BUSINESSES across Leicester whose trade has been affected by the local or national coronavirus restrictions are being encouraged to apply for a share of funding in the latest grants schemes being administered by Leicester City Council.
Firstly, the authority has received Government funding to provide non-repayable grants to support hospitality, hotel, accommodation and leisure sector businesses which had been legally allowed to stay open up until the second lockdown on November 5, but which had been severely hit by the local coronavirus restrictions.
The grants are aimed at helping ease the financial strain put upon these businesses by the localised restrictions under which Leicester was placed, from August 1 until the introduction of a second, nationwide lockdown in November.
Eligible businesses will be able to can claim non-repayable grants of between £3,200 and £6,600 for the 96-day period of Leicester’s local lockdown from 1 August to 4 November, as recommended by the Government, depending on the rateable values of their premises.
The council is applying broad eligibility criteria, with examples of eligible businesses and premises shown on its website.
Secondly, funding is available for businesses which had been legally required to close during the four-week national lockdown. Eligible businesses can claim non-repayable grants of between £1,334 and £3,000 for the 28-day lockdown period, as set by the Government, depending on the rateable values of their premises.
Many businesses will be eligible to apply for both grants, for which separate applications should be made.
Businesses will continue to be eligible to receive ongoing support during the Tier 3 restrictions, from December 2, in line with Government guidelines. Where possible, grants will be paid without the need for further applications.
The Government is expected to confirm it will continue business grant funding both for firms that have had to close, and those which remain open but have been severely affected by the restrictions.
Full details of all the grants are included on Leicester City Council’s website, which is regularly updated as eligibility and grant schemes change.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby had called on the Government to guarantee sufficient help would be available to businesses when Leicester became the first UK city to be put into a local lockdown this summer.
Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Many businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sectors of the city have had a very tough few months, when many of the first national lockdown restrictions remained in force in Leicester while they were being eased in the rest of the country. Many businesses have also been severely affected by the current national lockdown.
“I’d urge businesses to apply for this funding, which will go some way to easing the financial hardship they’ve been enduring.”
Full details of eligibility and how to apply are available here.