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Businesses risk missing out on COVID-19 grants

Suzanne Caldwell

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is urging businesses to check their eligibility for government grants to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic.

It says there are now so many different schemes, there is a danger that businesses could miss out on vital funding because they don’t realise what is available.

Managing director Suzanne Caldwell said: “The Government seems to introduce a new grant scheme every time it changes the COVID restrictions.

“We’re aware of eight different grants covering the lockdown in November, the Tier 2 and Tier 4 restrictions that followed and now the latest national lockdown.

“Most of these grants are linked to the rateable value of your premises but there’s another scheme for businesses that, for whatever reason, don’t pay business rates.

“Some apply to businesses required to close, others are for businesses that stayed open but were severely impacted.

“And some are sector specific, such as the grants to compensate wet-led pubs for loss of Christmas trade and the latest grants for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses.”

Suzanne added: “All the grants are administered by district councils. In some instances they pay the money automatically to eligible businesses, as long as they have your bank details, but in most cases businesses have to apply.

“We don’t want to see anyone miss out because these are significant sums – the latest lockdown grants offer one-off payments up to £9,000 – that could be the difference between survival and going under for struggling businesses.”

In addition to the COVID grants, Cumbria Business Growth Hub offers grants up to £1,900 to help eligible businesses buy-in expertise.

Its Consultancy Subsidy predates the pandemic and will be available for the foreseeable future.

Visit www.cumbriachamber.co.uk and https://cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk for more details.