|The Government announced last weekend that to reduce social contact and limit the spread of Covid-19, certain businesses and venues, would be required to close from Thursday 5th November to the 2nd December 2020. These included all non-essential retail, hospitality and entertainment venues, accommodation providers, personal care and leisure facilities, community centres and halls.|
|At the same time the Government announced further packages to support businesses including a new round of business rate support grants. While the detail has only been provided in the last few days Torridge Council officers have been working hard behind the scenes to launch the online application process. However, the Council will also be writing to around 600 businesses today that have been identified as eligible from their records to try and ensure as many local businesses as possible benefit from the scheme.
As before the scheme is based on the rateable value for businesses and for those registered for business rates as at 1st November 2020. In outline it will operate on the following basis:
While Torridge will be writing to eligible businesses, owners can also review their eligibility here www.torridge.gov.uk/businessgrants and apply online at the following link: http://torridge.gov.uk/LRSGNOV2020 The application process is needed for auditing and fraud purposes as there will be checks made afterwards to ensure correct handling and money incorrectly acquired will be reclaimed. Payments will be made by BACS once applications have been processed.
The Council has stressed that for now the Government have not confirmed whether self-catering holiday lets will be eligible in this tranche of support so they are urging people not to contact the Council for the time being until the Government has issued further clarification.
Councillor Ken James – Leader of Torridge District Council said:
“Once again our officers have worked extremely hard to get this scheme operational and ready for businesses to apply in a very short space of time since it was announced only last weekend. Our aim is to distribute the funds as quickly as possible and we would urge people not to inundate the team with queries by email or telephone as this will only delay the processing of incoming applications. Please bear with us in the initial stages especially while we seek clarification on certain issues such as self-catering holiday lets. The information on our website will be updated as new guidance is received”
Businesses should also check Government websites for further information on this and other support schemes using the governments support finder tool at https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder