Lockdown grants still available for businesses

Although Northampton has returned to a tiered system of coronavirus restrictions, businesses forced to close over the lockdown can still apply to receive funding support.

So far, £696,846 from the £2.913 million discretionary business grant scheme has been disbursed to 421 applicants.

The Council is encouraging eligible businesses that have not applied to take advantage of the scheme, especially as the national government is yet to specify a deadline for applications.

Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of the Council, said: “We have nearly £2 million in funding still to issue and we wish to see this money utilised by deserving businesses in our local economy rather than returning it to the national government.

“We really want to urge those businesses that it’s not too late to apply for support, so get your applications in.”

The fund is primarily aimed at businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors legally forced to closed over the lockdown period, including non-essential retail, leisure, personal care (such as hairdressers and nail salons), entertainment, sports facilities and hospitality.

Businesses that can apply are those who normally receive a rates bill from the Council (including those who may have received relief from paying business rates this year), they were open and trading on 4 November 2020, and had been required to close for the entire duration of the lockdown or adapted their business to offer takeaway or a ‘Click and Collect’ service.

Three levels of grants are available depending on the rateable value of the business:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants will be £1,334 for the four weeks
  • For properties with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and below £51,000, grants will be £2,000 for the four weeks
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants will be £3,000 for the four weeks.

A single grant to cover the four-week period will be paid to each eligible business.

Cllr Nunn added: “We learned from previous experiences and now have a slicker system in place using a new portal, which is also helping us reduce the risk of fraud as it automates many of the checks we were doing manually previously.”

Businesses can apply by visiting: www.northampton.gov.uk/grantsandadvice