Businesses which have been ordered to close for four weeks due to the national covid restrictions may be eligible for a government grant of up to £3,000.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant, which helped businesses ordered to close in local tier three lockdowns, is now available for businesses required to close in national measures.
The grants are based on business rates, similar to the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) available for the first lockdown this spring.
The value of these grants has been set by central Government. Businesses that pay business rates on their premises are eligible for the below:
- for properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month
- for properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k, grants to be £2,000 per month
- for properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month
Businesses that have had to be closed since March 2020, such as nightclubs, will also be eligible for £3,000 from November 1.
Eligible businesses will get one grant for each property liable for business rates and grants will be based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of lockdown restrictions.
Thanet council is working through government guidance through to finalise the eligibility criteria.
Information about eligibility and how to apply, will be published shortly on thanet.gov.uk/business-advice. If you’re a business that is still unsure if you qualify, contact the Business Rates Team directly at [email protected].
The council is also looking to support the local Thanet business community via a dedicated Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/ThanetBusinessSupport. As a member of this group, businesses will be able to access up-to-date guidance from the council, as well as advice from its Business Support consultant.
Cllr Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet District Council said: “We know a second lockdown is going to hit local businesses hard and we hope that these one-off payments will go some way to help those in need.
“Thanet is, however, home to a lot of small businesses so we are currently reviewing final guidance from the Government about discretionary grants. Where we can, we want to help businesses that don’t pay business rates and those not required to close but who have been severely affected.
“This is an extremely stressful and difficult time for businesses and we will work hard to deliver this financial support as quickly as possible. Please keep checking our website and social media channels for further information on qualification and how to apply.”
The dedicated business section of the council’s website has details of further government schemes and initiatives that organisations may be able to access and what support is available.
The council has already removed business rates from over a thousand retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for this financial year. It also has a Business Support consultant, Sharon Davies, who is on hand to give advice and support to Thanet’s high street businesses, large and small. She can be contacted on [email protected].
Kent County Council, in collaboration with all the local authorities in Kent, has a business support line (03333 602300) for coronavirus-related issues, delivered by the Kent & Medway Growth Hub. The line is now open and taking calls five days a week from Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 6pm.
Community support for ‘shielding’
Thanet District Council has also mobilised its Community Support Hub and will be working with partner agencies to make direct contact with individuals registered as clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.
Almost 7,000 Thanet residents currently fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable group, previously described as shielding, and are those people being strongly urged by the Government to take extra precautions and only go out for exercise or to attend medical appointments.
Everyone on the list will be contacted by text message, email, telephone or in person. Messages will include details of the council’s dedicated COVID-19 telephone line, a link to key information as well as how to request further assistance if needed. Recipients will also be reminded that if they already have priority booking with their local supermarket, it remains in place. The message will also confirm that existing medical appointments should be attended.
The team will also make a very small number of COVID-19 secure doorstep calls as required. These calls and visits will ensure residents have information on food banks, if needed. They will also provide guidance on how to book a priority supermarket delivery slot if they haven’t previously registered for them. Officers will also be able to refer people on to NHS volunteers for prescription collections deliveries from their local pharmacy haven’t already been arranged, as well as answer any concerns that individuals raise.
The dedicated COVID-19 Community Helpline which was set up at the start of the first COVID-19 lockdown helped thousands of Thanet residents in need. The service is still available and offers advice and information for people who need additional support during lockdown. The number is 01843 577 330 and the helpline is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.