Published December 4, 2020 at 20:00
Rossendale Council have released criteria and guidelines for businesses in the borough to apply for further discretionary grant funding.
Businesses that have been severely affected by Covid-19 since October are able to apply for the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) even if they have already applied for other grant funding. The Local Restrictions Support grant (LRSG) is also open which is aimed at the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors that, even though not mandated to close, have been affected since 5th August.
The Government have provided councils with a limited amount of funding to deliver the grant and they ask for businesses to apply as soon as possible as some of the grant funding applications have time limits to apply, notably the discretionary additional restrictions grant (ARG) which runs until the 13th December.
A spokesperson at Rossendale Council said: “The discretionary grant will provide limited financial support to businesses with or without a business rate assessment, who have been severely impacted by the Tier 3 restrictions, such as the hospitality sector and its supply chain.”
Assistance will be focused on those eligible businesses that protect the highest number of jobs, have suffered the greatest impact to their business and those with the highest business related fixed costs.
The Council may also provide additional support to larger local businesses that are important to the local economy or who are considered to be of significant historic importance to the local area.
They added: “It has taken some time for councils to get clear advice and guidance as to how and to whom we can deliver the funding, which has been incredibly frustrating. The guidelines are now in place and in the first instance we’d ask people to go to the Coronavirus Update section of the council’s website to check and see if they are eligible.
“We aim to process the applications as quickly and fairly as we can but suggest businesses contact us as soon as possible as we do have limited funds.”
Alyson Barnes Council Leader said: “Obviously we welcome the funding and grants, but this doesn’t go far enough. I have written to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government to request that the Government provide sustained additional business grant funding during Tier 3 restrictions. This amounts to £4.5m of funding to cover the period up to 31 January 2021.
“It is also important that the Government provide discretion to the local council to target business grant support at those businesses that most need the financial support as we are best placed to know our businesses and the challenges which are particular to them.” The Council are asking businesses to go to https://bit.ly/ARGdisc for further information on criteria and how to apply