Five support grants available for local businesses

New support grants are available for local businesses affected by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic - even those already receiving business rates relief.

We have distributed over £7,580,000 of government grants to support over 600 local businesses through the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic since November, and over £30 million in total.
 
For full details, visit https://www.guildford.gov.uk/article/23827/Financial-Help-for-Business-during-Covid-19.

Businesses which received support grants for Lockdown 2 in November 2020 are being automatically contacted by us with details of grants to cover Lockdown 3 which began on 6 January - a new application is not needed. Further payments may also be available to cover beyond this initial 42-day lockdown period. We are currently awaiting further government guidance.

We currently have five grants available: Discretionary COVID Hardship Scheme for Business, Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed), Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open), Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) and Christmas Support Payments.

Lead Councillor for Finance, Cllr Tim Anderson, says:

"We understand that many local businesses are facing ongoing and new financial difficulty due to the continued impact of the global pandemic. As a Local Authority, we are here to support all of our local businesses and provide as much help as we can. We have already distributed over £30 million in government grants and provided business rate relief to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

"New grants to help businesses are being introduced regularly. All new schemes are published on our website. We would recommend that businesses bookmark this page. Our new Guildford Borough Council Discretionary Covid Hardship Scheme for Business will help businesses who may not have met the criteria to apply for grants before."

Cllr Anderson continued: "We invite all businesses to get in touch as we may be able to help in other ways, including through our assistance to help businesses follow new licensing guidelines. We have also been working with the Community Foundation for Surrey's Coronavirus Response Fund, as the Mayor of Guildford's chosen charity for 2020-21, to match fund any donations to support local charities and voluntary organisations helping vulnerable, elderly and isolated members of the community. Businesses can also get information and support through the Enterprise M3 Growth Hub, at www.enterprisem3growthhub.co.uk/.

"Additional help may be available through the government's Kickstart Scheme and new investment in 'green' jobs. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has recently published information on additional resources available to employers and employees, including support offered by the National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses, at www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-support-for-business-from-outside-government."

Applications for our new Discretionary Covid Hardship Scheme for Business, for companies which have lost revenue and have fixed business costs but have not been eligible for other grants, close at 6pm on Monday 22 February. This grant will be paid as a lump sum to cover the period from 5 November 2020 to 31 March 2021 and applies to businesses which do not qualify for the Local Restrictions Support Grants (Open or Closed) or Additional Restrictions Grant. This grant is not to support income or salaries and businesses need to demonstrate that their ability to meet business-related fixed costs is severely constrained by Covid restrictions meaning that turnover has been reduced by over 25%.

Local Restrictions Support Grants (Open and Closed) are available for businesses which have had to close due to government restrictions, or who have been able to remain open but are in the supply chain to the hospitality, leisure, travel, holiday, airline, cultural, arts and tourism sectors. These grants are calculated on the rateable value of the premises in three categories: £15,000 or under, £15,001 to £50,999, and £51,000 and over. Businesses must be ratepayers but can still be eligible if they have received 100% business rate relief.

Council Tax payers who operate a business from home in the supply chain to the hospitality, leisure, travel, holiday, airline, cultural, arts and tourism sectors are also eligible.

Businesses which are offering takeaway, click and collect or online delivery services will be counted as closed if their main business has had to close. Companies which have chosen to close but not been required to will not be eligible, along with those who have already received grant equal to the maximum levels of state aid, are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made.

An additional one-off payment is available for recipients of Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) for the period from 5 January 2021, which will be processed at the same time as the grant. These payments are £4000 for properties with a rateable value of up to £15,000; £6000 for properties between £15,001 and £50,999; and £9000 for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or more.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) is available to nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars. We will contact businesses in these sectors who received payments during lockdown 2.

A Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs of £1000 is still available for pubs that derive less than 50% of their income from sales of food, to cover periods where authorities were in Tier 2 or Tier 3 on the 2 or 16 December.

Published Friday 19 February