Somerset West and Taunton Business News - Covid-19 Business Grants

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Covid-19 Business Grants

In Somerset West and Taunton we have moved rapidly through a series of national lockdowns and local tiered restrictions over recent months:

5 Nov  to 1  Dec    

2nd National Lockdown

27 days

2 Dec  to  25 Dec  

Tier 2

24 days

26 Dec to 30 Dec  

Tier 3

5 days   

31 Dec to  5 Jan    

Tier 4

6 days  

6 Jan  onwards

3rd National Lockdown

TBA

Each of these periods comes with a specific set of business grants and funding for us as a local authority to administer and distribute.  The rules around eligibility change for each period and each is for a differing length of time.

As this is now quite a complex picture, we are working on a simplified system to allow businesses to register their details with us. This will enable us to identify potential entitlement to the various schemes for different periods and to invite businesses to submit applications via a simple e-mail process.  The data collected will also be used to inform the design of future local schemes where we have an element of discretion.  We expect this to be up and running in mid-January from the Covid business support pages of our website here.

Businesses which have previously successfully claimed for support during the Second National Lockdown (5 Nov to 1 Dec) or Tier 2 (2 Dec to 25 Dec) periods will not need to re-register. We will contact you in due course and may need to ask you to reconfirm some basic details before we are able to make payment.

For new applicants, as soon as the relevant pages on our website go live, an announcement will be made through a further business e-bulletin.

Further Detail on the Grant Schemes

Mandatory and Discretionary Schemes

Each period has at least one mandatory scheme, where the eligibility rules are set by Government.  Government have also provided funding for Local Authorities to use to develop local ‘discretionary’ schemes to assist businesses. (NB. Government provide guidance to local authorities regarding priorities for the local schemes.  A key principle behind all of the grants is that they are intended to help businesses with fixed costs and are NOT intended to supplement lost income).

Current Status

We have funding and application processes in place for the Second National Lockdown and Tier 2 periods.  To date we have paid 1775 businesses a total of £2,522,960 for the Second National Lockdown period and 622 businesses a total of £605,000 for Tier 2.

We are still awaiting rules for one-off payments and FAQs for the tier 4 payments as well as funding for Tier 3, 4 and the Third National Lockdown.  We are advised by Government that this will be provided by Friday 15 Jan 2021 and will look to go live with claims processes as quickly as possible after that date.

National Lockdown Grants

We are still awaiting the full details, but understand it is the Government’s intention to implement a one-off fixed payment scheme for businesses who are in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector and are business ratepayers.  The amounts paid will be either £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000 dependent on rateable value.  In addition the ‘closed’ scheme payments will be available with payment being made on a 6 weekly basis.  The Council is also developing a local scheme to supplement this, which will be funded from the Additional Restrictions Grant funding monies made available in Nov 2020.