Leeds City Council is reopening two grant schemes as part of its ongoing drive to stand shoulder to shoulder with local businesses during the nationwide effort to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first fund is designed to provide assistance to people with businesses that have not received other pandemic-related support grants, including ones paid via the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
Potential recipients include self-employed people, home-based businesses, businesses with commercial property costs of less than £4,000 per year and smaller supply chain businesses.
An initial window for applications to this scheme opened today, Thursday, February 4, and closes at midnight on Thursday, February 18.
Successful applicants will get up to £1,000 to help them meet fixed business costs such as service charges and public liability insurance.
If you started trading before January 1, 2018, then you can only apply to this scheme if your business is in the retail, hospitality and events, leisure or childcare sectors or is part of an associated supply chain.
The second fund will help businesses with fixed non-domestic property costs – such as mortgages, rent and service charges – that total £4,000 or more per year.
Payments worth up to £10,000 and covering as much as 100 per cent of eligible fixed property costs for the period from October 2020 to March 2021 will be on offer to businesses that do not qualify for other grants.
This second scheme is scheduled to reopen towards the end of February, again for an initial two-week window.
Both funds, it is hoped, will deliver a timely boost to businesses that might otherwise find themselves in danger of slipping through the country’s COVID-19 financial safety net.
Across the board, the council has now distributed around £170m worth of support to thousands of businesses in Leeds since the beginning of the pandemic.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “From the start of this crisis, we have been clear that we will do our utmost to help all those whose livelihoods have been affected by the measures needed to control the spread of the virus.
“These schemes will play an important role in that effort by delivering support to businesses that, through no fault of their own, may have struggled to access other forms of funding during the pandemic.
“I would encourage anyone who may be eligible for assistance to get in touch with us.”
The council’s package of COVID-19 support also includes grant schemes covering the current national lockdown, November’s national lockdown and the Tier 3 restrictions that were in place in Leeds from December 2 to January 4.
Schemes that have now closed include one offering a Christmas payment to so-called ‘wet-led’ pubs and another targeted at ratepayers in the hospitality and visitor accommodation sector who suffered financially as a result of the Tier 2 restrictions that were in force in Leeds between September 25 and November 5.
For further information about the various funds and links to the online application process, visit https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/grants-for-businesses.