Struggling businesses offered £9k grant to survive lockdown
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Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in North Somerset can access vital support through the latest lockdown with a one-off grant worth up to £9,000.
Council leaders welcomed news of the 'much-needed funds' which will help business which have been forced to close due to the pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown on Monday to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, due to a rising number of coronavirus cases.
The lockdown came in to force in the early hours of yesterday (Wednesday) morning, meaning retail, leisure and hospitality businesses must close until at least mid-February.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the cash injection to support these sectors and jobs until the spring.
Executive member for economy and community safety at North Somerset Council, Mark Canniford, said: "The grant is great news and the funds are needed, we can’t keep putting the pressure of lockdown onto our businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure without giving them any help.”
The chancellor says the grants will help businesses to get through the months ahead and, crucially, help sustain jobs, so workers are ready to return when they can reopen.
A further £594million is also being made available for local authorities and devolved administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants which might be affected by the restrictions.
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The government says grant top-ups apply to closed businesses in these sectors; £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, £6,000 for those between £15,000 and £51,000 and £9,000 for those valued more than £51,000.
Grant payments will be handled by North Somerset Council, but no details or cash have been received yet.
Councillor Canniford added: “Businesses are really finding it hard at the moment after 10 months of the pandemic.
“It’s probably the best time of year for a lockdown as businesses are typically quiet at this time of year, but their overheads and costs aren’t going away as they aren’t getting any income.
“In terms of other grant support, we are urging businesses to come and talk to us.
"We want to give out this money out to well-deserving businesses, it goes back to the government otherwise and we want to help our businesses at this difficult time.”