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£25k grants on offer for virus-hit businesses

Small businesses in Brightlingsea affected by Covid-19 may be able to benefit from a new grant scheme launched by Tendring District Council (TDC).

Grants of up to £25,000 are on offer from a £1.7m pot given to the council by central government to support small businesses who have lost income due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the  launch of the Discretionary Business Grant Scheme, TDC Leader Neil Stock said the council wanted to help as many local businesses as possible.

“We know many Tendring businesses are hard-hit by Covid-19, and although a lot of financial support has been made available there are firms who still need support,” he said.

Stock added: “Our localised scheme will help a new group of businesses to survive the impacts caused by this pandemic, particularly in our district which has a number of small businesses and B&Bs."

Business sectors prioritised for help by the government include companies in shared office space, market stall holders, bed and breakfasts and charities – though other small firms are encouraged to apply if they meet the eligibility criteria. To qualify, businesses must have a high proportion of fixed property costs, and be able to demonstrate they have suffered financially due to Covid-19.

To be able to support as many businesses as possible within the limited funding made available, it is expected the majority of grants will be between £2,000 and £10,000, but could be up to £25,000 in exceptional circumstances.

Applications can be made online at www.tendringdc.gov.uk/coronavirus and firms have until 14 June to apply. Payments to successful bidders are expected to be made the following week.

Mary Newton, TDC's cabinet member for business and economic growth, encouraged all eligible businesses to apply even if they are not on the Government’s priority list.

“We want to help as many businesses as possible with the limited amount of money we have; but should your business not qualify or be successful then please remember there are a number of other national schemes available to support your business,” Newton added.

The TDC scheme is not open to businesses which qualify for existing Covid-19 grants, such as the Small Business Grant Scheme, or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Scheme.

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