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COVID-19: Business Support Grants available during new national lockdown

| District

With new national lockdown measures coming into place on Thursday 5th November, the Government has announced further funding to support businesses that are legally required to close during the lockdown period.

Eligible businesses will be able to apply for a Business Support Grant of up to £3,000 from 11th November and this will cover the 28 day national lockdown period. The funding will be provided on a rolling 28 day period for as long as the lockdown restrictions apply.

Is my business eligible for a Business Support Grant?

Funding support is available for those businesses that are legally required to close and are business rate payers. Businesses that have been required to close by Government include:

  • Non-essential retail
  • Leisure
  • Personal Care
  • Sports Facilities
  • Hospitality

If your business continues to operate as a takeaway, click and collect or online with delivery services, you will still be counted as closed because your substantive business has had to close.

How much can I apply for if I am eligible?

Business Support Grant payments are dependent on the Rateable Value of your business and the amount you can apply for is set out in the below table:

Rateable Value

Business Support Grant total

£15,000 or under

£1,334 per 28 day qualifying restriction period

£15,001 - £50,999

£2,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period

£51,000 or above

£3,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period

How do I apply?

Applications will be open from 12.00pm on Wednesday 11th November and our online application system can be accessed by visiting www.southsomerset.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport. You will need to be registered for a basic ‘My Account’ in order to apply and can do that online at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/register.

I applied for a Business Support Grant during the first lockdown. Can I apply again this time?

Yes you can. This is a Business Support Grant that covers the 28 day national lockdown period between Thursday 5th November and Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

How long does it take to process an application and how do I find out if and when I will receive the grant support?

We are expecting a high volume of applications during this short period of time. We have reassigned some staff to help deal with the expected extra workload and we are ready to process applications as soon as we receive them.  We will work through them as quickly as possible. In addition, the Government may still make changes to the grant scheme and we may have to get back to you for more information.

Once we have all of the information we need to process your application, you will receive a decision and/or a notification of when to expect the grant support payment. During this time, we ask that you are patient and give our team 14 clear days before you follow up your application.

Are there any exclusions?

There are some exclusions to businesses who cannot claim the Business Support Grant. These include:

  • Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely (e.g. accountants, solicitors)
  • Businesses that are not mandated to close any part of their service
  • Businesses that have chosen to close but have not be required to
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de Minimis and Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework
  • Businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made.

What other support is available for my business?

In line with other Local Authorities, South Somerset District Council has also been awarded an ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’. This fund has been provided to offer additional business support activities in the local area.  We are currently considering how to best allocate this funding and will provide updates on our website and social media channels as soon as possible.

We also will update our Covid-19 business support section of our website as much as possible with other avenues of support at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport.

Council Leader Val Keitch said: “This is clearly a challenging time for all businesses and at South Somerset District Council we are committed to doing all we can to support businesses through the current crisis.

“We’ve acted quickly to try and inform businesses how they can access Government Business Support Grants and I am grateful to the staff at South Somerset District Council for moving swiftly to get processes in place and inform businesses across the district of the help and support they can receive.”

As a District Council, we have implemented many actions from Thursday 5th November for public safety in line with new Covid-19 restrictions.

In addition, South Somerset District Council will continue to work will local community organisations to ensure those who are vulnerable or facing hardship are supported, and facilitate a number of grants to local foodbanks.

The council will also continue to ensure anyone who is homeless or facing homelessness has a safe place to stay.

The Council is also issuing payments to those that are entitled who are required to self-isolate.

For the latest information about Coronavirus in the UK, including how to keep yourself and your community safe, visit the Government website.

If you are facing financial hardship and need support, please contact South Somerset District Council on 01935 462462 or use our online form - https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/life-events/coronavirus-support/who-can-i-speak-to/.

The Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline number, 0300 790 6275, is also live to help you access help you may need, including emotional support, in the current crisis.

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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