The Government is closing all the local authority coronavirus grant support funds on September 30 and Sefton has issued two August deadlines for applications. Tony McDonough reports
Business across Sefton who have not yet applied for Government coronavirus support to get their applications in before the scheme closes.
The Government is closing all the local authority grant support funds on September 30. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the schemes in March in a bid to support small firms through the COVID-19 lockdown.
Now Sefton Council has announced two separate deadlines. Applications for the small business grant and retail, leisure and hospitality grants will close on Sunday, August 16. Apply online by clicking here.
And, in a final call to help support businesses the council is reopening its Discretionary Business Grant Fund. The fund has already paid out more than £1.3m to businesses in the borough.
A short application window will be made available to support struggling Sefton businesses who have fixed property costs that can be evidenced by a commercial lease, commercial rent or commercial mortgage agreement or other commercial property related costs such as business insurance.
The fund is open on a first come first serve basis to new applications until the window closes at 11am on Wednesday, August 26, or until all funds are exhausted. This is to allow time to ensure all approved payments can be met by the Government deadline
The Government has asked local authorities to give priority to groups of small businesses that were unable to access the Small Business Grant and Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grant schemes.
These include charities in receipt of charity rate relief, B&Bs which pay council tax, businesses in shared workspaces and regular market traders. Other small businesses, not in these highlighted groups, will also be welcome to apply where eligibility is met.
The council has extended the scheme to certain businesses operating in commercial premises who have a rateable value of £51,000 or a commercial rental or mortgage agreement which is more than £51,000. (businesses who employ more than 50 staff are ineligible, as well as large national chains or their subsidiaries).
To support the grant process, rigorous checks are being undertaken to ensure businesses meet the eligibility criteria. Applicants are urged to read the application guidance before applying and to ensure they provide all the required supporting information to avoid unnecessary delays with approval.
Businesses can apply online by clicking here.