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Over £1 million paid to businesses across the city as further lifeline grants become available

Published: Tuesday, 24th November 2020

Following the recent national restrictions, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has already allocated £1,110,760 in lifeline funding to businesses across the city.

Over the past two weeks the city council has received 1057 applications for the ‘Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses.’ Following assessment, 759 businesses successfully have received a grant, some weren’t eligible while a further 26 require additional information.

The scheme is for businesses that were legally required to close as part of the national lockdown which began on 5 November 2020. Businesses that received grants during the first lockdown may also be eligible for these additional grants. Grants have been issued in the city to:

  • 265 hairdressers, barbers and beauticians
  • 228 for non-essential retail
  • 159 in the hospitality sector
  • 103 for leisure
  • 4 hotels

Businesses across the city are now set to receive further grants to help them through the coronavirus pandemic, under the ‘Local Restrictions Support Grant for open businesses’ and the’ Additional Restrictions Grant’.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant for open businesses is for businesses severely impacted by the localised restrictions that came into force on 24 October 2020 to 4 November 2020.  Payments will be pro-rated for the 12 days under the tier 2 restrictions.

The following grants are applicable for this scheme:

  • Grants of up to £934 for a 28-day period for hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the start of the local restrictions (24 October).
  • Grants of up to £1,400 for a 28-day period for hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses occupying premises with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date at the start of the local restrictions (24 October).
  • Grants of up to £2,100 for a 28-day period for hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the date at the start of the local restrictions (24 October).

Leader of the city council leader Abi Brown said: “It is fantastic to see so many businesses have already benefited from the first scheme, we want as many businesses as possible to be able to benefit from these next schemes. We know this funding is a lifeline that can help businesses to keep going through the restrictions in response to the coronavirus.

“The Local Restrictions Support Grant for open businesses is primarily aimed at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses, which were affected by the local restrictions before the national lockdown. We will be assessing eligibility for this scheme from the applications we’ve already had for the Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses. This means that businesses do not need to complete a separate application form if they have already applied.”

Businesses are now also able to benefit from the Additional Restrictions Grant. Under this grant, the city council received a one-off lump sum payment amounting to £20 per head of population as national restrictions were imposed on 5 November.

Under phase one of this scheme, funds will be provided to businesses that are seriously impacted by the national lockdown but do not qualify for the Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses.

Leader of the city council leader Abi Brown said: “Businesses are the lifeblood of our city, and we know that the coronavirus has impacted on so many. This scheme went live on Thursday and we have already had 119 applications.

“We are continuing to provide a range of support to the people that need it and I’m pleased that this money is going to help them through this most testing of times. We also have a helpline available for businesses to ring.

“By contacting us people can find out when their application will be processed and will be advised about any other government support they may be able to access. Since Stoke-on-Trent moved into tier 2 – high alert level and the subsequent national lockdown we have received 828 calls from businesses. We know having this dedicated phone line is proving to be a valuable resource and we will be continuing to assist with more queries over coming days and weeks.”

Businesses are encouraged to check the criteria and apply via: www.stoke.gov.uk/businessgrants.

A full list of frequently asked questions and answers about the national lockdown can be found on the council’s website: www.stoke.gov.uk/coronavirus.

For more information and advice on the coronavirus (Covid-19) please visit Public Health England:

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated. If residents have symptoms, please get tested. All residents must continue to follow the guidance of wash hands, cover face and make space.

For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.

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Editor’s notes

 

Phase one Additional Restrictions Grant will be paid to: 

  • Businesses trading on 4 November from commercial premises for which they are not the direct ratepayer (e.g. shared spaces or premises under a paramount control of another party) will receive a payment of £1,334 in respect of the 28-day period commencing 5 November.  
  • Businesses which, while not legally forced to close, are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place. This will include businesses registered for business rates which supply the retail, hospitality, personal care and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector. Where such trade represents more than 50% of the expected business with a closed organisation, grants will be paid for the 28-day period commencing 5 November at a similar rate to the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).  
  • Non-ratepayers occupying commercial premises will receive £1,334.  
  • Rateable value up to £15,000 will receive £1,334. 
  • Rateable value from £15,001 up to £50,999 will receive £2,000. 
  • Rateable value over £51,000 will receive £3,000.  
  • Market Traders within the council’s area, who are not able to trade, due to the nature of their business or the closure of the premises from which they trade, will receive £1,334 for the 28-day period commencing 5 November. 
  • Bed & Breakfast businesses which are liable for council tax rather than business rates.  

Business helpline details are: 01782 236878 or e-mail business.growth@stoke.gov.uk