New plea to Peterborough businesses to seek help from multi-million pound Covid-aid coffer
The appeal comes from Peterborough City Council, which is due to be given extra funding to help businesses during the third lockdown.
Since the outbreak of Covid, the Government has given more than £35.5 million, which has been paid out in business grants by the council. And £1.65million has been distributed since November.
£41million has been given in business rate relief.
The funding has helped about 2,800 businesses.
Yet there is concern that applications for some grants are falling short.
The council says it still has more than half of £2.8 million in a discretionary grant package left to give away. Only three wet-led pubs have applied for a special £1,000 grant.
Council finance director Pete Carpenter said: “I’m surprised at how few applications we’ve received. It may be there is a risk of businesses collapsing because they haven’t applied for funds.”
Councillor David Seaton, the council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “The Government has given a pot of cash for us to distribute to help businesses. If you’re struggling financially and can meet the eligibility criteria, please do get in contact, so we can pass this over to you.”
Kai Wan, owner of hair salons PKai in Hampton and Westgate, said: “We wouldn’t have survived this long without the business grant. Once we received the grant in the first lockdown, we thought carefully about how to use this money to future-proof us.”
Currently, businesses are able to apply for the following grants:
Businesses FORCED to close can apply for local restrictions grant funding, discretionary funding and Christmas support payments, which is for pubs that predominantly serve alcohol and were hit by the festive restrictions
Businesses which have CHOSEN to close can apply for discretionary funding
Businesses which have STAYED OPEN, but have suffered a reduced income can apply for discretionary Funding
The council has also changed the terms of its discretionary funding scheme to make it easier to apply for and to allow more to benefit.
The council has to decide how to allocate more than £4 million of discretionary funding and which is aimed at businesses that can provide they have suffered a significant loss of income.
It’s available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis in two phases. Phase one is for November 2020 to March 2021 and phase two from April 2021 to March 2022.
Under changes made last month include reducing the levels of grant to just three, lowering the threshold to £200 to include more businesses, including definitions for micro, small and medium businesses which do not have a rateable value and simplifying documentation.
To find out if your business is eligible for a grant and to apply, visit the council’s website.