On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap out of lockdown and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).
North Somerset Council is now working on making automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from the council and do not need to apply again.
The council is currently undertaking a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.
Businesses who have not yet applied for a grant are being urged to contact the council quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.
Since March last year the council has given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, it believes there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.
To help them access the grants they are entitled to the council has a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or email email@example.com.
Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.
"Our specialist team is working round the clock to ensure businesses in North Somerset are not being left high and dry as a result of the pandemic and are getting the financial support they are entitled to," said Cllr Mark Canniford, the council's executive member for business, economy and employment.
"If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you. Many of these earlier grants will be closing soon, so please check if you have not yet received support and you have been forced to close."
In addition to the government grants, the council's grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on the council's website at https://forms.n-somerset.gov.uk/ad/form/cvdhospitalitygrant#/1.