News Article

Company boss urges other business leaders to apply for COVID grants

18 December 2020

Business owners who have used Government grants to stay afloat during the COVID -19 pandemic are urging others to follow their example and apply for funding.

The Council is co-ordinating the business grant scheme and has received more than 3,000 applications in recent months, paying out £4.5m to local businesses.

Among the many sectors to have particularly suffered from the restrictions and eligible for funding is the travel industry, with its customers being discouraged from leaving their homes, neighbourhoods and booking on holidays.

One of the businesses in this industry which has successfully applied to the Council for grant funding is The Really Helpful Travel Group, a travel agency based in Hoole, Chester, which has been serving local people for 45 years.

Its director Peter Cavender said: “This year we have suffered with the COVID 19 pandemic, along with many other companies, and have struggled to get through the months to this point here now in December.  Not only has new business disappeared since February but we have also refunded all our clients in full for cancelled bookings since the pandemic began, the amounts of which have been substantial.

“We are very grateful for the support from the Council, and for the support that they have provided to our business during the past few months.
“The officers guided us through what was required to be done which wasn’t that difficult, and we were able to gain financial assistance to help our business. We would highly recommend any business that qualifies for grant assistance to contact the Council, or to simply contact them to discuss whether you are eligible for assistance.’’

Councillor Carol Gahan, Cabinet Member for legal and finance, said: “The grants are there to support businesses, such as The Really Helpful Travel Group, which are eligible. In addition to the travel industry, there are many other industries which are eligible for the funding – for example, businesses that moved to a take-away model during lockdown - and the Council encourages business owners to consider making an application.

“Pubs which do not serve food and have closed, hospitality, leisure, accommodation providers and nightclubs which have been forced to close and have not previously applied are also able to apply. All businesses which have been significantly financially impacted by COVID-19 Tier restrictions should enquire about whether they are eligible.”

To apply for one of these grants or to find out more information, visit the Council's Financial Support for Businesses page.