Don’t miss out on Covid grants

We are urging businesses to check their eligibility for government grants designed to help you get through the coronavirus pandemic.

There so many different schemes there is a danger some businesses could miss out on vital funding because they don’t know what is available.

Suzanne Caldwell, Managing Director of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Government seems to introduce a new grant scheme every time it changes the Covid restrictions.

“We’re aware of eight different grants covering the lockdown in November, the tier-2 and tier-4 restrictions that followed and now the latest national lockdown.

“Most of these grants are linked to the rateable value of your premises but there’s another scheme for businesses that, for whatever reason, don’t pay business rates.

“Some apply to businesses required to close, others are for businesses that stayed open but were severely impacted.

“And some are sector specific, such as the grants to compensate wet-led pubs for loss of Christmas trade and the latest grants for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses.”

She added: “All the grants are administered by district councils. In some instances they pay the money automatically to eligible businesses, as long as they have your bank details, but in most cases businesses have to apply.

“We don’t want to see anyone miss out because these are significant sums – the latest lockdown grants offer one-off payments up to £9,000 – that could be the difference between survival and going under for struggling businesses.”

Here is a summary of the grants available to businesses forced to close or otherwise affected by Covid restrictions:

  • The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum is for businesses that had to close during the national lockdown from November 5 to December 1 and the current lockdown starting January 5. For the November lockdown, grants are payable as follows: £1,334 for businesses with rateable value of £15,000 or less; £2,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000; £3,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more. For the current lockdown, grants are payable as follows for each 42-day period that restrictions apply: £2,001 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less; £3,000 for businesses with a rateable value betwen £15,000 and £51,000; £4,500 for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more. The first payment cycle covered January 5 to February 15. The second payment cycle covers February 16 to March 31.
  • The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) is for businesses that remained open but were severely impacted by the tier-2 restrictions that applied throughout Cumbria from December 2 to 30, and before November 5 in Carlisle and Barrow. Grants payable as follows for each 14-day period the business was subject to restrictions: £467 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less; £700 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000; £1,050 for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more.
  • The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Tier 4 Addendum  is for businesses required to close under tier-2 or tier-4 restrictions. Tier 4 applied throughout Cumbria from December 31 to January 4. Tier 2 applied throughout the county from December 2 to 30 and before November 5 in Carlisle and Barrow. Grants payable as follows for each 14-day period the business was closed: £667 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less; £1,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000; £1,500 for businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000.
  • The Closed Business Lockdown Payment supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions beginning January 5, 2021. These are one-off grants payable as follows: £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less; £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000; £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000.
  • The Additional Restrictions Grant is for businesses that don’t qualify for the grants listed above because they do not pay business rates. It applies under the current national lockdown, which began on January 5, and under the previous national lockdown from November 5 to December 2. Businesses are eligible if they were required to close or remained open but were severely impacted.
  • The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) is for businesses that have been required to close continuously since March 2020 such as nightclubs, dance halls and adult entertainment venues. Grants payable as follows for each 14-day period of closure: £667 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less; £1,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000; £1,500 for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more.
  • The Christmas Support Payment is for wet-led pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than food. They can claim a one-off £1,000 grant to compensate for loss of Christmas trade. This does not affect entitlement to the other grants listed above. The deadline for applications has been extended until February 28.

For details of how to apply, follow these links to Allerdale Borough CouncilBarrow Borough Council, Carlisle City CouncilCopeland Borough CouncilEden District Council and South Lakeland District Council.

In addition to the Covid grants, Cumbria Business Growth Hub offers grants up to £1,900 to help eligible businesses buy-in expertise. Its Consultancy Subsidy pre-dates the pandemic and will be available for the foreseeable future.

Keep checking the Chamber’s Covid Toolkit for the latest information on Covid restrictions, safe working and support for businesses.

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce