Newcastle City Council is urging business owners to get ready for the latest round of business support grants.
With funding just released by government for businesses forced to close due to the current national lockdown, as well as restrictions placed on businesses in Tier Two restrictions, the council is busy putting in place a single application for businesses to complete to ensure a fast and simple process, with the scheme expected to open in the coming days.
Cllr Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and culture at Newcastle City Council said: “This has been an incredibly difficult time for our local traders and we know they are under huge financial pressure, not only to keep afloat but to also to keep people in jobs.
“They’ve worked incredibly hard to keep trading during Tier Two restrictions, and with many businesses forced to close due to national lockdown, we’re committed to supporting them through these challenging times.
“Government announced some of this funding weeks ago, building up expectations from businesses hit hard by local restrictions, and they have just released the funding, with incredibly complex guidelines for councils to unpick and sort out the processes.
“I would like the businesses of Newcastle to know, that we are working with our teams to ensure systems are in place to get this funding to you as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“We know businesses owners are under incredible strain and we don’t want to add to that pressure, so our priority is to simplify the eligibility criteria and cut down on red tape, with a single online application form for all available funding open to Newcastle businesses and payments made into their bank accounts within ten working days.”
The council is urging businesses to register their details at www.newcastle.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport so they can notify them as soon as the scheme is ready, as well as update them on the eligibility criteria and supporting documentation required, so that businesses can get ready for the scheme opening.
With Newcastle placed as a high-alert area on 14 October, funding was announced by the Chancellor to prop up the city’s hospitality and leisure venues which were not required to close but were severely impacted by the restrictions on socialising.
Depending on the size of venue, grants would be available each month for eligible businesses with payments back dated from 18 September.
Further financial packages were announced by government on 2 November to support jobs and businesses forced to close due to national lockdown restrictions.
The council will publish the eligibility criteria early next week, with further details of the grants available, and aim to have the scheme up and running in the following days.