing our Renewal Action Plan."

Businesses in Rotherham which have been required to close as a result of the new Covid-19 Alert Level Very High (Tier 3) restrictions can now claim financial support through Rotherham Council.

Between £1,334 and £3,000 per month in Local Restrictions Support Grant funding is available to businesses. The amount businesses receive is based on their rateable value.

Applications should be made through Rotherham Council's website.

Cllr. Saghir Alam, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Finance at Rotherham Council, said: "Entering the Tier 3 Very High Alert restrictions is tough on everyone, not least those businesses that have had to close and the people that work for them.

"I would urge those businesses to apply for this support so we can get it out to them as soon as possible. Of course, we would have liked the support to have been greater, but this is a national scheme with set criteria and funding which we are administering locally on behalf of Government.

"The Very High Alert Level will be reviewed every 28 days but we have been assured by the Government that this financial support will remain in place while these restrictions are."

Images: SCR Growth Hub


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