The Sheffield City Region Mayor, Local Enterprise Partnership and South Yorkshire’s Local Authorities are ramping up the support available to businesses who have faced COVID restrictions ahead of a challenging Christmas period.
With the Government reviewing local restrictions on 16th December and poised to maintain Tier 3 in the region, local leaders have increased the amount of support available to those eligible for grants. They are urging companies to check their eligibility as soon as possible by contacting their local council.
All businesses forced to close when South Yorkshire entered Tier 3 restrictions on 2nd December are eligible for enhanced support, including non-rate payers who have fixed non-domestic property costs. Greater support is also available for businesses in the supply chain of closed sectors, with many seeing their grant at least double.
A wide range of businesses can apply directly through their council for an Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), such as the self-employed who rent a workspace, outlets in a food hall, sports clubs, B&Bs, travel agents, wedding caterers and event security. Grants are available based on a business’s rateable or rental value.
When South Yorkshire entered localised restrictions in October, the Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) secured an extra £30m in financial support through negotiations with Government. Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield’s councils are distributing these funds (ARG) in the form of one-off payments to businesses forced to close or who have had their trade significantly affected by coronavirus restrictions.
The Christmas period is critical for businesses, with many taking 40% of their yearly trade in December alone. Sheffield City Region’s MCA and local councils are therefore increasing the financial support available for businesses suffering due to local COVID restrictions implemented in December following the national lockdown.
Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis is urging businesses to apply for support. He said:
“We know how tough it is for our businesses across South Yorkshire and the hardship they are facing this Christmas due to COVID restrictions. This festive season is like no other and is a critical period for so many businesses. That is why local leaders and I have taken action to make sure every pound of the SRG goes as far as possible.
“Government has provided grants for businesses forced to close and who pay business rates, but this has left many falling through the cracks. While we will not be able to help every business facing hardship, for those with the toughest trading conditions, we have taken action to increase the support on offer.
“Local council leaders and I are working around the clock to do everything we can to support our businesses, so they can recover and drive our economic recovery in the future. I would urge them to come forward to check if they can access our support.”
Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, James Muir, said:
“The catastrophic impact of coronavirus on business is clear, but in the Sheffield City Region we are providing support to as many people as we possibly can.
“From those forced to close to those in the supply chain who have seen a significant loss of trade, we’ve increased the size of the grants available and are distributing millions of pounds to businesses in Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham. You may not realise you are eligible, but any business in South Yorkshire suffering from COVID restrictions should get in touch to check eligibility.”
The ARG is open for applications now via Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. Any business unsure of the support available to them can contact the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub for advice.