New COVID-19 business support grant open for applications
Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Applications for the first of two new COVID-19 business support grants are now open.
The scheme is aimed at businesses required to close by the current restrictions and who have a business rates bill reference number with us. A second scheme to support other businesses which have been ordered to temporarily close or have been badly affected by the pandemic is expected to open shortly.
Intended to help cover commercial rents or commercial mortgages the payments are linked to a business’s rateable value. Those with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under will receive a payment of £1,334 per 28-day qualifying period, over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a payment of £2,000 per 28-day qualifying period and those exactly £51,000 or above, will receive £3,000 per 28-day qualifying period.
Councillor Richard Wenham, our Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources, said:
These grants are different in nature to the previous ones and are intended to help meet regular fixed costs.
The government has set the rules for the first scheme but is allowing us to tailor the second much more closely to the Central Bedfordshire economy. As well as covering those businesses which effectively pay their business rates in their rent, we will be able to offer financial support to other sectors, badly hit by the pandemic and the restrictions, but not directly required to close.
This inevitably makes setting up the second scheme a much more complex and rather lengthier process than simply following a set of rules set by government. Nevertheless we expect to have that scheme open for applications soon.
I would, though, make one plea to businesses to help us help them. Please fill in the application scrupulously. Last time there were a lot of delays caused by incomplete, inaccurate or missing information that we’re required to collect to pay the grants.
I’d also like to once again reassure businesses that just like last time these are grants, not loans and so will not need to be repaid unless acquired fraudulently.