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New grants available to support businesses affected by COVID-19

Cumbrian businesses forced to close their doors due to the second national COVID-19 lockdown will be able to access additional Government grant aid.

Two new grant schemes are either available now, or will be available soon, and are being delivered locally by Cumbria’s six district councils.

Cumbria’s Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) has welcomed this extra financial support and encouraged all affected businesses to check their eligibility with their relevant local authority.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed Businesses) (LSRG) scheme will be administered by district councils with businesses required to close due to the restrictions potentially eligible for the following funding:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per four weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per four weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per four weeks.

Those businesses that have had to close but have managed to change their method of operation, for example, introducing a ‘click and collect’ service, may also still be eligible for the grant and are encouraged to apply.

To qualify for the LRSG, businesses must have been:

  • Open as usual before the November lockdown restrictions;
  • Providing services in person to customers from the premises;
  • Required to close due to restrictions imposed by Government;
  • Registered for, or paying business rates for the premises before restrictions commenced.

Information is available via the following links to the councils’ individual websites:

Cumbria’s district councils have also been given money to run the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), a discretionary grant scheme for businesses that have been severely affected by the current lockdown restrictions but have not been legally required to close. In addition, businesses that are legally required to close but do not pay business rates, so are not eligible for LRSG, may also qualify.

Details about these Additional Restrictions Grants and the application processes put in place by each of the six councils are either available via their websites now or expected to be finalised shortly.

Jo Lappin, Chair of BERRG, part of the Local Resilience Forum structure and the body responsible for developing Cumbria’s business and economic response to COVID-19, said: “These are difficult times for business and the economy and the second lockdown has clearly set back the recovery of our businesses, many of which were starting to get back on their feet after the initial lockdown.

“It has been inspiring to see how resilient and innovative our businesses have been in responding to the challenges presented by the pandemic. However, many now need some help to support them through the second lockdown and these additional Government grant schemes, delivered through our local authorities, may provide additional financial support at a time of great need.”

Mrs Lappin, Chief Executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP), added: “Over the coming weeks, I’d also like to encourage everyone to do what they can to support their local businesses through lockdown.

“We have had excellent support for our ‘Think Local, Buy Local’ campaign and once again our businesses need the support of their communities through using new arrangements like click and collect.”

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