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Check your eligibility for business support measures

Cumbria’s Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) is urging businesses to check their eligibility for the latest wave of Government support with the next key phase of the roadmap out of lockdown approaching fast.

Next month, most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen, following a previous easing of restrictions, which allowed non-essential retail and hospitality businesses with outside space to re-open.

The next phase, currently scheduled for 17 May, will allow indoor hospitality to reopen as well as indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas and the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs alongside indoor adult group sports and exercise classes.

BERRG, the Local Resilience Forum Sub Group responsible for developing the economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is encouraging all businesses to consider accessing financial support, where appropriate.

The £5 billion New Restart Grants Scheme offers businesses in the non-essential retail sector in England, one-off grants of up to £6,000.

Businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £18,000 on re-opening. The £5 billion of government funding available through Restart Grants will be delivered by local authorities.

This is coupled with £425 million of top-up funding for the ongoing Additional Restrictions Grant scheme for businesses in urgent need of additional support. This is delivered by local councils but is also available to businesses, which don’t necessarily pay business rates like tour operators, B&Bs, caterers, freelancers and wedding service providers.

BERRG Chair Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The recent launch of these schemes is welcomed as they provide much needed support for our businesses as they look to get back up and running.

“Clearly, we don’t want any of our eligible businesses to miss out on the funding. It would therefore be great if our businesses could look closely at the grant criteria and make sure that they apply to their relevant local authority for the appropriate support scheme. Each of our local authorities has the latest up to date guidance as it applies specifically to their area.

“We appreciate that many businesses are really busy trying to get their businesses back up and running and so are pressed for time. However, spending a little time on this is really worth it, as it can avoid more time correcting things later, and result in earlier payments.

“It will also help our local authorities to provide support to businesses more quickly, as they will have the right information with them, right from the start. It’s excellent that we are now moving to the next phase of the recovery roadmap and really important that we all do everything we can to get our businesses back fully up and running.”

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

Lynsey Parke, Business Growth Manager at Cumbria LEP, said: “We’ve helped a number of business owners with the grants process in recent months, from understanding their eligibility and applying for the correct grant, to help with completing applications as well as supporting business owners secure grant funds they didn’t realise they were eligible for. This has made a real difference to those businesses in need.

We appreciate how challenging it can be running your business and trying to find the time to research the range of support that’s available – that’s where our team can help. We are on hand to provide the practical help and support you need to get through these difficult times and would encourage business owners to get in touch with the LEP.”

To find out more information on the grants available, please contact

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