A further group of businesses can now apply for £2,500 of funding aimed at helping those whose finances have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council have widened the eligibility criteria for the discretionary grant payments for local businesses, with the application period now running until 28 August.
Eligible local businesses who did not qualify for a small business or retail, hospitality and leisure grant are being encouraged to apply for a grant. Applications are now invited from certain businesses with a Rateable Value up to and including £59,999.
To receive a discretionary grant of £2,500, businesses can check whether they are entitled to apply on the Council’s website: www.southend.gov.uk/businesscorona. If they match the criteria, they should have four pieces of evidence ready to upload. These are a bank statement, proof of business property cost, proof of your income loss as a result of Covid-19 and identification. It is then just a case of completing a simple online form which is linked on the page.
Many businesses have benefited from a grant already. Sarah Potts, Director of Active Life for a Healthier You, a health and wellbeing provider based in Southend, recently received a discretionary grant. Sarah said:
“With the awarding of the discretionary grant, we are now able to keep our office and focus on our return to delivering our sessions across Southend, providing local people with safe and effective ways to improve their Health and Wellbeing, both physically and emotionally.''
Councillor Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said:
“We are urging businesses to check whether they can apply for a discretionary grant before 28 August. The extension of the scheme now includes businesses with a ratable value of up to £59,999.
“The widening of criteria follows central Government announcing the closure of the business grant schemes and that all final grant payments must be paid by 30 September 2020, so please ensure you apply before midnight on the 28 August if you qualify. The council are keen to ensure that they are given to the maximum number of businesses but also needs to make sure not to exceed the government funding allocation.
“Please visit the website and look at the criteria for application carefully. If you think your company is eligible, complete the online form by Friday 28 August. As a reminder, this is not for companies which have already received a business grant or money from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund.”
To date, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council have paid out over £35 million to 2,900 local businesses in the form of business grants. For further information about support available to businesses during COVID-19 pandemic, please see https://www.southend.gov.uk/businesscorona