Hillingdon widens support grant criteria to help more local businesses
Monday 15 March: Hillingdon Council has expanded the eligibility criteria for its discretionary business grant schemes to provide further sectors with access to financial support as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
By broadening the schemes' scope it will significantly increase the number of businesses eligible for payments and distribute funding even further across the local economy.
It will also give eligible businesses who were forced to close due to restrictions and who are expected to reopen in the coming months a much-needed boost to help them to resume trading.
The council's Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which supports businesses that have had their trade affected by the national and tier restrictions, will offer funding to more sectors that can demonstrate they have been severely impacted with a reduction of turnover of 30 per cent or more.
The scheme includes closed businesses that don't pay business rates; businesses that are in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors that do not pay rates and have not been required to close but are still severely impacted; and businesses that pay rates that have not had access to earlier grant schemes.
Additionally, the eligibility criteria has been expanded for the council's Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) scheme, offering support to more businesses that were impacted but not required to close during the various restrictions. The qualifying criteria for demonstrating severe impact has also been reduced by 20 per cent, with businesses needing to evidence a 30 per cent loss in turnover.
Initially the council paid this grant to rate-paying businesses in the hospitality (pubs and clubs), leisure (sports and social clubs and community groups), and accommodation sectors who were able to demonstrate they have been severely impacted by the local restrictions imposed to control the spread of the virus.
Both of the scheme expansions now include the following sectors:
- supply chain to the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors
- events and events supply chain, including weddings and related services
- travel, tourism and airport support services
- supply chain to retail and construction
- personal and professional trainers/instructors
- professional services
It should be noted that essential food retail and pharmacy retail businesses are not covered by this scheme.
Cllr Martin Goddard, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the local business community.
"Since the first lockdown in March 2020, we have supported more than 3,500 local businesses from a variety of sectors in accordance with government guidance with temporary support grants in excess of £57 million.
"All local authorities have had the discretion to establish business grants schemes that best fit their area, and by revising and expanding our well-established schemes we are ensuring that funding can be distributed as widely as possible amongst Hillingdon's businesses to support them through this challenging time and help them to bounce back as we slowly and safely start to reopen society."
For a list of all available business grants, eligibility details and to apply visit, www.hillingdon.gov.uk/local-business-grants