A new grant scheme worth a total of £23 million has opened to businesses in the West of England to secure jobs and deal with the effects of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Additional Restrictions Grant is a discretionary payment to help businesses that have been adversely impacted by national restrictions imposed to control the spread of Covid-19.
The scheme opened on Monday 16th November. This is in addition to the Government’s Local Restrictions Grant, which is aimed at businesses who are required to close as a result of lockdown.
The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has been working in collaboration with the region’s councils and the Regional Recovery Taskforce to create a consistent regional approach to awarding discretionary grants based on economic need.
The new Additional Restrictions Grant scheme was discussed by the West of England Recovery Taskforce, convened by the Regional Mayor.
The grant support focuses on helping:
- Non-business rate paying businesses that are required to close (including businesses registered for Council Tax);
- Businesses not required to close but have closed due to a significant impact on trading;
- Businesses continuing to operate, but with significantly reduced demand due to social distancing rules.
To provide support to as many businesses as possible, the Additional Restriction Grants will be up to £1,000 for businesses with 10 or less employees and up to £1,500 for those with 11 to 49 employees.
Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor said: “The survival and success of our businesses is vital to protecting decent well-paid jobs in the West of England and securing our recovery.
“This £23m we have secured from the Government will be a big boost and add to the schemes we have already launched in the region to help us get the job done.
“Advice on these new grants and other schemes is available through the West of England Growth Hub and I would encourage businesses to apply as soon as possible to help protect themselves from the impact that Covid-19 is having on their trade.”
The West of England Combined Authority and the Regional Recovery Taskforce are working together with Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils to ensure the grants are consistent. Applications should be made to the council where the business is trading.
Councillor Richard Samuel, deputy Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “We want to help businesses in B&NES survive the impact of the second lockdown.
“The Additional Recovery Grants could provide a lifeline for businesses who fall outside the criteria for the other Government support grants announced earlier this week.
“I’d like to reassure businesses that although the grants are discretionary, we are working to process them consistently and fairly across the region to make sure the money reaches those in need.
“Please get in touch with us and apply online if you think you’re eligible for help.
“Don’t forget that the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum that opened for applications this Tuesday needs to be applied for through us and is not an automatic payment.”