Urgent financial support could be on its way to businesses in Stratford District as early as this week after a special grant fund was launched by the district council.
The Small Business Grant Fund (SGBF) will provide a one-off grant of up to £10,000 to help small business owners meet their operating costs.
The fund, established in collaboration with Warwickshire County Council, is all about getting money to businesses quickly as although the chancellor has already announced a package of measures to support public services, individuals and businesses, this cash is not likely to be available until mid-April.
When the money from the Government does eventually come, up to £33million could be available to businesses.
In the meantime businesses eligible to claim from the SGBF must have been in receipt of small business rate relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief (RRR) on the 11 March 2020. Those small businesses whose premises have a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 and receive tapered relief also qualify.
Businesses whose property includes those also for personal use are excluded, along with car parks and parking spaces. Any business in liquidation or dissolved on or before 11 March 2020 are also excluded.
The District Council is contacting eligible businesses from this week and pointing them to the on-line application form on the District Council Website.
Cllr Daren Pemberton, Deputy Leader of Stratford District Council, said: “We know there is considerable uncertainty and anxiety across our business community at present. Business owners face unprecedented challenges as a result of Covid-19. Many independent businesses have also contributed hugely to the distinctive character of our towns and villages across the District. We will do everything in our power to ensure they have the support they need at this time and to build for their future recovery.
“I also want to pay tribute to our Warwickshire County Council partners who have worked tirelessly alongside District Council officers to bring the start of payments forward so that we can begin to get help to where it is needed.
“To help with this, we’re asking all businesses to keep watching our website from this week and complete the secure on-line application, which is the ONLY method for being able to access the monies they are entitled to.”
Details of how businesses can apply for money from the SGBF will appear on the Stratford District Council website soon.