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Grant scheme now open for businesses required to close

Rate-paying businesses in Tamworth which have been required to close as part of the current national lockdown can now apply for a share of a new £1million funding pot.

Tamworth Borough Council has been allocated more funding to support the town’s businesses through the current lockdown and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This money will be distributed under two grant schemes: c.£1million under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) and c.£1.5million as part of the Additional Restrictions Grant.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

Applications for the first scheme, which is for those who pay business rates for a premises only, are now being accepted via the Tamworth Borough Council website at www.tamworth.gov.uk/local-restrictions-support-grant-closed-businesses

Grants of between £1,334 and £3,000 are available depending on the rateable value of the property. It applies only to those businesses which have been legally required to close under the lockdown restrictions from November 5 to December 2.

This includes non-essential retail, hospitality venues, accommodation providers, leisure and sports facilities and personal care facilities. Those that would not qualify include businesses which were able to continue to operate remotely, those that chose to close but were not mandated to and businesses which have already received grant payments that equal maximum levels of state aid permitted under the Covid 19 Temporary State Aid Framework.

More details on the eligibility criteria and the application form can be found on the link above.

Additional Restrictions Grant

Businesses which are not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant, but are suffering from the impact of the pandemic, will soon be able to apply for cash from a second fund, which will be available in the near future.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is expected to primarily take the form of discretionary grants to businesses that do not qualify under the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme. The aim is to provide appropriate support for the remainder of this financial year and going into 2021/22.

More information will be published on the Tamworth Borough Council website as soon as it is available.

Cllr Jeremy Oates, Cabinet member for Heritage and Growth, said: “This pandemic continues to take a huge toll on our local economy and businesses and they need every bit of help they can get. This latest lockdown has come as a massive blow to those industries that have been most impacted by closures and restrictions since March and there is more hardship and uncertainty to come.

“Hopefully the new £2.5million in funding will go some towards bridging the gap. It is in addition to around £12million that we have already distributed to local businesses since the start of the pandemic in March.

“We know businesses have been desperately waiting for these funds and we’ll be looking to get money out of the door and into bank accounts where it’s needed as soon as possible. There’s a lot of work that has to go into setting these processes up, to make sure they are robust and able to get funding to those who need it.

“I would encourage any businesses which may be entitled to a grant to check the criteria and apply if they are eligible. Anyone who is not eligible as part of this first scheme, may be able to get a share of the Additional Restrictions Grant, so please keep checking the website for details of that.”