Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Applications open for new business grant scheme

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Online applications are now open for the new discretionary business support scheme (the Additional Restrictions Grant) aimed to support local businesses unable to access previous funding.

This scheme, tailored to our local economy, is to support businesses forced to close but who do not have a business rates reference number as they pay rates via their landlord or businesses which, while not legally forced to close, are severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19.

Our Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr Richard Wenham said: “We will be able to accept applications from a range of businesses far wider than under previous schemes.

For example, we will be able to support those in the retail, hospitality and leisure supply chains and those in the events sector as well as businesses previously supported through the Discretionary Business Grant funding, including childcare, as well as market traders selling non-essential goods.

But there are still clear limits, set by the Government, so we will not be able to support every business, much as we might like to. But where we have been able to, we have adapted this scheme to the needs of our local economy.

I am also happy to report that we have already made over 500 grants totalling more than £800,000 to businesses forced to close who have a business rates reference number with us so pay rates directly to us.

This is on top of support already paid out to more than 3,500 local businesses of over £42m.

The Government has also announced additional support for hospitality as we move into Tier 2, including extra support for pubs which do not serve food. We are awaiting guidance on the new scheme and will update our website once we receive it.

Applications to the new discretionary support scheme will remain open for four weeks.