Businesses to benefit as discretionary grant scheme is expanded

MORE local businesses forced to close due to the current national lockdown can now benefit from financial support.

Council leaders have agreed to expand the Tier 4 and National Lockdown Additional Restriction Grant scheme, also known as the discretionary grant scheme, to cover businesses that did not meet the initial criteria for funding.

Rother based charities with significantly reduced income, and small or micro businesses still able to trade but with significantly reduced income can now apply for support.

By expanding the discretionary grant scheme, the council hopes to help those businesses and charities that have seen a material reduction in their income but are not eligible for other schemes or Government support.

Funding is also available through the scheme to businesses from the following sectors: shared spaces, Bed & Breakfast, market traders, holiday accommodation including self-contained holiday lets and small campsites, the hospitality and leisure industry supply chain, Arts and Entertainment, and home based ‘in person’ businesses.

Cllr Christine Bayliss, Rother District Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “Since November last year the council has awarded 371 grants to Rother businesses, paying out £800,000 in grant funding, but we would like to help more.

“Getting financial support to those who need it is vital to help our local economy begin to recover and it is clear that many businesses are struggling to access the support they need. By broadening our discretionary scheme, we hope to provide a minimum level of support to many more local businesses.”

Rother District Council was given £2.7 million to allocate to charities and businesses by March 2022 through its dictionary grant scheme, meaning there is £1.9 million still available.

Cllr Bayliss added: “I urge any local business or charity who has not yet benefitted from emergency Government funding, to apply for support as soon as possible.”

Funding covers the 103 days from December 19, 2020 (when Rother entered Tier 4 restrictions) to March 31, 2021 inclusive.

For details of the discretionary grant scheme and the other financial support schemes available, their eligibility criteria, and how to apply visit the information for business pages of the website.

Published: 11th March 2021