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West Berkshire Council announces additional financial support for local businesses impacted by national restrictions

Issued on: 21 January 2021

 

West Berkshire Council is administering a further series of grant schemes to support local businesses that have been affected by the national coronavirus restrictions.

The new Closed Business Lockdown (National Lockdown) payment came into effect on 5 January 2021. This one-off Lockdown grant will be paid to qualifying businesses in addition to the Local Restrictions Support Grant payments that eligible businesses were entitled to from 19 December 2020.

A further £11m of government support is being distributed to West Berkshire businesses, with the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) being extended to cover the new national lockdown. This means that rate-paying businesses will receive a grant for this additional period of enforced closure. This round of funding replicates the previous scheme that ran from 5 November to 2 December 2020.

Both of the new grant schemes will be paid automatically to businesses who have received them before; there is no need to reapply. Any businesses that have not applied previously should check the criteria to see if they are eligible. 

Information about eligibility, and how businesses who have not received support previously can apply, can be found on: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/coronavirus-business.

Speaking about the further support available, Ross Mackinnon, West Berkshire Council's Executive Member for Finance and Economic Development, said:

"It continues to be a difficult time for many businesses but we are set up to get these latest grants out into the community as quickly as possible and with minimum fuss for business owners.

"There are several grants available and we're trying to make it as easy as possible for businesses to navigate them and find the help they need. This latest grant could help up to 1,000 local businesses and I would encourage those who are eligible to get their applications in. I want to assure them that West Berkshire Council is here to support them through this difficult time."

Details of the business grants currently being administered are as follows:

  • The Additional Restrictions Grant to support businesses, including those who were not liable to pay rates, who have been affected by restrictions and who either have not received other grant support, or require further assistance.
  • The Local Restrictions Support Grant supports rate-paying businesses that have been forced to close or directly restricted by local or national restrictions. Grants are available for the following time periods in which restrictions were in place:
  • 5 November - 1 December 

  • 2 December - 18 December (Tier 2) - Only hospitality, accommodation and leisure businesses who were restricted or forced to close will receive a grant for this period.

  • 19 December - 4 January (Tier 4)

  • 5 January onwards

  • A flat rate Christmas Support Grant of £1,000 to pubs who can demonstrate that 50% or more of their income derives from the sale of alcoholic beverages. This grant will be match funded by West Berkshire Council with a further £1,000 to provide additional targeted support to local pubs.

The funding listed above is in addition to the £29m in Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants distributed to more than 2,200 local businesses and £37.5 worth of business rates relief in 2020 for those businesses affected by Covid-19. The grants were paid out between 23 March and 28 September 2020 and the business rates payment holiday took effect for April, May and June 2020.