Businesses urged to claim coronavirus grants

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Drive to reduce Covid cases in North Somerset. - Credit: Archant

Businesses in North Somerset which had to close during the second national Covid-19 lockdown in November are being encouraged to make their claims for Government support grants soon. 

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses which had been open as usual but were required to close due to the national lockdown restrictions which came into effect on November 5. 

Businesses must pay business rates for the premises they occupy to be eligible for the grant. Grants are based on the rateable value of the property and will be paid for the period November 5 to December 2. 

The grants are £1,334 for properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under; £2,000 for properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000; or £3,000 for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over. 

The Government also introduced a new Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for businesses not eligible for the LRSG.  

This is a discretionary payment for businesses that were not required to close but were severely impacted by the temporary restrictions. 

Eligible businesses must have been open as usual before the new restrictions were imposed and have up to 49 employees.  

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The value of grants is based mainly on the number of employees, but not exclusively, up to £1,000 for businesses with up to 10 employees or up to £1,500 for businesses with 11 to 49 employees. 

Cllr Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council's executive member for business, economy and employment, said: "We believe there are many businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or other of these grants but have not yet applied. 

“I urge businesses to check their eligibility and apply soon. We have been given an allocation of funding from government and want to ensure it reaches the businesses who need it.  

“We have written to all businesses who were awarded grants during the spring lockdown and are writing again now to those who have not made a claim in the latest round of funding. 

"But don't wait for the letter. If you think you're eligible, get in touch now. We aim to validate claims within 14 days of receiving all the information required." 

The council is awaiting the full detail of the funding that will be made available to those businesses still not able to re-open while the area is placed in the 'very high' alert level tier three restrictions by government. 

Cllr Canniford added: "As soon as we are able to launch the claims process for those businesses who will continue to remain closed under the tier three restrictions we will provide a further update. 

"This is an incredibly difficult time for our hospitality and entertainment businesses and we will do all that we can to support them." 

Applications for the LRSG and ARG grants can be made online at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/businesssupportgrant

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