Businesses hit by lockdown urged to apply for council funding

Rishi Sunak and David Brown

East Cambs announces next raft of government business grants following Tier 4 and lockdown restrictions. Right: Councillor David Brown, chairman of the finance and assets committee. Left: Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer. - Credit: EAST CAMBS COUNCIL/UK GOVERNMENT

Three new government grants worth thousands of pounds are available to businesses that have been severely impacted by tier four and current lockdown restrictions.

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East Cambridgeshire District Council has published details of the different grants, which are: 

  • the local restrictions support grant (closed) to cover the tier four restrictions from December 26 to January 4
  • the local restrictions support grant (closed) to cover the national lockdown from January 5 until February 15 
  • the closed business lockdown payment, which is a one-off payment for January 5 to February 15

The funding for all three grant schemes is only available to businesses with a business rates account that was required to close because of the formal publication of lockdown regulations under Public Health legislation. 

The funding is not available to businesses that have elected to close for other reasons.


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Businesses required to close under national restrictions include all non-essential retail, indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, entertainment venues and personal care facilities. 

A more detailed list of the businesses required to close can be found on the GOV.UK website.

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Businesses have been identified as eligible by East Cambridgeshire District Council’s ratings list and will now be contacted via email and post.

To be eligible for this funding, a business must be in East Cambridgeshire and have been open as usual in the week before Government restrictions required them to close, either through tier-based restrictions or national restrictions.

For wet-led pubs, this is from November 2 and for all other businesses this is from December 21.

Businesses must have also been providing in-person services to customers from the premises and must have been registered as the occupier for business rates on December 26.

Businesses that set up ‘click and collect’ services and restaurants who provided a takeaway service are still able to claim grants as their substantive business was closed.

Businesses that chose to close but were not required to and those that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of EU State Aid permitted are not eligible for these grants.

Businesses that do not meet the criteria, but have still been severely impacted by Government Covid-19 restrictions will be considered as part of the council’s discretionary scheme, which is currently being formulated. 

The grants that will be awarded to businesses are based on the rateable value of their premises on December 26.

Councillor David Brown, chairman of the finance and assets committee, said: “This is already a difficult time for businesses, so we have tried to make applying for these grants as simple as possible. 

"We will be contacting eligible businesses with one form for all three grants minimising the amount of paperwork required.

“It is important for businesses to note that the eligibility for these grants is not the same as the first lockdown period and are only available for those who have been legally required to close." 

Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below will receive £476.43 for the ten days they were put into tier four restrictions, £2,001 for the six weeks they were placed under national lockdown restrictions and £4,000 from the closed business lockdown payments. This means a total of £6,477.43 in Government support.

Businesses with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive £714.29 for the ten days they were put into tier four restrictions, £3,000 for the six weeks they were placed under national lockdown restrictions and £6,000 from the closed 
business lockdown payment. This means a total of £9,714.29 in Government support.

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above will receive £1,071.43 for the ten days they were put into tier four restrictions, £4,500 for the six weeks they were placed under national lockdown restrictions and £9,000 from the closed business lockdown payment. This means a total of £14,571.43 in Government support.

These grants will be paid as one-off payments to cover the period from December 26 to February 15.

Eligible businesses will get one grant for each property liable for business rates. Eligible ratepayers will be contacted by the council.  

The closing date for applications to be returned is March 31. For more information email covid19businessgrants@eastcambs.gov.uk or call 01353 665555.

For more information on business grants, visit the East Cambridgeshire District Council website: https://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/content/coronavirus-business-grants-0
 

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