News Article

Business Grants Update: Financial support for businesses

6 January 2021

On Monday 4 January, the government announced that England would be entering Tier 5: National Lockdown Stay at Home Restrictions from 6 January 2021.

This requires all non-essential businesses to close and where possible organisations move their staff to home working. The Council was already in the process of finalising processes to support businesses for the Tier 4: Stay at Home Covid-19 restrictions and therefore the move to Tier 5 does not necessitate much change.

The Council has been administrating 5 different business grant support schemes since November 2020, and will use all the knowledge and experience it has gained during this time to continue to successfully support businesses during the national lockdown.

What are the changes?
 
The grant schemes that have been in place since November 2020 are detailed below:

Local Restriction Support Grant (Closed) – to support businesses that have been forced to close under Covid-19 Restrictions 

Local Restriction Support Grant (Open) – to support Accommodation, Leisure and Hospitality Sectors that have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 Restrictions but remained open

Local Restriction Support Grant (Sector) – to support certain sectors that have been forced to remain closed since 23 March 2020

Additional Restrictions Grant – for councils to set up discretionary grants and support businesses that may not fall under any of the above but have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 restrictions

Christmas Support: Wet Led Pubs – an additional £1000 grant for pubs that do not serve food (or their income is less than 50% food based) and have remained closed during December.  This scheme ends on 31 January 2021.
 

The announcement that Cheshire West and Chester would be under Tier 4: Stay at Home Covid-19 restrictions from 31 December 2020 and Tier 5: National Lockdown Stay at Home Covid-19 Restrictions from 6 January 2021 does change some of the schemes above. These changes are detailed below:

Local Restriction Support Grant (Closed)– this scheme will continue to operate and an addendum to our existing policy is required.  Support for businesses forced to close will be made on a 14 day cycle for every full 14 days that the Council is under the Tier 5: National Lockdown Stay at Home Covid-19 Restrictions.
  
Local Restriction Support Grant (Open) – this scheme is suspended in the Cheshire West and Chester Borough from 31 December 2020 when Tier 4: Stay at Home Covid-19 Restrictions were introduced. Businesses that would have met the criteria before 31 December will now be required to close and therefore can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)
 
Local Restriction Support Grant (Sector) – this scheme is suspended in the Cheshire West and Chester Borough from 31 December 2020 when Tier 4: Stay at Home Covid-19 Restrictions were introduced. Businesses that would have met the criteria before 31 December can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) 

Additional Restrictions Grant – this support scheme remains in place and the council are in the process of administrating the second tranche of grants. The support will continue for businesses that are not forced to close but have been significantly, financially impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.  Businesses that qualify for support under this scheme will receive a one off lump sum payment. 

Christmas Support: Wet Led Pubs – this scheme remains in place until 31 January 2021.

 
What do businesses need to do? (Updated 6th January)
 
Businesses who had submitted an online application and received a grant before 31st December 2020 when the Borough was under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions should reapply for a grant now that they are forced to close.

If a business submitted an application between 31st December and 5th January when the Borough was under Tier 4 restrictions, they will not need to make another application.

It is very important that businesses do not submit duplicate applications, as this delays grant payment being made.

A separate application form is in place for Christmas Support: Wet Led Pubs due to the specific nature of this grant, and applications for this remain open until the 31st of January.

This week, the council will be focusing on making the final 14 day cycle payments for the period 16th December to 30th December, to businesses that had applied whilst under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions. The council received an additional 4,000 applications between 31 December 2020 and 4 January 2021, and we would therefore request that businesses be patient. We will keep our webpage up to date and advise that businesses check this regularly for updates on processing times. 

The government has just announced additional one off £9,000 support to hospitality, retail and leisure whilst in Tier 5: National Lockdown Stay at Home but we are yet to have any details of the guidelines around this and will update our webpage when we know more. 

For further information or to apply for a grant, visit: Cheshire West and Chester Council website

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