£215 million Covid aid for region's small businesses

Small businesses in the region are to receive £215 million from the Government to help them through the current period of national restrictions.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma
Business Secretary Alok Sharma

Businesses in the West Midlands, Shropshire and Staffordshire will benefit from two grant schemes – one for businesses that have been required to close - with grants of up to £3,000 for the four-week period - and another scheme for further support for businesses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, helping to support people’s jobs and livelihoods and protect communities.

Businesses can expect to receive money covering the four-week period of national restrictions in the coming days and should check their council’s website for details.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We know that this is a really tough time for businesses across the country, which is why we are continuing to deliver a wide-ranging package of urgent support.

More Covid-19 coverage:

“This much-needed cash will help to sustain businesses, protect jobs and keep communities ticking as we continue to tackle the virus in the coming weeks.”

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “We have stood by small businesses in the West Midlands and across the country throughout this unprecedented period of uncertainty and difficulty.

“Times are still hard, which is why we are providing this emergency additional cash to help businesses cover their fixed costs and come back from the coronavirus pandemic fighting.”

The Local Restrictions Support Grants are for businesses which have had to close or have been severely impacted by local restrictions including those in the hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail sectors.

Business owners will receive £1,334 per four weeks if they have a rateable value below £15,000, £2,000 per four weeks if they have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, and £3,000 per four weeks if they have a rateable value above £51,000.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is provided by councils on a discretionary basis. Local Authorities will receive a sum of money equivalent to £20 per head of their local population to distribute to businesses which have been severely impacted by restrictions. For example, a council covering an area with a population of 100,000 would receive £2 million for this purpose.

Those likely to be in receipt of these grants include large employers with significant fixed costs such as seaside attractions or local manufacturers, as well as sole traders, tour operators and market traders who do not have a rateable value.

This includes businesses like pubs not serving substantial meals, betting shops, arcades and soft play centres in areas like Liverpool, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. Some places such as the Liverpool City Region negotiated their support under this scheme prior to the national lockdown.

In total, £2.2 billion will be given to businesses across England to support jobs, livelihoods and local communities.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News