Monday, February 15, 2021

News: Companies urged to apply for Covid support funding


New "Open Business" grants have extended support to those losing trade due to reduced footfall or visitor confidence, and other business types are also getting more help as restrictions continue.

The new Open Business Grants will provide between £1,400 and £3,150 to companies that:

- provide goods or services to the public in person
- have not themsleves been forced to close
- have fixed premises costs.

Councillor Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, said: “We recognise that many businesses, which can technically remain open under the COVID regulations, are suffering. Perhaps because the businesses around them have closed or moved to homeworking, or because their customers don’t feel safe visiting. The new Open Business grants will mean more of them can now access financial support.”

This is the latest of a series of regional schemes being delivered thanks to funding secured from the Government by local authorities in South Yorkshire, including Rotherham Council, working in partnership with Sheffield City Region. The £30m fund is being used across the region to establish programmes helping businesses that were not eligible for national schemes.

To date Rotherham Council has paid more than £61m of COVID support to around 5,000 businesses from the local, regional and central government funding it administers.

The payments available through many of these schemes have also now increased significantly, to help businesses cope with the ongoing COVID restrictions.

Councillor Saghir Alam, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Finance at Rotherham Council, explained: “There is no need for businesses who have already received funding to re-apply for these increases. So long as their details remain the same, they will receive automatic top-up payments. Businesses who are only now applying for the first time will also be able to receive the increased amounts. If there are any Rotherham-based businesses who’ve not yet received financial help, I urge them to apply.”

Schemes available through Rotherham Council include support to:

- businesses paying rent or rates that were forced to close by tier 2, tier 3 or national lockdown restrictions
- businesses paying rent or rates whose trade was directly impacted by tier 2, tier 3 and national lockdown restrictions
- businesses paying rent or rates that form the supply chain of those sectors directly impacted by tier 2, 3 and national lockdown restrictions
- business with fixed premises costs that provide goods or services to the public in person, but have not been forced to close themselves
- small-enterprises and mobile businesses with significant ongoing fixed costs
- licensed taxi drivers.

Further information can be found on the Council's Covid Business Support pages.

Images: RMBC


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