Businesses offered new cash aid in latest pandemic battle

Torridge council leader Ken James

Ken James - Credit: Submitted

Businesses struggling to make ends meet in the ongoing battle against the pandemic are being offered a cash helping hand.

Torridge District Council have announced the launch of two new financial support packages aimed at businesses whose trading has been affected by the recent surge in Covid-19, caused by the Omicron variant.

In line with the latest Government directives, the support has been designed with a particular focus for operators in the hospitality, leisure, travel, tourism, and personal care industries and those involved in the supply chain to these sectors.

It recognises the significant disruption the rapid spread of Omicron has caused both in cancelled or reduced bookings and staff absences further affecting the ability for some to operate.   

The Discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant fund is already open for applications via the Council’s website. This is a follow-on from the previous distribution of support that oversaw the payment of around £3.6 million to local businesses during prolonged periods of shutdown and restrictions.

The aim of the revised scheme is to make sure that the available balance of just under £400K finds its way to the sectors that have been the most impacted under the recent surge in case numbers.

The scheme is discretionary and allocations will be calculated on an individual basis with payments ranging from £250 to £6,000.

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The second scheme is the Government backed Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant funding, which is focused on business rate payers in those sectors.

The amounts awarded will be linked to a set scale dictated by the government and based on the rateable value of a business’s premises.  

A provisional total sum of £3.9 million has been made available by central government for the District as a whole.

This scheme will be open for applications from Friday January 14, although businesses are being encouraged to check their eligibility against both the schemes from the information already posted on Torridge Council's Coronavirus help pages at:  www.torridge.gov.uk/coronavirus  The deadline for making an application under both schemes is February 18.

Council leader Ken James said: "Councillors and Officers have done an excellent job in supporting our businesses and individuals during the pandemic distributing funds to around 3,000 companies and coincidentally around 3,000 individuals as well.

"The latest support schemes recognise that some businesses are still finding the going tough and we want to make sure we distribute every last penny of available funding to those that need it.

"I want to thank Torridge Council's officers and North Devon+, who will be administering the schemes, for their hard work to get all of this in place as quickly as possible, I know the recipients of the funding will welcome their efforts.” 


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